Do You Want Perfect Beans That Are Evenly Cooked
Yes: Okay, fine is a leading question. But, one reason you might want to soak your beans is that it yields beans with a more even, smoother texture. In my experience, unsoaked beans sometimes have an uneven texture. Some end up soft, some stay firm, and some have split skins.
Certain bean varieties are particularly bad offenders when it comes to uneven cooking . But with other beans, such as chickpeas, I dont notice a big difference.
Also, if you are cooking a simple pot of just beans , the even texture of the beans will be more important than if you are cooking a full dish . In the latter type of dish, its okay if some of the beans are firm and some are mushy.
Even if you dont do a full overnight soak, even a quick soak of beans can yield a better texture.
No: Does anyone say no to this question?? In all seriousness, if you are cooking beans for a chili, soup, stew, etc., the even texture of the beans is not as important.
Why Use The Instant Pot To Cook Beans
Reason 524 why you need an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker in your life: Dried Beans.
Rock hard beans perfectly tender in about an hour with zero babysitting. BOOM! Now you can justify that second pressure cooker!
Slow cooker beans take 10-12 hours to soften and make your house smell like a Mexican restaurant.
Stovetop beans take up to 4 hours and involve dedicated pot watching to make sure the water doesn’t overflow or evaporate.
Who has time for that?!
Today is a Dried Beans 101 course on how to cook beans in the electric pressure cooker, AKA Instant Pot.
What Can You Do With Cooked Beets
- eat them on their own
- drizzle with balsamic and olive oil
- add them to a salad!
- stir chopped beets into yogurt along some spices to make beet raita
- make this beet thoran
- blend it into hummus
- stir-fry them with their greens
Beets come in all sizes and while its true that cooking time can vary, Ive found that my method results in perfectly cooked beets no matter what the size.* That said, if your beets are HUGE, then you can always add an extra few minutes if you find they arent as tender as youd like. I think the secret to cooking them perfectly is the two cups of water I add to the bottom of the pot it takes longer to reach pressure and that extra time seems to help cook larger beets as well.
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Why Use The Instant Pot To Cook Navy Beans
With the Instant Pot, you can go from dried beans to tender cooked beans in around an hour. No soaking required!
Just like my Instant Pot chickpea recipe, I dont soak my beans beforehand. While some people like to soak their beans overnight because they find it easier to digest, I personally do not feel a difference.
However, I will preface this with a disclaimer that not soaking the beans beforehand will cause more beans to have their skin split. It doesnt affect the flavour of the navy beans but its just not the prettiest. If having the beans look whole and pretty is a main concern , you can soak the beans overnight and and pressure cook it for half the time.
Instant Pot Baked Beans
This AMAZING Instant Pot Baked Beans recipe uses dry beans, and theres no soaking required. Tender cooked beans with bacon, onion and bell pepper in a delicious sweet and smokey sauce. Im confidant this easy baked beans recipe will become a staple at your summer BBQs!
If you could only pick one, what is your favorite side dish at a bbq? Its a hard choice, I know, but Id probably say baked beans. They pairly perfectly with any type of meat from the grill. My favorite sweet cornbread, and one of these fresh salads make the meal complete.
Ive been really excited to share this instant pot baked beans recipe with you all because its proof that making baked beans from scratch can happen in about an hour! The instant pot is just amazing, and Im proud to add this recipe to the ranks of my instant pot recipe archives!
How to make baked beans in the Instant Pot:
To make baked beans in the instant pot, start by adding the dry beans and water to the pot. Cook in high pressure for about 25 minutes, with a natural pressure release. When the pressure has released, remove the lid and pour the beans into a strainer to remove the water. Rinse them well with cold water.
DISCLAIMER: This recipe was created using the DUO 60 6-quart instant pot. Not all instant pot recipes work perfectly for all types of instant pots. See this article for more information on adapting recipes for your instant pot.
Do I need to soak the dry beans?
Can I substitute canned beans instead of dry beans?
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To Soak Or Not To Soak
Unlike cooking beans on the stove, cooking beans in the Instant Pot does not require soaking. Thats right, you can simply give your beans a quick rinse and then add them to the Instant Pot with your cooking liquid and start pressure cooking.
However, I want to mention a few caveats that might make you want to soak your beans even though its not necessary.
Five Ways To Soak Your Beans
Not about the hybrid method? No worries, here are five different ways to soak your beans to prepare them for cooking in an Instant Pot.
- Overnight: You may feel most comfortable with letting your beans soak overnight. If that’s the case, for every one cup of beans simply soak them in 3-4 cups of water overnight.
- When you wake up in the morning, just drain the beans and use as directed in your recipe.
- As a caution, you will want to be sure to place the beans in the refrigerator after 8 hours. Otherwise, they are going to be semi-fermented.
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How To Know When Beans Are Fully Cooked
After a natural pressure release, remove the lid and use a slotted spoon to stir the beans and remove a few to test. If you can squash them between your fingertips and they are tender to bite, they are done. If they are crunchy or impossible to flatten between your fingertips, pressure cook for another 5 10 minutes.
Want more details on how to cook each one these beans? Here are individual posts on each of the foundational beans.
Why Cook Beans & Chickpeas In The Instant Pot
I prefer to cook my beans and chickpeas in the Instant Pot rather than using other methods because:
- It’s quick and easy! Rather than hovering over a stovetop for long periods of time, using a pressure cooker allows you to cook your beans virtually hands-free.
- Your beans and chickpeas can be cooked with or without soaking them first. Both dry and pre-soaked beans work well in the Instant Pot.
- The beans always end up perfectly tender.
- You get to control the salt and add other flavors in the beans.
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The Fine Print: Why You Might Still Want To Soak Your Beans
This said, you do make a few concessions when you skip the soak. The biggest one is the beans’ appearance: You tend to get more split skins and “blow-out” beans when they’re not pre-soaked.
For my everyday cooking, I’m fine with beans that are a bit rough around the edges. If you’re preparing a bean dish for your in-laws or the Pope, however, you might want to plan ahead and set aside the time for a long, careful soak.
Secondly, some people feel that soaking their beans helps makes them easier to digest . Personally, I haven’t noticed a huge difference with my own digestion between soaked or un-soaked beans, but if you find soaking helpful in this regard, then by all means carry on.
If you’d like to soak your beans , then go for it! The pressure cooking time is generally about half the time as unsoaked.
What To Make With Cooked Beans
There are so many recipes you can make using cooked beans. Our Mediterranean three bean salad is a great choice since it’s packed with veggies and herbs and has a delicious dressing. This simple Turkish white bean salad is another favorite of ours. You can also go down the Persian route and try Persian noodle soup using a few types of beans: it’s vegetarian and is a great recipe to make if you’re interested in trying Persian cuisine.
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How Can I Add More Flavor To My Beans
You can easily add more flavor to your beans! Both before and after cooking. Here are a few of our favorite flavor enhancing suggestions:
- Many people swear by the addition of kombu, a dried seaweed. The amino acids in a 4 inch strip is supposed to help soften the beans, make them more digestible, and also give a tasty quality to the cooked beans.
- Cayenne for an Extra Kick To spice things up, add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mix or chop up some fresh hot peppers and throw them in with the beans before cooking. Thatll take it up a notch!
- Sprinkle in Some Salt Again, less is more when it comes to salt. A little salt will give just enough seasoning. You can always add more to the amount on your plate.
- Vegetable Broth Boost Feel free to use vegetable broth instead of water to cook your beans. Its a quick way to add flavor without having to think too much about it. Use the low sodium version so that, when the beans reduce, they arent too salty.
- Honor Those Herbs If youve got a garden with fresh herbs, now is the time to use them! Chop up your favorites and add them to the pressure cooker. If using dried herbs, use a lot less. Using ½ 1 tablespoon would work well.
Do I Need To Soak Beans Before Pressure Cooking
I grew up watching my mom and grandma soak the beans overnight before pressure cooking them. I followed the same practice, but always wondered if there was really a need to do so.
So, a few years ago, I did some research and tried a few recipes without soaking them beforehand. Here’s what I found out:
- Soaking the beans prior to cooking cuts down on the cooking time since they have already been rehydrated during the process of soaking.
- Beans contain sugars that the body cannot digest and cause flatulence. Soaking helps to remove some of those sugars. It also allows them to release some of their gases, making digestion easier.
- Reduces the phytate content in beans. Beans contain Phytic acid, which prevents absorption of key minerals like iron, zinc and calcium in the body. Soaking the beans, gets rid of that, making the the nutrient absorption easy.
How to soak beans? To soak your beans, rinse them first. Add them to a large bowl and cover them with water by 2 inches. Let them sit for 8-12 hours, or overnight, before rinsing again and cooking.
However, sometimes you simply don’t have time to allow your beans to soak. The Instant Pot is great for those times, because, while cooking does take a bit longer, this method is still set-it-and-forget it.
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What Are White Beans
White beans can refer to a couple different beans: Navy beans, Great Northern beans, Cannellini beans, or Baby Lima beans. Theyre all white beans and to be honest, they kinda look the same. I even know people who use the white beans interchangeably for recipes. So whats the difference?
White Navy Beans: also called pea beans, the white Navy beans are small, oval-shaped, and quicker to cook. As they get creamy when cooked, theyre perfect for mashing, pureeing in dips, and thickening soups, stews, and more.
Great Northern Beans: larger than Navy Beans but smaller than Cannellini beans, medium-sized Great Northern beans are known for their mild, nutty flavour and firm flesh. They hold their shape better than the smaller white Navy bean.
Cannellini Beans: they are the largest of the white beans family, also called White Kidney Beans. Their flavour profile is nutty and earthy, and cannellini beans keep their shape best out of all of them.
Baby Lima Beans: also called butterbeans, they have a distinctive flat-oval shape with a mild earthiness flavour and a creamy, buttery texture.
For todays Instant Pot recipe, Ill be using white navy beans. I have not tested the other white with the other beans.
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In addition to the beans, youll also need a good quality oil and salt as well. I prefer to cook with unrefined salt as regular ole table salt has been bleached and has a lot of additives that Id rather avoid. My favorite type of salt is REAL Salt from the Great Salt Lake in Utah. I love its pretty colors and it has a nice taste and lots of healthy qualities too. There are so many different types of salt. We only use table salt for crafts.
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Bean Soaking Information: Do Dried Beans Need To Be Soaked
This is quite a hot debate. There are arguments for both sides.
The theory for soaking beans is that it decreases oligosaccharide, a poorly digested sugar that ferments and causes abdominal bloating and gas. Soaking also decreases the overall cook time.
Others state that soaking the beans results in little to no change in the gas and bloating category and that it might even reduce the overall nutrition and flavor of beans as well.
If you have an especially sensitive gut, don’t eat beans often, or if you feel like soaked beans cause you less abdominal distress, then, by all means, soak your beans.
If you don’t notice much difference either way and you don’t plan ahead, throw the beans into the Instant Pot and let it work its magic. There is yet another theory that pressure cooking beans breaks down oligosaccharides so this may be the ideal solution.
How Do You Cook Dried Beans In An Instant Pot
You can cook any type of dried beans in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Water and beans are all you need, seasoning is optional. Check the cookbook that comes with your Instant Pot for guidelines on how long to cook each type of bean. Easy, easy, easy! I love to make Black Bean Soup in my Instant Pot.
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How To Cook Beets In An Instant Pot
The instant pot makes it so easy to cook beets! You can do so many things with cooked beets or just eat them on their own. Just cook, peel, and eat!
The best thing about cooking beets in an instant pot? The peels basically slide right off once theyre done. Theres no prep work required just rinse and put em in the pot and cook. The end result: perfectly cooked, fork-tender beets!
I just love beets! I mean, the name of my blog IS my heart beets after all. Whenever I eat beets, I always wonder why I dont share more beet recipes on my blog. The truth is though I love eating beets as they are plain and sometimes with a bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil. Every now and then a drizzle of balsamic. Thats it. So tasty!
Beets are so beautiful. They look like jewels, dont they? I love all of their colors: red, gold, striped . And the flavor?! YUM. I know some people dont love the earthy flavor of beets, but I do theyre so sweet and well, earthy.
How To Cook Black Beans In An Instant Pot
These black beans are quick and easy to make. See the recipe box at the end of this post for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
If youre just getting started with Instant Pot cooking, read my simple Instant Pot Instructions. Then try a few of my other favorite basic Instant Pot recipes: Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs, Instant Pot Brown Rice and Instant Pot Shredded Chicken. You might also enjoy these Healthy Instant Pot Recipes.
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