My Pressure cooker is one of my most coveted kitchen tools. I have been known to travel with it on occasion. People have told me they are intimidated to use a pressure cooker but the cookers today are nothing like your grandma’s model that spouted steam, rattled the windows and sent the grandkids scurrying under the kitchen table in fear of the explosion. The pressure cookers out now are beautiful, sleek and sexy must have kitchen items. I have two of them in fact, often simultaneously spouting away on the stove at the same time. These are remarkably simple devices that open up a whole array of dinner options for the non-planners out there. You can go from dry beans to soup in 30 minutes. Lusciously creamy risotto is 20 minutes away with no standing over the stove and stirring. Mashed potatoes are plump and full of flavor, not waterlogged. There are so many, many, things I make in the pressure cooker, but beans are a staple food in my house. Here is how to use your pressure cooker for plump, luscious, full of flavor, perfectly cooked beans.
To Pre-Soak any type of beans:
- Rinse your beans well and pick out any dirt or rocks
- Cover with 2 inches of water, lock lid in place and bring to high pressure
- Immediately turn off heat and let pressure come down naturally
- Drain and rinse beans with fresh water
To Cook the Beans after they are Pre-Soaked use the recommended cooking times below
- Return Beans to cooker
- Cover with 1-2 inches of water or broth
- Lock lid into place and bring back to pressure
- Turn the heat down enough to maintain pressure for recommended cooking time
- Use a quick release method to bring pressure down.
Quick Release Methods: Either open the valve (turned away from you) and let it hiss and spit steam around your kitchen until the pressure button drops down or move the pot to the sink tilt it away from you and run cool water over the lid until the pressure comes down.
Here is a list of approximate cooking times. This is for firm beans that hold their shape. For soups, cook the beans 3-5 minutes longer. If you are adding sofrito, bring pressure down with the quick release valve, add sofrito and bring back up to pressure for 3 minutes. The fresher the beans, the shorter the cooking time. If they aren’t the consistency you like, simply bring them back up to pressure for a minute or two and quick release the pressure, alternatively you can take the lid off and simmer until the right firmness is reached.
- Black Turtle Beans- 6-8 minutes
- Pinto- 4-6 minutes
- Kidney- 8-10 minutes
- White Beans (small) 4-6 minutes
Fagor makes easy to use, quality cookers in a variety of sizes. There is also a video on how to use them