(GUIDE) How To Cook Beans In Pressure Cooker?

Beans are a staple food in many cuisines around the world. They are packed with nutrients, protein, and fiber, making them a healthy and versatile ingredient in many dishes. While beans are nutritious, they can take a long time to cook. However, with a pressure cooker, you can drastically reduce the cooking time and still achieve perfectly tender beans.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking beans in a pressure cooker. We will cover everything from preparation to cooking times and troubleshooting common issues. By the end, you will have all the knowledge you need to confidently cook beans in a pressure cooker and enjoy their deliciousness in various recipes.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Beans In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for beans in a pressure cooker can vary depending on the type of bean, their freshness, and the desired tenderness. However, as a general guideline, most beans will take around 20 to 30 minutes under pressure to become tender. This cooking time excludes the time taken for the pressure cooker to come to pressure, which usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes.


Before cooking beans in a pressure cooker, it’s important to properly prepare them. Start by sorting through the beans and removing any debris or stones. Then, rinse the beans thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. Some beans may benefit from soaking in water overnight to reduce cooking time and help with digestion. Soaking is particularly beneficial for larger beans, such as kidney beans or chickpeas.

If you decide to soak the beans, simply place them in a large bowl and cover them with a generous amount of water. Let them soak for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight. After soaking, rinse the beans again before transferring them to the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Beans

A pressure cooker is a sealed cooking vessel that uses steam pressure to cook food quickly and evenly. It consists of a pot with a locking lid and a pressure release valve. When the pressure inside the cooker increases, the boiling point of water rises, resulting in faster cooking times.

When using a pressure cooker for beans, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  1. Liquid Ratio: Beans require liquid to cook properly, and the pressure cooker needs enough liquid to generate steam. As a general rule, use about 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, or a combination) per 1 cup of dried beans.

  2. Do Not Overfill: To ensure proper cooking and prevent clogging the steam vent, do not fill the pressure cooker more than halfway. For larger batches, cook the beans in multiple batches.

  3. Natural Pressure Release (NPR): After the cooking time is complete, it’s recommended to let the pressure release naturally. This allows the beans to continue cooking gently and prevents them from becoming mushy. Natural pressure release usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes.

Cook Times For Beans In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for beans in a pressure cooker will vary depending on the type, size, and age of the beans. Here are some common beans and their approximate cooking times:

  1. Black Beans: Approximately 20 minutes under pressure.

  2. Pinto Beans: Approximately 20 minutes under pressure.

  3. Kidney Beans: Approximately 25 minutes under pressure.

  4. Chickpeas: Approximately 30 minutes under pressure.

  5. Lentils: Approximately 10 minutes under pressure (no soaking required).

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It’s important to note that these times are general guidelines and may vary. Older beans or those that have been stored for a long time may require slightly longer cooking times. It’s always a good idea to check the beans for tenderness before finishing the cooking process.

How To Cook Beans In Pressure Cooker

Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cooking beans in a pressure cooker:

  1. Start by sorting and rinsing the beans to remove any debris.

  2. Optional: Soak the beans overnight to reduce cooking time and aid digestion. If soaking, rinse the beans after soaking.

  3. Place the beans in the pressure cooker pot and add enough liquid (water, broth, or a combination) to cover the beans by about 1 inch. Remember the general guideline of using approximately 3 cups of liquid per 1 cup of dried beans.

  4. Close the pressure cooker with the locking lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the sealing position.

  5. Place the pressure cooker on the stove over medium-high heat. Allow the cooker to come to full pressure, which may take 10 to 15 minutes. Once full pressure is reached, the pressure release valve will rise and lock into place, indicating that the cooker is pressurized.

  6. Once the pressure cooker is pressurized, reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a steady pressure. Set a timer for the appropriate cooking time according to the type of beans you are cooking.

  7. When the cooking time is complete, turn off the heat and let the pressure release naturally. This will take around 10 to 15 minutes.

  8. After the pressure has released, carefully unlock and remove the lid. Check the beans for tenderness. If they are not yet tender, return the pressure cooker to low heat and cook for a few additional minutes, then perform a quick pressure release.

  9. Once the beans are tender and cooked to your desired consistency, they are ready to be used in your favorite recipes.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Beans

To achieve the best results when cooking beans in a pressure cooker, consider the following tips and techniques:

  1. Quick Release vs. Natural Release: As mentioned earlier, it’s generally best to allow the pressure to release naturally for a few minutes before using the quick release method. This ensures that the beans continue to cook gently and helps prevent overcooking or turning them too mushy.

  2. Add Seasonings After Cooking: While it may be tempting to add salt, acidic ingredients, or seasonings to the beans before cooking, it’s best to do so after cooking. Acidic ingredients like tomatoes or vinegar can interfere with the beans’ ability to soften during cooking. Similarly, salt may toughen the beans if added at the start. Season the beans to taste once they are cooked and tender.

  3. Adjust Liquid and Cooking Times: If you find that your beans are consistently overcooked or undercooked, you can adjust the amount of liquid and cooking time. For firmer beans, reduce the amount of liquid used, and decrease the cooking time slightly. For softer beans, increase the liquid and extend the cooking time as needed.


Sometimes, issues may arise when cooking beans in a pressure cooker. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  1. Beans Not Softening: If your beans are not becoming tender after the recommended cooking time, they may be old or improperly stored. In this case, extend the cooking time by a few minutes and check for tenderness. You can also try increasing the pressure slightly and cooking for a bit longer to encourage softening.

  2. Water Level Too Low: If you find that the liquid in the pressure cooker is reducing too quickly and the beans are not yet tender, add a small amount of hot liquid (water or broth) to the cooker and continue cooking.

  3. Excess Foaming: Sometimes, beans can create excess foam during pressure cooking, which can clog the vent or cause the pressure cooker to release steam. To prevent this, add a small amount of oil or fat (such as a tablespoon of vegetable oil or butter) to the cooking liquid. This will help reduce foaming.

  4. Beans Splitting: Some beans, like lentils or split peas, have a tendency to split during pressure cooking. While this doesn’t affect their taste, if you prefer the beans to remain intact, you can decrease the cooking time slightly.

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Variations And Flavoring Options

Cooking beans in a pressure cooker provides a versatile base for various recipes and flavor combinations. Here are some popular variations and flavoring options to try:

  1. Mexican-Inspired Beans: Add spices like cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika during the cooking process. You can also include diced onions, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro for added flavor.

  2. Creamy Italian Beans: Cook the beans with crushed tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, and thyme for an Italian twist. Serve them with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

  3. Indian Spiced Beans: Infuse the beans with a blend of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Add tomatoes, ginger, and garlic to create a flavorful Indian curry.

  4. Mediterranean Style Beans: Combine the cooked beans with diced tomatoes, olives, capers, fresh herbs like basil and parsley, and a splash of lemon juice for a refreshing Mediterranean salad.

  5. Smoky Barbecue Beans: Cook the beans with barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, brown sugar, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce for a smoky and tangy flavor. Serve them as a side dish or as a filling for sandwiches.

Experimenting with different flavor profiles and ingredients allows you to customize the beans to match your desired taste and complement the other ingredients in your recipes.

In conclusion, cooking beans in a pressure cooker is a convenient and time-saving method that preserves their nutritional value and results in perfectly tender beans. It’s important to properly prepare the beans, follow the recommended cooking times, and make any necessary adjustments based on your preferences. With practice, you’ll master the art of cooking flavorful and delicious beans using your pressure cooker.


What Type Of Beans Are Best For Cooking In A Pressure Cooker?

Any type of dried beans, such as pinto, black, kidney, or navy beans, can be cooked in a pressure cooker.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Beans In A Pressure Cooker?

The cooking time will depend on the type of bean and its age. Generally, cooking beans in a pressure cooker can take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes.

Is It Necessary To Soak Beans Before Cooking Them In A Pressure Cooker?

Soaking beans before cooking them can help to reduce cooking time, but it is not necessary. If you choose not to soak the beans, increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.

How Much Water Should I Use When Cooking Beans In A Pressure Cooker?

The general rule is to use three cups of water for every one cup of dried beans. However, the amount of water needed can vary depending on the type of bean and the altitude at which you are cooking.

Can I Add Seasonings To The Beans While They Cook In The Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can add any seasonings you like to the beans while they are cooking. However, it is important not to add any salt or acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes or vinegar, until the beans are fully cooked. These ingredients can interfere with the cooking process and result in tough beans.