How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

Don't skip the olive oil. This helps reduce foam during cooking, which could clog the pressure valve on the pressure cooker.

Avoid using red kidney beans, which require a different cooking method in order to break down toxins in the bean.

  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 5 cups cooked beans

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried beans (see below for cooking times for specific beans)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 o 3 cloves peeled garlic, optional
  • 1 bay leaf, optional

Special equipment:

Method

1 Combine all ingredients in the pressure cooker. Do not fill the pressure cooker more than half full.

How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

2 Secure the lid. Make sure the pressure regulator valve is closed. (On an Instant Pot, this means it will be set to the the "sealing" position.)

How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

3 Cook the beans: Here are the cooking times for unsoaked beans in the Instant Pot. Cooking times will be similar for other electric pressure cookers; cooking time will be slightly less for stovetop pressure cookers. Double-check the manual that came with your pressure cooker for more exact cooking times:

Black beans: 20 to 25 minutes
Black-eyed peas : 20 to 25 minutes
Great Northern beans: 25 to 30 minutes
Navy beans: 25 to 30 minutes
Pinto beans: 25 to 30 minutes
Cannellini beans: 35 to 40 minutes
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): 35 to 40 minutes

Cook beans at high pressure for the time recommended above. The pressure cooker will take 15 to 20 minutes to come to full pressure before cooking begins.

How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

4 Let the pressure release: Once cooking is complete, you can let the pressure release naturally on its own, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes, or you can do a "quick release" by opening the pressure valve on the top of the pressure cooker. If doing a rapid release, protect your hands from the steam with oven mitts or use a long-handled spoon to manipulate the pressure valve.

I recommend letting the pressure release naturally for as long as you're able before the beans are needed. This helps the beans retain their shape.

How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

What to do if your beans aren't quite done: Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and make sure the release valve is set back to "sealing." Cook at high pressure for another 5 to 10 minutes (depending on if you think your beans need just a little more time or a little more time to finish). The pot will quickly come back up to pressure because the contents are already hot. Check your beans after the extra cooking time and continue cooking for longer if needed.

5 Using and storing your beans: The beans can be strained and used right away, or cooled and stored in their cooking liquid. They will keep for up to a week refrigerated or up to 3 months in the freezer.

How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

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Comments

  • Erinn

    How long do you cook your kidney beans?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Erinn! I haven’t cooked kidney beans in the pressure cooker and from what I’ve read, there might be some potential hazards to doing so. I’d look up a recipe that’s specifically for cooking kidney beans and follow those instructions. Good luck!

  • Nancy

    This recipe turned out perfectly. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Julia

    Most authors I consult say that the pressure cooker is able to take care of the toxin in kidney beans. For example:

    http://www.thejoykitchen.com/ingredients-techniques/cooking-dried-beans

  • I cook!

    way too soupy, but not yet soup either. Am working on thickening on the Slow Cooker setting with corn starch slurry and crappy instant white rice for 4 hours.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi there! This is a recipe for cooking dried beans for use in other recipes (like salads or casseroles), not making a bean soup. You do end up with a fair amount of liquid at the end, which you can use in place of broth in a soup recipe if you like.

  • Sandra

    I read your article on the beans. I would like you to know that I enjoyed reading your descriptive words. It kept me entertained and I usually skim read. Thanks again, Sandy T.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Diana

    Oops i forgot I also added a TBLSP of Chili Powder LOL
    I will be bragging about these beans for awhile. ;-) thanks again!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Diana

    Absolutely amazing. I cooked Navy Beans. Added 2 tsp. Ceyenne Pepper, TBLSP and a dash more each of Onion and Garlic Powder, tsp. Black Pepper and of course olive oil and Bay Leaf. When I tested for doneness at the end of 25 minutes and natural release, it was so good I ate a serving size spoonful and want more!! My main reason to make the beans is for White Creamy Chicken Chili… BUT I think I’ll make beans for a side with dinner or just for lunch some day. These were SO FLAVORFUL and the beans looked perfect! Thanks! :-)

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jason

    @PJ If you soaked them overnight, then the beans already soaked up a bunch of water. So of course they would need less when cooking them.

    8 cups of water for 2 cups (roughly 1 pound) of beans has worked well for me. I’ve found a lot depends on the beans though. One brand was pricier, but their dried beans were a lot smaller than the other (cheaper) brand. So the 8 cups of water left enough liquid that it wasn’t a problem. The cheaper brand however, left a lot of liquid since the beans weren’t as dry as dried as the others. They even stated on their packaging that each up needed one less cup of water than the more expensive brand. I think with each batch I’m going to try making it with 1/2 cup less of water until I find that sweet spot. Where they’re done just right, but have a slight bit extra liquid to them.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • PJ

    I highly recommend overnight soaking. It not only cuts down on blow out and crack beans but it lessons the time by half. It’s not that hard too add your beans to water the day before.

    Also, 8 cups of water is WAY to much if you’re using northern or other small beans. The first time I made beans I used 4 cups of water and there was still a lot of liquid left in the pot. I cut my water down to 3 cups and they come out perfect. I would also recommend adding 2 tablespoons of butter. It makes for a creamier, tastier beans.

  • Wendy

    I’ve made navy beans in my instant pot three times now using this recipe. I’ve added 10 minutes to the cooking time because they were underdone but now it’s perfect. I add salt and Costco’s organic no-salt seasoning and they are Delicious!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Adriana

    I presoaked Peruvian beans for about 4 hours then set my instant pot to 15 min on high pressure (I went by the time suggestion for great northern beans on the chart and cut the time in half because I soaked). When I let it naturally release for about 45 min then checked them (really only because I had to run a quick errand). They were still a little crunchy so I added 8 minutes and did a quick release. After that they were PERFECT. I think a little trial and error is to be expected no matter what, but found these tips extremely helpful for trying dried beans in the instant pot for the first time.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Janis

      Adriana, I have found Peruvian beans need to both soak and cook longer than, say, Pinto. They often feel “done” to the touch, but I always have to do a taste test. They taste a bit green/raw unless I let them cook at least 20 minutes more than Pinto, and I am talking about on the stove top. I would assume they would need a bit longer in the IP as well, whether they were soaked or not. I cooked my first IP batch of Peruvians today, but they had been soaked about 8-10 hours. 25 mins with 17 minutes NR, then QR. I was really pleased with the texture.

  • PJ

    1 lb beans, 7 cups water, 1 tsp salt, 47 minutes, QR.

  • Sarah

    I don’t understand. The chart you provided for cooking times is from the manual which is a chart for soaked beans. The whole reason I wanted this recipe is because I thought you were going to provide the correct time for unsoaked beans. Presumably if I follow your directions and use the timing for soaked beans I’m going to end up with uncooked beans.

  • Lillie

    This is my very first time using any pressure cooker. Yes making a pot of Pinto beans. My doctor told me to eat legumes. So here am I on your nice website. Thanks

  • Cassie

    Just made cannellini beans in my instant pot ultra for the first time and did 35 min (not soaked) and the majority of them were overly mushy. I’ve never made beans before (only ever use cans) and they were much mushier than the canned counterparts (goya brand for both canned and the dried)…. any tips on how to avoid mushy beans next time?

    • Jason

      Try cutting down the cooking time by about 10 minutes. See how they are after that. If they’re a bit hard, put them in for another 5, and do a quick-release of the pressure. Or alternately, you could try doing a quick-release of the pressure after the 35 minutes, and see how those turn out.

      It’s mostly just a bit of experimenting with the cooking time, and how long you let it do the slow-release for.

  • Hatedmom

    This is the best, most realistic, recipe for instant pot beans. I allow about 1 hour and 30 minutes for unsoaked beans start to finish .
    I have learned that the Pressure cooker is a learning curve.
    A little humbling for a woman who has been cooking for 45 years! But learning is good at any age.
    PS, so glad there are no packets or cans of soup.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Gail

    I am at a high altitude so I cooked my Pinto beans for 35 minutes and then did a natural release for 30 minutes. They turned out perfect. Thanks for all the tips!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Cliff

    Five cups will last you a week? I eat that much in two meals. LOL Thanks for the tips.

  • VeggieTater

    Love my Instant Pot for batch cooking grains and legumes for the week, or per recipe. I still tend to soak my beans at least overnight when possible though, Not so they cook faster, but because the nutrition of the beans increase as they prepare to germinate and they also become more digestible for those who have “beany” issues.
    BTW, don’t be afraid to salt your cooking beans, it does not toughen the skins and makes them taste infinitely better! We did an elaborate test because of all the controversy, and a touch of alkalinity in the water actually softens the beans, where as acids (tomatoes, lemon juice, vinegar, etc) toughen the skins and slow absorption, so should ideally be added after the beans are at least partially cooked.

    • Hatedmom

      Awesome information! I never thought of soaking as pre-germination, but it is, isn’t it?

  • Stacey

    My new favorite way to make beans!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Anne

    Maybe some of these folks are at higher elevations. There are charts for how much time this adds. At 7000 ft, I add 25% more time.

  • Cal

    Been using IP to cook beans for a while, you are correct red kidney beans just don’t cook soft. What is the special process? Nice article

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Cal! So glad you like the article! I need to develop a separate recipe for red kidney beans since it’s a different process, as you say. It’s on my list!

      • Dan

        I rinsed and cooked a pound of dry kidney beans with all of the other ingredients in my recipe (tomato sauce, bouillon, onions, jalapenos, garlic, spices) for 70 minutes at high pressure and released naturally. The high temperature of the pressure cooker should be more than sufficient to break down the toxins. The beans came out just fine. Soft but not breaking down or mushy, but with the skins a little wrinkly.

  • Cassie

    I don’t salt the pot of beans until after they are done cooking. I heard salting the water before can add to cooking time or cook the beans unevenly. This may be the reason why some of you are getting undercooked beans! and don’t worry about the salt not soaking up after the beans are cooked. stir the pot, give them a minute, and the beans soak the salt right up :)

  • Joanne

    Easy & delicious. Beans & cornbread. Husband said made him think of home

  • Samantha

    Made these the other day in the Instant Pot & they’re delicious. This was so easy. We made pinto beans & spruced it up by replacing half the water with chicken broth, & adding a jalapeño & 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, in addition to the garlic & onion. Great cumin flavor. Beans were perfect.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Heather

    Delicious flavor! I used green lentils and it took 25min with quick release

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Djemchee

      25mins include the slow release time, i cook green lentils in pressure cooker in 15 mins, still some pressure cookers have higher pressure than others which is most likely reason some people get uncooked beans using same time period as suggested for beans. Black eye beans 20 mins.

    • Djemchee

      P.S. i do use soft water though, filtered rain water to be correct as avoids chlorine ectr and limescale so long as no lead on your roof get largest rain butt u can buy, try washing face in soft rain water and coffee is so good, but remember to sterilise first if using it to add cool to hot ectr.

  • Tracy

    Tried this today… timing was way off.
    I used Cassoulet beans from Rancho Gordo. I used my IP and cooked high pressure for 35 minutes (since these beans were smaller than cannelleni beans. I let the pressure relaease naturally for 20 minutes and manually the rest. They were nowhere near done!
    Since these were Rancho Gordo, I know they were not old because they have a “use by” date that is 2 years from now.
    Bummer…

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Tracy! The cooking times and methods in this post are fairly standard across the board for pressure cooking (there aren’t a lot of variables, really!), so my first instinct would be to blame it on older beans. But Rancho Gordo beans are so reliably fresh and, as you say, the expiration date is still quite far off, so this is a bit of a mystery. I did find this table of pressure cooking times for Rancho Gordo beans on their website, and it looks like their recommended time for unsoaked Cassoulet Beans is on the longer side, similar to cannellini beans — 35-45 minutes — so it sounds like you were in the right ball park, but just needed to continue cooking your beans for a little longer. If, in the future, you find that your beans haven’t quite finished cooking within the expected time frame, you can always reseal the pot and continue cooking (the pot should come back up to pressure fairly quickly). Good luck!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tracy, I agree with everything that Emma has mentioned. Truly every batch of beans is different. If a batch still is firm after the recommended cooking time, you can easily just cook them longer. Another thing that can affect the cooking time of beans is the mineral content of the water you are using. If you live in a place that has a high level of calcium in the water for example, that can noticeably increase the cooking time of dry beans.

      • Tracy

        Our water is pretty soft… Hech Hechy. And I did cook for longer… which then resulted in a mushy bean.
        But- it’s beans- so I’m not upset, but like you mentioned in the article, I often want to use dried beans the same day. I would only use this method if I was smashing the beans (refried, bean dip, soup).
        With so many variables that can affect the outcome, I would not try this recipe for any bean I planned to use whole.

  • Carlene

    I have the IP Lux Mini 3 qt. Yes, I’m still a novice at using this type of pressure cooker. So I decided to make the great northern beans: I used 1 cup dry beans + 4 cups of water + 1/2 tsp salt; cooked them for 30 minutes and then the natural release. The outcome was the beans came out pretty good though some were mushy and others just right, and there was quite a bit of liquid left. I’m going to try this again but I’m going to reduce the amount of water to 3 cups and add other spices to see how the beans come out. I’m using the great northern so that I can try making baked beans.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Anita

    Hi Emma, thank you for all your wonderful recipes! We love butter beans around here and I am wondering if there is a recipe for them in the pressure cooker. Honestly, I don’t know what kind of beans make butter beans but I’m dying to find out.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Anita! I’d start with about 20 minutes in the pressure cooker and see how that goes. If they’re not quite cooked through, re-seal the pot and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!

  • Julia

    Hi there, in regards to salting beans at time of soak or cooking, the Serious Eats website says it’s not only ok, but helps with the integrity of the beans (fewer busted -up ones).
    I have a 1954 Presto pressure cooker that I’ve been cooking beans in for many years! My favorite pot!

  • Keith

    I made a half batch of pintos based on the recipe above. I chose 30 minutes because we would smash them anyway. I released the pressure when the timer went off and they were only half cooked. No super excited anymore…

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Keith! So sorry these beans didn’t work out for you! The cooking times I list here are pretty standard, so my best guess here is that your beans were a little on the older side and needed some extra cooking time. (Even if you only recently purchased your beans, it can be hard to tell how long they were sitting on the shelf or in a warehouse.) If this happens again, you can always reseal the pot and cook for another 10 minutes or so to finish cooking.

      • Keith

        Hi Emma, thanks for your response. We only have a 3 quart instapot so i halved the recipe. That may have had an effect and the beans were new in our relatively arid climate. I did have to restart it twice, once for 15 also on high, and a second time for an additional 10 minutes. In total that 1/2 pound of pints cooked for 55 minutes so something wasn’t right.

        • Emma Christensen

          Hmmmm this is a puzzle. I’m going to call in our Instant Pot expert and see if she has any thoughts. My gut instinct is that it’s still something to do with your beans. Sometimes if they’re SUPER old, they just never full cook through and always stay a little crunchy. Which is absolutely frustrating, I understand.

          • Marry

            Keith, it could have been because you released the pressure instead of letting the pot do the slow release. Slow release lets it cook longer as it slowly releases.

    • Coco Morante

      Hi Keith, I’m sorry you’re having difficulty with this recipe! Like Emma, I am thinking it might be down to the age of the beans. In order to make sure my beans come out tender, I like to soak them for 12 hours prior to cooking. I find that this really helps level the playing field whether I’m using older or fresher beans, and my results are more consistent. The Instant Pot makes this really easy, since you can use the “Delay Start” or “Timer” function (it’s labeled differently depending on what model you have). I usually do the prep in the evening. I just add my beans, water, and salt to the pot, set the delay for 12 hours before I go to bed, and wake up to cooked beans. I hope you try it out!

  • Sima

    A little bummed. Made northern beans with ingredients I used to do in the slow cooker but with the recommended liquid and cook times here. We did 25 minutes high pressure with 10 minute natural release then QR. The beans were still hard and had not absorbed much of the flavors added. There was also still a ton of water and I was looking for beans rather than soup. We just put them back for another 5 high pressure and will do another 10 minute natural release. Here is hoping.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Sima! How did the beans turn out after the extra cooking? My best guess here is that your beans were a little on the older side, which often just means they take longer to cook and to absorb all the liquid. If they were REALLY old, they might stay a little crunchy no matter how long you cook them. I’ve had that happen with a few batches over the years. (Remember, even if you bought your beans recently, there’s often no knowing how long they were sitting on the shelf. Or how long they were sitting at a distribution center before that.)

  • Sara

    I made the first batch of black beans with just water. They were dry and gummy. So I looked up your recipe and did another batch, these are delicious! They’re flavourful and taste much better than canned beans.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Himalayan Chef

    This is bout pre-soaking… The folks who say that soaking beans makes no difference are both right and wrong. (See link in article) It’s true that just soaking the beans before cooking doesn’t make much difference. But it isn’t a matter of just rehydrating the beans. If you change the water several times during the soaking, you help to leach out some of the oligosaccharides, which is what causes flatulence — in some people. If someone notices no difference, it is likely they just have lucky genes.

    • Jean

      never knew about changing water during soaking. beans already soaked overnight – one lb – have them in pressure cooker with ham bone and ham pieces and filled to about two inches below max line. The ham bone uses a lot of space. Have cooked them like this before but have to leave the house so hope they cook ok and dont find them on the ceiling :( when i return

    • Djemchee

      once body is used to beans on a regular basis flatulence disapears ,same with onion or any food ,is simply fact that if not eaten often there ate not enough enzymes made to digest them properly and also friendly bacteria are also not used to them, is same with Brussels when rarely eaten flatulence results, eat regular with no more than 3 to 4 days between and is no problem. Some are lucky and have unusually strong digestion and dont have to worry but mist of us really need to stick to regular diet to maintain adequate digestion and gain full nutritional benifit from food also then they wont feel so hungry and need to “snack” so will not gain so much weight as digestion is more complete in 1st place. Unfortunately sugars and simple carbs are always digested regardless. Excess Flatulence is usually literally a sign of undigestion(not indigestion)

  • Marcia

    I like the soup on my beans a little thicker. Any advice would be appreciated

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Marcia! You could try reducing the water called for in the recipe by a cup and see if that does the trick. You could also open up the pressure cooker, switch to the “saute” setting, and let the beans simmer until the liquid is as thickened as you like (note, this will cook the beans a little bit more, but I think they’ll be ok). Hope that helps!

      • Himalayan Chef

        I take some beans out and puree them.

        • Norma Miller

          When cooking pinto beans on the stove, I always added about 2 Tbls of bacon grease after about half way through cooking. This always thickened my soup. Not sure if it will work in a pressure cooker or not but I’m going to try it when I make my beans tomorrow!!!!

      • Gina

        I cook extra beans, pull them out after cooking (obviously I just “eyeball” how much,) purée them and put the purée back in. Thickens it up nicely!

    • Jim Bowman

      Cook in Instant Pot for 30 minutes, release steam, use potato masher to rupture approximately a quarter of the beans, cook for another 30 minutes.
      Beans will be done with nice thick soup.

  • Ginger

    Thanks for this great recipe! Love having fresh beans!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jennifer

    Hello! Do you have a pressure cooking method for red kidney beans? I want to put them in chili, but don’t want to use canned.

    Thanks!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jennifer! We’re still working on the cooking method for red kidney beans. Sorry not to be able to assist you right now!

  • Dan G

    I have an issue with adding salt to dry beans. They never turn out as well as beans cooked without salt kosher or otherwise. Put in your preferred herbs and leave the salt on the table for a smoother tastier bean.

  • Lisa B

    Thanks for these instructions! Ever since you posted this I’ve following them to make beans using my new Instant Pot. Sometimes beans need a little extra time, but what I do to help that is to just let the pressure naturally release for 10 to 15 minutes before manually releasing. Love adding a bay leaf and garlic to the water, it really helps flavor the beans. Half the time I forget to add the oil. Doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Mary K

    Hi Emma, Thanks so much for the information. My daughter and I put navy beans in our mini instant pot and they were perfect!! My hubby thought they were fabulous! Just made a half bag of navy beans, water 1/2 inch over beans, added 1/2 sliced onion, about a tsp pink salt, a few shakes of pepper and two tablespoons of good butter. Bean/chili button on instant pot said 30 minutes on high, then about 10 minutes to let pressure release. Will try more types of beans this week!

  • Ann Scholl

    I’ve heard a lot mentioned here about freezing the beans…how about canning them? I worry about freezing because what if you lose power? All the food that potentially will go to waste whereas canning, you don’t have that problem.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Ann! You could certainly can these beans after making them in the pressure cooker. I haven’t done it myself so can’t speak to it, but you should be able to follow any reliable canning instructions to successfully can your beans. Good luck!

  • Jamie

    I am thinking about getting a pressure cooker, as I’m making baked beans at this very moment :)
    I just had the idea of putting a whole, peeled onion with a few cloves stuck into it. Buying a pressure cooker (or as they call them around here, a presto) this weekend. ✌️

  • Jim

    Emma, any thoughts on adding molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, etc. to make something close to a traditional New England baked bean? Will those (I’m thinking the molasses in particular) mess up the pressure cook?

  • Camille Rogers

    Can you suggest a cooking time for large lima beans, please?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Camille, I just made large lima beans in the Instant Pot pressure cooker last week. I cooked them on high pressure for 40 minutes, then let the IP cool down for 15 minutes on its own before releasing the pressure. They were perfect!

    • Patti Hoendermis

      Can you add a ham bone to the beans?

      • Emma Christensen

        Hi, Patti! I haven’t tried this yet with a ham bone, but I think it would work really well. Let us know if you try it!

        • Star

          I tried to add ham hock while cooking and it wasn’t tender enough. I fixed this by adding all the liquid needed for the beans and cooked the hocks for 30 minutes. Then I followed the regular bean recipe (not adding additional water) and the meat fell off the bone. My boyfriend said they where better than his mothers.

      • Kris

        I add a smoked ham hock to my pinto beans.

      • Brandy

        Yes, I’ve made Beans and Ham Hock a couple of times now. It’s so super easy and yummy! My kids even wanted to take it to school for lunch the next day! Just adjust your cooking time. I cooked it for 50 min at high pressure and let it naturally release for at least 20 minutes.

  • Debbie

    This was the best goodness blog I have ever read – full of information, tips, and not filled up with clutter content.
    Thank-you!

  • Heather The Food Science Nerd

    The toxin in kidney beans is called phytohemagglutinin, this is not the same as the compounds which encourage gas. The gassy compounds are water soluble so when you soak beans some of these compounds enter the water and get flushed away.

    Phytohemagglutinin is a protein which denatures at temperatures at or above 100 °C/ 212 °F, turning it into an inert bundle of amino acids. Note that soaking doesn’t affect this protein at all, you need to heat it. The reason a slow cooker can’t make kidney beans safe is because it never actually reaches 100 °C/ 212 °F. Boiling the beans on your stove for ~10 minutes will make them reach exactly 100 °C/ 212 °F. A pressure cooker will reach temperatures well above 100 °C/ 212 °F without ever actually physically boiling, unless you manually release the pressure causing it to instantly boil pulverizing your beans (Mmm Humus). So a pressure cooker is definitely the safest way to cook kidney beans, and doesn’t require any special steps. :)

    Happy Bean eating!

    • Jane

      Thank you for this information. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and was wondering if I still had to soak my kidney beans before pressure cooking. Your explanation was just what I needed.

  • Bryan

    I, too, would like to know what the alternate cooking method is for removing toxins from red kidney beans.

  • Maty

    Can someone address getting rid of toxins in kidney beans using IP? I have always boiled dry kidneys for 10 minutes throw away water rinse and then add back to pot with fresh water to continue cooking slowly. This gets rid of toxins found in reds. Can I do this in IP? What times and method? Thanks!!

  • Ken

    Wow thank you so much! I was looking everywhere for a good recipe for beans and finally found one. I use a instant pot too so it was a happy coincidence!

  • R. J. Moser

    I can do this :)

  • Britt-Marie

    This was wonderful! I’m new at using the instant pot and am excited to start using more dried beans in place of canned.

  • James Duffey

    I do a compromise method which preserves the skin integrity. Put the beans and liquid in the pressure cooker with the lid off. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 2 hours. Add whatever spices and flavors you want. Put the lid back on and cook under pressure for 10 to 12 minutes. Wonderful beans and no overnight soak. If you are cooking the beans for a savory dish, a ham hock is a good addition as is using broth for the liquid.

    • Jim Sloman

      I never soak beans, and being a true southern cook, never cook any type of dry bean without adding a smoked hock. 20 to 30 minutes will over cook most beans. Do like me and experiment and get to know your pressure cooker, mine is electric. Thanks for your post.

  • Eve Novak

    Super helpful post, thank you!
    Flavor was perfect with garlic and bay!
    The skins of my beans were a bit tough…possibly due to salt in water? I’d read that that was an issue, but decided to ignore it. I’ll try salt at the end next time.

    • Emma Christensen

      So glad you liked it, Eve! The tough skins might have been your particular beans. I’ve found that some varieties have tougher skins than others, and older beans are tougher than fresher beans. I’ve also heard that advice on salting beens — I’ve tried salting my beans at the beginning of cooking and at the end and haven’t found it to make a noticeable difference.

    • Angela Baumbach

      The age of the beans is also a big factor. Make sure to use older beans first, and don’t keep them for more than a few months. Beans can be preserved using prepper methods if you need to go that route.

  • Brooke Bonilla

    I cooked my small white beans for 25 minutes, it wasn’t quite long enough. They are cooking a little more now in the soup.

  • Astro Gremlin

    I suspected that beans did not need to be soaked. I also recently learned that large, frozen chucks of meat, like pot roasts, don’t have to be thawed. The power of pressure to the people! Thanks, Emma. :)

    • Diane Jauken

      That’s good to know. Thank you.

  • Sheri

    Adding 1t of dry ginger to the pot before starting the cooker will help release gas issues.

  • Deborah

    I just made this and followed the recipe exactly but there is still A LOT of water left. I was expecting most of the water to be gone by now. Did I miss something?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Deborah! It’s correct that there is a fair amount of liquid in the pot after cooking, so as long as your beans are cooked through, it sounds like you did everything just fine! The cooking liquid is super flavorful and you can use it for as a broth for soups or in any recipe that calls for stock. Enjoy!

  • Diane

    If someone chooses to presoak beans it can be done in the pressure cooker. Four cups water for each cup of beans, two minutes at high pressure. You may use quick release or natural. The longer the release time, the more tender the beans. Rinse and proceed as above. You may wish to shave a couple of minutes off the cooking time for firmer beans.

  • TeddyGram57

    Made these for dinner tonight! !!Delicious, I let the pressure release naturally took about 20 minutes. I added ham cubes and tiny bit of salt. Once cooked I took out about a cup of broth and beans and and mashed them up then and dded back to instant pot, only because I like thicker broth,set instant pot on saute mode /less and let them cook for a few minutes more stirring every so often. As I said before this was DELICIOUS. Thank you :)

  • Kristi

    I did 2lbs of pinto beans and needed to extend the time 15mins, and they turned out amazing! My husband and all 4 kids love them. We’re currently living in a country where getting meat is extremely expensive, so we’ve been eating a lot more vegetable meals. My teen boys weren’t excited when I said we were just having a bowl beans for dinner, but they were very full and happy from them! And I am thrilled that I can decide last minute to make beans (either for a meal or a side)!!! Thanks so much!

    • Kristi

      Also, when my husband saw that we were eating beans, being the southern boy he is said in shock, “Wait, did you make these in one day?”, I replied, “I replied, I made them within one hour, baby!”

      • Emma Christensen

        Ha! I love it! I’m so glad the beans were a success for you and your family.

    • Pam

      Beans and a fresh iron skillet of corn bread.! What else would one need? Yum!

    • Ann Scholl

      My family also enjoys a steamy bowl of pinto beans for dinner, especially on a cold winter night, but I add a few extras that you might want to try. I add chopped onion, minced garlic, S & P, chopped carrots, cubed potatoes, and chunks of ham. For the liquid, I do 50/50 water & chicken stock. Oh, and a lovely side with that bowl of beans is some hot-from-the-oven corn bread with sweet butter spread on! I grew up on sweet cornbread…my grandma would add regular white sugar and a can of creamed corn to her batter (you’ll need to cut back the liquid a bit if you add the corn). Hmmm…guess what we’ll be having for dinner tonight, lol!

  • Becky

    Is there a cup to cup ratio, rather than weight to cup? In other words, would it be 1 part dry beans to 3 parts water?

  • Kecia R Moore

    I just made pinto beans, New Orleans style in my IP and I was impressed! I forgot you’re wondering what that means, let me explain. I added the the rinsed beans, smoked sausage, smoked ham hocks alongside with onions and spices. They were fabulous and they cooked in 30 minutes! Thanks for such a great and easy recipe! The water level rose a bit with all of the additions, but that didn’t seem to cause a problem at all.

  • Sheryl Watkins

    Great advice. If you are using a pressure cooker recipe which calls for presoaking the beans, how much time should you add if you don’t?

  • Randy

    Electric pressure cooker, 3 cups dry beans, 9 cups water (or chicken, beef, veg stock), 5-8 little chicken/beef bullion cubes (less if using stock), 1 onion diced up, bunch of garlic or garlic powder, couple teaspoons cumin, bit of bacon or bacon grease if you have it, let it rock for an hour. Let it cool down by itself for an hour or so. Hit 2/3 – 3/4 of it in the blender, then the rest a light pulse to break it up and keep some chunks. Best ‘refried’ beans ever. (Actually do toss them in a frying pan for a bit of crisp when I get extra hungry). Recipes usually call for a jalapeno but found it kind of adds a weird flavor. Just spice it as needed when serving.

  • Meems W

    I just made this with Jacob’s Cattle beans, unsoaked, 60 mins. Could have used a bit more time, but still yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Sunny gal

    I just bought a new stove top pressure cooker. The instructions for cooking beans say you should not add salt until after they are done. It states that adding salt prior to cooking will not allow the beans to soften. I have also found several websites that state the same advice whether they are cooked in a pressure cooker, crock pot, or stove top. Have you ever encountered this?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi Sunny, I’ve also heard this advice and followed it for years. At some point, I started playing around with adding salt at the beginning of cooking, and I have honestly not seen a huge difference in cooking time, especially in the pressure cooker. It might add a little extra time if you’re cooking on the stovetop or using older beans, but I think the trade off for fully flavored and seasoned beans is well worth it.

  • Julianne

    Can I halve this recipe for pinto beans? Does it change the cooking time?

    • Emma Christensen

      I think halving the recipe should work just fine! Cooking time should be the same.

  • Sandie

    In place off soaking you put all of your ingredients set cooker on brown. When you hear it boil turn it off for 1 hour then set your cooker as you normally would and you will have marvelous beans everytime.

  • R Srivastava

    thanks for the wonderful post, i used to do it with a bowl of water boiling and i used to soak these beans , and waiting for fifteen minutes, but i still didnt get the flavor of these beans, you gave us a great tip . which also reduced the time. so helpful.

  • Rinnie

    You can also run the pot under cold water to release the pressure faster.

    • Jean

      Cold water release is for stovetop pressure cookers only. I know that is just common sense but I know some people that don’t think that fast. Know a person that destroyed an electric cooker.

  • Brooke

    I’d love to see more instant pot/pressure cooker recipes! This blog is my go-to most trusted website for recipes, and being a pressure cooker newbie, would love more ways to use it!

    • Emma Christensen

      Thanks, Brooke! Let us know if there are any other recipes you’d like to see!

      • JessB

        I agree with more Instant Pot recipes. I love mine and would like to branch out with it.

        • Michelle

          I agree with Brooke and JessB! I love this site for its clear instructions and great easy recipes that turn out on a first try. I keep coming back. I too recently got an Instant Pot and would like more recipes from my trusted source, Simply Recipes!

          • Emma Christensen

            Aw, thanks, guys! Michelle, we have more pressure cooker recipes coming your way, never fear!

  • Scott

    Do you use the MANUAL or Bean/Chili setting to cook the beans?
    My Instant Pot IP-LUX50’s MANUAL setting cannot be adjusted (low/normal/high).
    I’m assuming MANUAL setting is HIGH as default.

    • Emma Christensen

      I use the manual setting on my Instant Pot. And yes, it defaults to “high” pressure. Enjoy!

  • MM

    I really haven’t found any substantial evidence as to why you have to pre-soak beans other than a (slightly) shortened cooking time. I usually cook beans in my crockpot, low and overnight, I don’t have to worry about cooking time.

  • Donna

    Being from the mountains of E. TN, we make pots of pinto beans (Soup Beans), cooked with chunks or slices of pork side meat. Can these be pressure cooked with the sidemeat? The flavor is so good!

    • Emma Christensen

      Donna, I had the same thought about cooking the beans along with some meat, like a ham hock. I haven’t had a chance to test it out for myself yet, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work just fine!

      • Beth

        I made 4lbs of pintos with salt pork and garlic salt. I had to do two rounds of 30 min (because I missed window to add extras time) but beans came out perfectly. Easily the best beans I have ever made!

    • Angela

      I have added a couple of smoked turkey legs to my Instant Pot beans with delicious success.

  • Mary Ellen

    Does anyone add rice to their beans? I was told years ago that combining the two (beans and rice) completes more protein and I’ve done it that way for probably thirty years! Originally, I tried cooking the rice in the same pot, which resulted in a couple inches of sludge in the bottom. I seem to learn all my lessons the hard way! So now, I cook a half cup of raw rice with water or broth and salt and a few herbs, depending. Then I add the cooked rice to the pot o’ beans before serving. Is there any reason for doing that, or am I just spinning my wheels?

    • Liz

      I often have rice and beans … quick saute to warm them … and some added veg. I typically cook them separately and freeze small portions (cooked rice freezes well).

      BUT, I saw this some time ago and saved it – haven’t tried it myself and I don’t have the exact link to source, but here you go:

      “… Frankie’s method (from Diet for a Small planet) to avoid sticking,
      and other tricks: Put 2-3 in. of water into the pressure cooker and start
      it heating. Put the rice in a small stainless steel bowl (or even in a tin
      can or two) that will fit easily into the cooker without obstructing any
      vents. Fill the bowl with water to an inch above the grain. Put the bowl
      in the cooker, cover and bring to 15 lbs. pressure. Cook 20 min. When
      it’s done you will have a bowl or rice! The trick when using this method
      is to put beans in the 2-3 in. of water that are on the bottom of the
      cooker. Your beans and grain are both cooked! “

  • Kathleen

    I know we don’t always think ahead and soak beans before cooking, but it’s a good habit to get into because the cooking time is decreased. The significance of this is that less fossil fuels are used. Take care of our beautiful planet.

  • Mary

    Could I use a pressure cooker to make Boston baked beans?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Mary! I haven’t tried it myself, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

  • Maggie Barnett

    A good tip to all is to always add some dry Ginger to your pot of beans. No gas, I promise. My mother taught me that and I always use it.

  • Corene Seaver

    Thank you. Great and helpful article.

  • Annette

    Hi Emma – it’s so nice to see you here, so welcome!
    Just a few points:
    (1) I’m not sure that pre-soaking necessarily results in prettier beans – when I pre-soak white beans, for example, there always seem to be lots of skins floating around. (I still pre-soak because of the shortened cooking time.)
    (2) For me, freezing extra beans has just never really worked. ( I finally used up a container of chickpeas from the freezer last week and breathed a huge sigh of relief.) To thaw them naturally, it requires just as much foresight as pre-soaking does , or you have to spend extra electricity to defrost, and it just feels like a big hassle. I’ve decided I’m not doing this again. Canned chickpeas are excellent and so … available!
    (3) About the extra inches of water: I use a stove-top pressure cooker (so no experience with Instant Pot), and I have found that at least with pinto beans I can get away with a ratio of 1 lbs of beans to 4 cups of water. This means that, after quick soak and cooking , the top beans are not immersed in water when I open my pressure cooker – but they still are done. That way I don’t have to discard cooking liquid, and I can transfer everything into my big pot to make chili. (I recommend Catherine Newman’s excellent vegetarian chili, from her “ben & birdy” site.)

    • JessB

      I love having frozen beans in the freezer. I set them out in the morning and they are thawed by the time I need them for supper. Or I thaw them overnight in the fridge. I don’t eat canned beans anymore because they have a metallic taste. As far as water goes, if you are freezing beans, it’s good to have the extra liquid so that the beans are completely covered in liquid in the freezer to avoid freezer burn. I love my Instant Pot!

      • Annette

        Yes, foresight is needed (or at least comes in handy), as I said.
        As for metallic taste of canned beans: I haven’t noticed, except once when I bought canned pintos in a Turkish supermarket. Other than that, I have had really good luck here in Germany with name brands (Bonduelle) and store brands (REWE, Aldi). I am a huge fan of pressure cooking but I rarely find that beans are worth it.
        Pintos excepted, of course.

    • Liz

      I’m with JessB … cannot go with the “can” taste. I also freeze with some of the liquid aka pot liquor. I have a vacuum sealer and although I use only the seal function for beans and liquid, I flatten the bag as much as possible, seal and then freeze flat. I cook for 1 so I freeze in pint bags. They thaw enough to dump into a pan or bowl in about 15 minutes. Also, as Emma notes, cool completely before freezing. I always freeze the day after cooking.

      Also, I have no affiliation, but I’ve been buying Rancho Gordo beans for several years. They are fresh, huge variety and just good! I eat omnivore but I love beans of all kinds. The instant pot changed my bean game. The RG beans cook consistently for me and the put them in the pot and turn it on and no checking for doneness is a bit win for me.

      Also, the liquid … the pot liquor… I use most of it in place of the water in a recipe or broth for soup.

      Thanks for the post, Emma!

      • Sigrid Trombley

        I second Liz’s recommendation of Rancho Gordo beans. They have an enormous number of varieties and are as fresh as they can be. When a season’s supply is gone, that’s it until the next year’s crop is ready. I’m told that supermarket beans can have been sitting in a warehouse for several years before you see them on the shelf.

        I rarely plan much ahead when cooking beans so forget the all day soak. However I do follow Jill Nussinow, the Veggie Queen’s instructions for a quick soak.

        “Note: there are a couple of ways to quick-soak beans. Cover the beans with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Immediately remove them from the heat and let sit, covered, for 1 hour. Alternatively, cover the beans with 3 inches of water, bring to low pressure (if your cooker has this setting), and then turn off your cooker immediately and let the pressure come down naturally. This process will take about 25 minutes. In either case, drain the liquid before proceeding with cooking.”

        I don’t know anyone who knows more about cooking beans, especially pressure cooking them than Jill. She’s also a pressure cooking expert as well. Don’t look for meat recipes on her veggiequeen.com website though as she’s a vegan,

      • Ann Scholl

        Hi Liz! You mentioned you have a vacuum sealer…I call my Food Saver “the sucker machine”. Anyway, don’t know if you’re aware or not, but no need to dirty up a pot to reheat your beans (or any other cooked foods you might sucker and freeze. The storage bags are safe for microwave (just punch a whole so steam can release) or, my favorite, drop the bag into a pot of boiling water. Since I don’t have a dishwasher, and our water source is from a welI, I then pour the heated water from the pot into the sink to wash my dishes. Or you can let the water cool to room temp and then water your house plants (boiling helps eliminate any chemicals that are usually present in city water, or so I’ve been told.)

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Annette! Thanks for the comments! Regarding freezing beans — I think it’s all about what works for you, personally. I usually freeze beans in 2-cup batches so they’re quick to thaw (usually I just leave them in the fridge overnight or put them in a bowl of warm water if I need them more quickly.) About the extra water, as a few others have noted, that liquid from cooking beans is super flavorful and I love to use it in soups, so I’m never that concerned about having extra. But again, to each his or her own with this!

  • Elaine Turner

    I love to have beans on hand as a side, to top salads, etc. Thanks for this great info.

  • Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    I love this idea!

  • Joanne

    Is the liquid from bean cooking the same as the “augufaba” from canned beans? Can it be used as an egg white sub?

    • Emma Christensen

      I think aquafaba is the cooking liquid from chickpeas, specifically? I’m not sure it will work with other beans (though I could definitely be wrong!). But yes, if you make chickpeas in the pressure cooker, you should be able to use the liquid as aquafaba!