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How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Updated on June 20, 2011
Dried beans for the pressure cooker
Dried beans for the pressure cooker

How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker and Save Time, Money, and Heating Up the Kitchen

I love beans. I'm so glad that they are healthy, because they are one of my favorite foods. But I don't like cooking dried beans when it's hot outside. And some days I discover that I want beans for supper, but don't have time to cook them. Plus, there are those days when I'm disorganized or just lazy. (Which happens more than I care to admit!) So, how do I cook beans then?

Well, actually my husband was the first one in our house to cook beans in a pressure cooker. I was surprised how quick it was. And they taste pretty good, too! Beans cooked in a pressure cooker won't have quite the same texture. They are a bit more firm. Plus, they don't have that natural broth that comes with beans cooked all day long on a stove or in a slow cooker. I don't like them as well, and my husband like them better in the pressure cooker. But they are still good, and learning how to cook beans in a pressure cooker has saved me and my grocery budget on many a hot (or lazy, or disorganized) day!

How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooking beans is actually quick and simple, but you need to use oil whenever doing so. This helps to keep the beans from foaming up along with keeping the skins from popping off and obstructing the valve tube. Don't forget to not fill up the pressure cooker more than 2/3 total.

The following is the simple formula:

1 cup beans

4 cups water

1 tablespoon cooking oil (except large lima beans, which require 2 tablespoons)

Prepare beans in the pressure cooker based on the information below for each type of bean. Soaking for 8-12 hours can tremendously decrease the cooking time.

It's also possible to presoak beans really quickly by simply placing them in the actual pressure cooker together with the quantity of water mentioned above and getting the cooker to come to proper pressure. Switch off the pressure cooker and allow it to sit for about an hour. Next, continue by preparing the beans for the presoak times listed below.

Just like cooking beans any other way, be sure to inspect them first. Remove any gravel, bad beans, or loose skins. It's very important to remove loose skins when cooking beans with a pressure cooker. They can clog up the vent if you don't do this important step.

Unsoaked beans require the longest time to cook in a pressure cooker. Once the cooking time is up, quick-release the pressure cooker in the sink beneath cold running water to prevent foaming in the vent.

Should you notice a sputtering noise, put the pressure cooker in the kitchen sink and run cold water, covering the whole cooker, in order to take the pressure lower rapidly. After the pressure is down, take off and wash the cover, vent, and rubber gasket. Lock the lid back again and then proceed with cooking.

It's very important to always wash the lid and vent carefully after making beans in a pressure cooker. Make sure you examine the valve tubing well to be certain absolutely no bean skins are trapped inside it.

How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker Video

Cooking Times for Cooking Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Here are the cooking times for various beans using a pressure cooker:


Blackeyed Peas - Cook for about 10 minutes. Makes about 2 cups of cooked beans

Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) - If soaked for 8-10 hours, about 11 minutes. If presoaked, approximately 23 minutes. If unsoaked, about 35 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 cups beans.

Great Northern beans - If soaked for 8-10 hours, about 10 minutes. If presoaked, about 16 minutes. Unsoaked beans take about 28 minutes to get done. Makes about 2 cups.

Kidney beans - Soaking them first for 8-10 hours, reduces the bean cooking time in the pressure cooker to about 11 minutes. If presoaked, about 14 minutes. Unsoaked kidney beans take approximately 23 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker. Makes about 2 cups of cooked beans.

Lentils- About 9 minutes. Makes 2 cups

Lima beans - If they are large lima beans, instead of baby ones, use 2 tablespoons oil for each cup of beans instead of 1 tablespoon. If soaked for 8-10 hours, about 6 minutes. If presoaked, about 11 minutes. Unsoaked lima beans take about 15 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Pinto beans - If soaked for 8-10 hours first, about 5 minutes. If presoaked, about 9 minutes. Unsoaked pinto beans take about 24 minutes to cook. Makes about 2 cups.

Navy beans - If soaked first for 8-10 hours, about 7 minutes. If presoaked, it takes about 12 minutes. If unsoaked, about 20 minutes. Makes about 2 cups.

Split peas - Split peas take about 9 minutes to get done in a pressure cooker. Makes about 2 cups.

Note: Black Eyed Peas, Split Peas and Lentils don't have to be soaked or presoaked. You may use all of them unsoaked and they cook in a short time.

How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker Comments

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    • Brigitte Thompson profile image

      Brigitte Thompson 

      19 months ago from Austin, TX

      Great Article I have featured you on my Hubpage Beef Chili & Rice Cooking with electric power cooker

    • profile image

      Melody 

      2 years ago

      Love this article, it is extremely helpful. Do you have other helpful tips for cooking meats in pressure cookers?

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Very useful, very helpful, very practical! Thank you. We love beans, often just added to a tuna and egg etc salad in the summer, or as a side next to a BBQ'd sausage in colder weather. I try to cook them once a week, since they are so good for us, but, till now, have never got the timing right in my pressure cooker. So this will make it lots easier AND save the gas bills! Just the tip.

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      I liked your article and the directions are easy to follow. I enjoy cooking beans and I will try cooking several varieties you mentioned. I,ve never tried cooking lentils or lima beans but it sounds easy with the pressure cooker.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Never thought of beans for my pressure cooker - great idea. A friend of mine makes baked beans with pinapple and blue cheese - and I actually now like baked beans. Must try this! Thank you!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for these lot of tips because I love beans

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