Refusing to spend four hours in her sweltering summer kitchen actually baking beans, Kristine decided to take matters in her own hands and adapt her favorite recipe to the pressure cooker!

Kristine is the woman behind the Dark Side of the Fridge. When she is not blogging she…

…is taking care of herhusband, grown son, dog, cat, and works full time in the legal field. She loves to cook, garden, knit, and read. She credits Hip Pressure Cooking with encouraging her to make better use of her pressure cooker (yay!).

In her words:

We wanted to enjoy our brown-sugar-and-molasses beans all summer, with our white hots and burgers and mac salad, without the oppressive heat that comes from having the oven running for the better part of the day in the dog days of summer.

And we did it.

We managed to “bake” our beans on the stovetop, in the pressure cooker, in less than an hour.

If you have a pressure cooker, or you’re considering investing one, know this.

You NEED to do this.

You need to whip up a batch of baked beans for dinner on a Tuesday evening. Or on a Sunday morning while you’re in the shower, to enjoy cold later on.

Plus – you could probably leave the bacon out if you needed to, and add a bit of smoked paprika – I’d stir it in after cooking – if I used it, which I wouldn’t because I’m good with bacon. I’m just putting it out there.


Kristine’s Boston Baked Beans in the Pressure Cooker
1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
1/4 pound sliced bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup molasses (or make half of this molasses substitute)
1/4 to 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar (to taste)
1 tsp. baking soda
1-2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 c. water

  1. Drain and rinse the beans and set aside.
  2. Saute the diced bacon in pressure cooker until cooked and starting to brown.
  3. Drain and discard as much grease from bacon as possible, leaving no more than 1 tablespoon in pot.
  4. Saute onions in same pot with bacon, just until softened.
  5. Add beans and all remaining ingredients. The water should cover the beans by 1 inch; if necessary, add more more water.
  6. Place lid on pressure cooker, set to “high” or 15 psi. Lock down and bring cooker to pressure over high heat.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes [at high pressure], then use quick release method to open cooker. (Quick release – remove cooker from heat and set in sink. Run cold water over lid 20-30 seconds until pressure is released and lid may be opened.) [for electric pressure cookers, cook for 30 minutes and open with the natural release method – turn off the pressure cooker and don’t do anything. Wait for the pressure to come down naturally in 15 to 20 minutes]
  8. Cook beans uncovered if desired to reduce liquid or further cook beans.

Recipe and Photo Credits Kris at Dark Side of the Fridge 

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  1. This looks fantastic! (I’ll skip the bacon, naturally) ;)

  2. Sounds like a great recipe. I’m never one to skip bacon. I’ve been meaning to do beans in the pressure cooker for a while now. I was hoping that with the pressure cooker I could avoid the overnight soak. It would be interesting to do a taste test to see if it made much of a difference. Have your tried it?

    1. There are quick soak directions on the site here. I just used them in preparation to make the baked beans! :)

  3. I haven’t tried not soaking the beans for this recipe, but in general I prefer them soaked. I’d be curious as to how they work unsoaked.

  4. I’m curious – my CPC-600 says you have to always use at least 8 cups of water (and some oil) for fear of foaming and blocking the vent, which means recipes like this don’t work very well because the broth comes out too dilute. Have you found this to be a non-issue, maybe because there are enough other ingredients to beat back the foam?

    1. If by CPC-600, you mean the Cuisinart 600, I have one of those. I’ve made beans in it and have never used a many as 8 cups of water. I do add a little oil but if you make this recipe with the bacon, you wouldn’t need to add any. I follow whatever recipe I’m using and they’ve always turned out fine. I think the main thing is you don’t want the beans to cook to where there is no liquid in the pot because then the bottom will scorch and you don’t want that. This recipe calls for soaked beans so they already have some water absorbed so don’t need as much for cooking.

  5. No, I haven’t had a problem – my first couple of attempts, that was exactly the issue. Watery beans – blech! I’ve been cooking plain beans with just enough water to cover by an inch or so, and, as you said, there are plenty of other ingredients that will reduce any foaming.

  6. JL, you go girl!!

    Barbara, I do not recommend using unsoaked beans because it will result in many broken and cracked beans – perfect for creamy refried beans but a faliure for Boston Baked. May I recommend doing a Quick Soak, instead?

    Michael, are you referring to using an electric pressure cooker for this recipe?

    I wrote special instructions for Electric Pressure Cookers in brackets [ ].

    The secret to pressure cooking foamy foods is in not letting any of the pressure (mixed with foam and food particles) exit from the valves during cooking or opening of the pressure cooker.

    This means that when one uses a stovetop pressure cooker, of any type, it should be opened with the quick cold-water method or natural release.

    “Jiggly” or “Weight Modifyed” venting pressure cookers that release vapor as a way to maintain pressure may need special additions (like oil) to the recipe to keep the pressure cooker from spraying out foam from the valves during cooking.

    Electric pressure cookers, which all have sprin valves can cook foamy foods by using the Natural release method.

    If your instruction manual has instructions about minimum amounts of liquids and adding oil, their instructions should supersede what is written on this website – especially for electric pressure cookers which could easily scorch and have the non-stick liner damaged if their indications are not followed to the letter.

    Read and heed your pressure cooker instruction manual!!



  7. I just read the booklet for my CPC-600 and I don’t see where it says a minimum of 8 cups water with beans. One recipe uses 4 cups with chickpeas although not for a pound. It does say not to fill the pot more than 1/3 full for foamy things such as beans. Had I seen this recipe before today, I would have put beans to soak last night and tried it — perfect 4th of July recipe. If you use bacon, that should cut down on the foam and if not using bacon, put some olive oil in. I will try this soon and see what happens.

  8. Gayle, thank for checking your manual and letting us know the minimum requirements for your electric pressure cooker!!!


  9. Um. I’d love to try this but I’m not sure what that 1/2 dry mustard is? 1/2 tsp? 1/2 Tbs? 1/2 cup? I love mustard……

  10. I’m so sorry! It should be 1/2 TEASPOON. I’ve corrected the original.

  11. Thank you Kristine, I’ve updated the recipe here too!

    Momnmb, let us know how you like it!



  12. something I have found that makes all beans tastier, is to brine the beans as you do a presoak. add 1/4 c. salt to the soaking water. Rinse and cook. lower the amount of salt in the recipe? t
    Try it!

  13. I just made this, but somehow burned the bottom. I was only 20 minutes into the cooking time. The beans that weren’t touching the bottom look great! Any idea how I managed to scorch the bottom so badly?

    Melissa :)

    1. It sounds like the molasses sunk to the bottom. Maybe the pressure cooker wasn’t hot enough after sauteing the onions to melt and amalgamate the molasses with the water?

      What kind of pressure cooker do you have and on what kind of stove-top?



    2. Thanks so much for your reply!! I have an 8-Quart stainless steel presto professional pressure cooker and I cook (sadly) on an electric stove top.

      I appreciate any tips (or links to tips) you have! I am just getting started! :)

      Melissa :)

    3. Melissa, have you heard of the switcharoo?

      For electric cook tops, since the coil takes time to cool down, I recommended starting the cooker on a large “high heat” burner. In the meantime, you turn on an warm-up a smaller burner to “low heat.” When the cooker reaches pressure… SWITCHAROO! Turn off the high-heat burner and quickly move the cooker to low heat and proceed with the pressure cooking.

      The switcharoo should greatly reduce the likelihood of scorching!



    4. Ya, the same thing happened to me. Fortunately I stirred the pot before locking down the lid. I was amazed at how the molasses had stuck on the bottom. I also recommend cutting back on the sweetness. My family loved these, but they were a bit too sweet. I also recommend adding a bit of hickory smoked flavoring.

  14. Laura, can I substitute ‘navy’ beans for the ‘great northern’??


    1. Yes, Navy or Cannellini beans are fine – pressure cook 10-15 minutes only to get them nice and tender!



  15. Wow, these were a huge disappointment. They turned out very bitter. Then I went back over the recipe and realized there is no salt or pepper, and no tomato product such as ketchup in this recipe. No wonder they were horrible. So I left the pan on the stove added a ton of ketchup, more brown sugar, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and a few other silly things trying to get these to a point where they were edible (from a flavor perspective.) The recipe is a good starting point but don’t be foolish like me and forget all your culinary know how. Duh, baked beans need tomato product, and at another minimum salt and pepper. I seriously mean no disrespect to the author of this recipe, I am assuming a big part of the recipe just got left out in editing.

    1. Thanks for the honest feedback. How did the recipe with your additions turn out?



    2. I’m so sorry you didn’t like the beans, Michelle. I’m sure it’s as much a matter of taste as anything. I’ve never used tomatoes in beans – perhaps it’s a regional thing? Anyway, I’m sorry you were disappointed.

    3. About Boston Baked Beans, you are correct about the tomato product. I personally prefer Maine Baked Beans, which this recipe resembles.

  16. We loved `em!
    Soaked the beans overnight.
    Used some pork broth I had left over from a pulled pork recipe, which I also made in our electric pressure cooker, instead of water.
    Added a bit extra grainy mustard, some apple cider vinegar and smoke flavoring.
    Used less molasses and skipped the brown sugar. We prefer our BQ beans a bit less sweet.
    No bacon handy so added salt to our taste, which is a bit on the salty side of life. ;)
    Used the auto bean timer on our unit, (30 minutes) and WALLA… waaaaay yummy.
    And sooooo easy, pretty sure we’ll never buy another can of baked beans again.
    Huge “THANK YOU” to Kristine for sharing this recipe with a pressure cooker novice.

  17. can’t find great Northern beans this side of the pond: would Cannellini beans be a good approximation? Otherwise, any suggestions for a good substitute?

    1. Yup, they should work just fine. I do recommend soaking the beans overnight.

  18. Hi Laura. When my pressure cooker arrived two weeks ago, I stared at it for a few days and wondered what had I done. Then I found your web site, followed your lessons (boiling water twice) and now I feel I have the hang of my it. Thanks. I especially love this bean recipe – my fourth batch in 2 weeks is cooking now. Since my mother always adds ketchup to her beans, I added a 1/4 cup of ketchup, decreasing the water by same amount. So delicious. Good bye canned beans forever.

    1. So great to hear about the beginning of your adventure into pressure cooking.

      I actually can’t take personal credit for this recipe, it was submitted by one of our talented readers – however I love your addition and am so glad you posted to share it.



  19. Please help- what is grainy mustard? I have my beans soaking- these will be my first beans in the instant pot lol…

  20. Sorry this is late. But next time, just sub with any brown mustard on hand, preferably not one with honey. A grainy mustard usually is a bold and spicy deli type of mustard that you can actually see the cracked mustard seed, or other grainy spices that might have been added.

    It’s mostly about the grind; ex. powder sugar used for frosting vs. coarse-grain sugar used to sprinkle on our ginger bread men. ;)

    Hope you carry on with the pressure cooker. I use mine ALL the time. It’s my most favorite piece in the kitchen.

    Happy Cooking, Jan

  21. Yum! Made these tonight and everyone gobbled them up. We did add a bit of pepper but that’s the only adjustment. We only added 1/4 sugar because cloyingly sweet isn’t our thing (like canned beans)

    I’m laughing at the ketchup comment because that does not make a baked bean.

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe.

  22. I just made these and they are way watery and a wee bit under cooked. I cooked them for 40min and they probably neede 10 more minutes. Next time I will try with the 2 cups of water and will not add water to 1 inch above the beans. If the water level is above the minimum for my PC it should be fine, right?

    1. Yes, you want to be ABOVE the minimum and UNDER the maximum!



  23. Made this yesterday using my Breville Fast Slow Cooker (electric PC and slow cooker). They were very, very good! I won’t be making beans in my oven ever again. Thank you for the fabulous recipe!

  24. Boston Baked Beans WITHOUT KETCHUP??? Sounds awful. Has anyone checked with the ‘author’ to show her this exact recipe & ask if she meant to include ketchup in it?. I’ve never, ever, ever heard of or tasted baked beans without ketchup in it.

  25. I just tried these. I got nervous and added some sun-dried tomato ketchup and some liquid smoke at the last minute before pressure cooking. I had to put them on the stove and boil out some liquid afterward, but they were really tasty.

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