Basic Guidelines For Pressure Cooking Dry Beans
Pick over beans, rinse and drain.
Cook 1 cup of beans (presoaked or unsoaked) with 4 cups of water plus 1 tablesp oon of oil. Add 3 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of oil for each additional cu p of beans.
Beans with the same cooking times may be cooked together, but be prepared for t heir colors and flavors to mingle.
Do not fill the cooker above the halfway mark.
For firm-cooked beans, check for doneness after minimum time indicated. For soft-cooked (mushy) beans, add 2 extra minutes under high pressure.
When cooking time is up, use a quick release method to reduce pressure.
Author's notes: Optional Presoak: Some people avoid eating beans because their feast is followed by an uncomforta ble bout of flatulence. This discomfort is caused by th complex sugars in bean s that are not digestible resulting in the production of intenstinal gas.
Since the troublesome sugars are water soluble, the flatulence problem can be r educed or eliminated by presoaking the beans and discarding the soaking water. Presoaking also dramatically cuts down cooking time.
To produce evenly cooked beans with smooth skins, I prefer to presoak the beans overnight in enough cold water to cover. If you've forgotten to presoak the b eans, you can cook them under high pressure for 1 minute, using 4 cups of water per cup of dried beans. Quick-release the pressure, drain, and rinse the bean s. Then cook as directed in the chart. This technique can be rough on the bea n skins, which tend to wrinkle or get yanked off during the rapid depressurizat ion. Always discard any loos or free-floating bean skins before futher cooking .
Cooking Beans: For enhanced flavor, cook beans with a smoked ham hock, a few bay leaves, or pe eled, crushed garlic cloves. Adding a cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon of whole cloves to the cooking liquid is also fun.
Never add salt or acidic ingredients (such as tomatoes or molasses) to beans be fore they are almost entirely cooked. Salt and acids cause the beans' skins to harden, and they won't beocme tender no matter how long you cook them. (An ex ception to this general rule can be made when pressure cooking soups: Adding a small amount of tomatoes or using a lightly salted stock may lengthen cooking time slightly, but does not prevent the beans from softening.)
Beans are considered "forbidden foods" by some cooker manufacturers since foami ng action can push a bean or loose skin into the vent and clog it. use 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of oil (which controls the foaming) for each cup of d ried beans and you won't experience any difficulty. When the cooking time is u p, quick-release the pressure cooker under cold water to avoid foaminr or sputt ering at the vent.
In the unlikely event that you hear loud sputtering while cooking beans, place the cooker under cold running water to bring down the pressure. Remove and cle an the lid, vent, and rubber gasket. Lock the lid back in place and prroceed w ith cooking.
Always clean the lid and vent thoroughly after cooking beans.
Cooking Time: Beans are like snowflakes: No two are alike, and it's impossible to give preci se cooking times. It's just a fact of life (and beans) that even within a sing le batch, some will be perfectly cooked while others remain a bit crunchy. Thi s is because of the variations in age and dryness within any given handful.
The good news is that cooking times for most beans are not quite as critical as they are with fresh vegetables. An extra minute is unlikely to turn them to m ush. For firm-cooked beans to be used in salads or to cooked more in soups or stews, check for doneness after the minimum time indicated in the chart. For s oft beans that will be pureed or used in refried beans, the longer cooking time works best.