Beans are a pantry staple for us. They are inexpensive, versatile, and very healthy. The one drawback is how long dried beans take to cook. One way I found to combat this was to cook large batches of beans at a time and can them in a pressure cooker. If you are looking for our post on cooking dried beans in a stovetop pressure cooker you can find it here: How to cook dried beans in a pressure cooker. Today I'm showing you how to cook dried beans in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. I do use both and these instructions work perfectly with either one.
Soaking the Beans
It is always a good idea to soak your dried beans overnight when you can. Soaking the beans overnight reduces the cooking time and releases some of the enzymes in the beans that can lead to bloating and gas. We do have a video that will show you how to do a quick-soak if you don't have time for an overnight soak. Just be sure however you soak the beans that you drain off all the water and rinse the beans. Never add salt or spices to the beans while soaking.
How To Cook Dried Beans in an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
- Clean the Beans: Remove any rocks or dirt from the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water, and shake to drain. We have a detailed video that shows you what to remove in this video: How to Clean Dried Beans.
- Soak the beans: You can soak the beans overnight in the refrigerator or use one of the methods listed above.
- Drain the beans and Rinse: Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with cool water. Do not skip draining and rinsing the beans.
- Place in Inner Pot: Return the soaked beans to the electric pressure cookers' inner pot. Add 7-8 cups of water to the pot. Do not fill above the ½ mark on the inner pot
- Cook the beans: Secure the pressure cooker's lid, make sure the pressure release knob is set to close, set the pressure to high for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the beans you are using.
- Natural release: When the time is up, turn off the pot. Allow the pot to cool down and release pressure naturally. Your instruction manual will tell you how to determine when the pot is ready to be opened. Unlock and remove the lid, tilting the lid away from you and allowing any condensation to drip back into the pot. Even though the pressure has dropped there will be steam so be careful.
- Use or store: Your beans are now ready to use in a recipe or store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Storing Cooked Beans
Cooked beans can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to one year. Label the freezer container with the date and type of bean inside. I usually use a wax pencil for marking my containers. My favorite way to store cooked beans is by canning them. However, I also keep some in the freezer. I use these plastic containers for freezing our beans and many other foods.
If you want to start canning your own beans we have a video playlist that will show you how to safely pressure can any type of bean.
Helpful Tips for Cooking Dried Beans
There are a few things to be aware of when cooking dried beans and legumes:
- Dried beans double in volume and weight after soaking or cooking. To avoid overflow, do not fill the inner pot more than to the ½ mark to allow for expansion.
- When cooking dried beans use sufficient liquid to cover the beans. This will help you avoid burning the beans or the beans at the top of the pot from not cooking thoroughly.
Cooking Times for Beans in Instant Pot
Beans and legumes are less likely to be over-cooked, but if they are undercooked the texture is unpleasant. Please consider the cooking time as a minimal time.
|Dried Beans, Legumes, and Lentils||Dry Cooking Time (minutes)||Soaked Cooking Time (minutes)|
|Adzuki / Azuki / Aduki||16 – 20||4 – 6|
|Anasazi||20 – 25||5 – 7|
|Black beans||20 – 25||6 – 8|
|Black-eyed peas||14 – 18||4 – 5|
|Chickpeas (chickpeas, garbanzo bean, or kabuli)||35 – 40||10 – 15|
|Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)||30 – 35||6 – 9|
|Great Northern beans||25 – 30||7 – 8|
|Kidney beans, red||15 – 20||7 – 8|
|Lentils, green||8 – 10||n/a|
|Lentils, brown||8 – 10||n/a|
|Lentils, red, split||1 – 2||n/a|
|Lentils, yellow, split (moong dal)||1 – 2||n/a|
|Lima beans||12 – 14||6 – 10|
|Navy beans||20 – 25||7 – 8|
|Pinto beans||25 – 30||6 – 9|
|Peas||16 – 20||10 – 12|
|Scarlet runner||20 – 25||6 – 8|
|Soy beans||35 – 45||18 – 20|
How to Use Beans
Beans are such a versatile food. We use them in soups, on tostadas, bean tacos, and vegetarian burritos.