Pressure cooker beans
1 LB beans
12 cups water, divided
1-2 TBSP oil
Pick through the beans and rinse them carefully, looking for any gravel or grit. Rinse a second time. Generously cover with 6 cups of water and allow soaking overnight.
Sometime the next day, rinse the beans then place beans in a pressure cooker. Cover with 6 cups of water (so there is an inch of water above the beans) and 1-2 TBSP of oil (to prevent foaming). Depending on the size of your pressure cooker, make sure the beans and water level are below the ½ full line.
Follow manufactures directions by locking lid into place and bring pressure cooker up to pressure (15 PSI). Once pressure is built, cook for 7 minutes then remove pressure cooker from heat and allow the pressure drop naturally for 10 minutes and finish with cold water release if necessary.
If desired pour off additional liquid, then salt to taste. Freeze in 2 cup proportions until ready for use.
I used to cook my beans for 2 ½ hours on the stove top but LOVE having a pressure cooker that will cook my beans in 7 minutes giving me the same texture as canned beans. I make a monster batch every 2 months and freeze in 2 cup proportions for quick meals like broiled nachos, burritos, tacos, enchiladas or fajitas (as shown in the picture above). If your 1 LB bag of beans costs about a dollar, then one cup of cooked beans costs $0.11.
I’ve seen a huge variation in cooking times for beans in a pressure cooker. Julia Child recommends 3 minutes, a few professional chefs recommend 10-15 minutes and I’ve heard of other home cooks cooking their beans as long as 45 minutes. When I first experimented with beans in a pressure cooker, I started cooking them at 15 minutes and had to throw them away because they were overcooked into mush. 10 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural release also turned my beans into pure mush as well. After more experimenting I’ve found the 7 minutes with a 10 minute natural release followed by a cold release is the perfect combination to get my beans just right on my stove with my pressure cooker (Fagor 10 quart). Experiment a few times (be prepared to throw out the first few batches) with your own equipment to find what works best for you.
If you accidentally under cook the beans, either bring them back up to pressure for 1 minute or continue cooking them on the stove top until they are soft.
A great resource for pressure cooking is the MissVickie Pressure Cooker website.