Pressure Cooker Bean Essentials!

Today, we’re pressure cooking beans! We’ll discuss the difference between pressure cooking beans straight from dry, versus soaked.  I will show you a technique on how to quick-soak beans in just twelve minutes.  Plus, we’ll make an easy Black Bean and Lentil Chili recipe.

Welcome to Pressure Cooking School!

Now that you have a pressure cooker, you can kiss those cans of tasteless, pasty beans goodbye!

You can make your own, from any variety of bean that you like and season them from the inside out. Now, some legumes like lentils, split peas and black-eyed peas can go straight in the pressure cooker and make a delicious recipe.  While, some other varieties could benefit form a good soak.

Let me show you why.


Bean Essentials - Pressure Cooking School

 Pressure Cooker Bean Essentials




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  1. Thank you for these lessons.

    What is the minimum liquid used for cooking one cup of dry beans (after soaking) or one cup of un-soaked lentils.

    When making a recipe, can we measure the liquid that other vegetables will produce?

    1. One cup of dry beans, soaked, can be cooked in just 1 1/2 cups of water. I’ve never tested straight lentils, but you can probably modify this recipe to taste:

      If you feel like experimenting, try doing 1 cup dry un-soaked letils to 1 1/2 cups of liquid and let us know how it goes!

      Yes, veggies can substitute a portion of the cooking liquid. I wouldn’t do it all because the beans should be covered in liquid from the start.



  2. my recipe calls for 2 cans of black beans. How much dry beans should I use.

    thank you, Cal

    1. You can replace one 14oz can of beans with one cup of dry beans. So for your recipe use two cups of dry beans. I recommend soaking them first. ; )



  3. I absolutely love your videos Laura, they’re so informative and they’re really helping out.

    One critique, if you don’t mind. Your theme music is *so* intense. I watched the video immediately after I woke up, enjoyed your pleasant voice and demeanor, and then felt like I was dropped into the middle of a night club haha.

    Thanks again for the videos and great information!

    1. Good morning, and welcome to the “club”! All the cool kids are pressure cooking, now. ; )



  4. Just watched Lesson 4 Bean Essentials Pressure Cooking School. Really nice job, Laura. I’ll recommend these lessons again to my friend who received an Instant Pot for Christmas.

    I especially like that you speed up portions of the lesson where one doesn’t need to view those in real time. Makes lesson watching quicker and more efficient.

    1. Thanks, Razzy. I know that you’re very precise with everything related to pressure cooking so your compliment is very valuable!

      I use the same barometer that I do for my articles and introductions for the videos: If I’m bored proofreading it (or editing it), you will be bored reading it (or watching it). : )



  5. HI Laura!!
    I really enjoyed this cooking class!
    I will try soon the quick soaking method hoping it’ll work even for me!
    Seldom I buy dry beans, I soak them even 48 hours, and after they’re always a bit crunchy…. I don’t know why… it can’t be that every time I get old dry beans….
    Anyway the lesson was great!! Thank you.

    1. Antonella, the issue could be the water you’re using to soak and cook them into. If you have “hard” water with a high mineral content it can slow down the re-hydrating and cooking process. Try using bottled water for both steps (just to determine if that’s the cause) otherwise, add a pinch of salt in the soaking liquid (not cooking). It raises the water’s PH and makes the beans soak and cook faster.



  6. want to subscribe to your newsletter

  7. Hello :) I’ve long soaked cranberry beans…but my question is for any of the beans you have to soak. What I would like to do is soak, cook them and then freeze them to use them for any recipe that calls for canned beans. What do you suggest for this? I was planning to follow your chart and cook the cranberry for 10 minutes at HP with NPR….but am unsure of the amount of water to use and if I should add anything other than just water and the beans. Thanks for any help :)

    1. I would strain and freeze the beans and their cooking liquid separately.

      For just cooking plain beans I cook each cup of dried beans that have been soaked with 1 1/2 cups of liquid. You don’t need to add anything while cooking, but a halved onion will add lots of flavor!

      If you have my cookbook, Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh & Flavorful, take a look at the Bean chapter for more ideas and strategies for storing beans. ; )



  8. Really enjoyed your cooking class, lots of info!

  9. So if the halfway point rule applies to both soaked and unsoaked beans, this essentially means I can cook more beans unsoaked than soaked?

    That is to say, if I use unsoaked beans, but if they had been soaked, the volume would be more than the 1/2 line, that would be okay?

    1. Unsoaked beans require more cooking liquid… so in the end it works out to about the same.



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