Learning ways to use a pressure cooker can save you lots of time in the kitchen. One of the tasks that usually takes hours is soaking dried beans. Can a pressure cooker help?
Beans should be soaked in cold water for at least eight hours so that they'll cook faster, more evenly, and also to minimize the unpleasant effects that have earned them their "musical fruit" reputation. Soaked beans have about 25 percent less gas-causing oligosaccharides, a distinct advantage.
If you're short on time, you can use your pressure cooker to quickly soak beans in a matter of minutes.
How to Quick Soak Beans in a Pressure Cooker
To quick soak beans in a pressure cooker, follow these steps
- Sort the beans. Sift through them with your fingers and find any non-bean items such as pebbles, dirt clods, or other debris. Also, pick out and dispose of any undersized or discolored beans. You don't want to include any of that.
- Put the beans in a sieve or colander and rinse them under running water or a spray. This will remove any dust or bits of dirt.
- Add the beans to the pressure cooker with four cups of water and one teaspoon salt for each cup of beans.
- Cover the pressure cooker and lock the lid in place.
- Bring the pressure cooker to high pressure over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to maintain the pressure and cook for two minutes.
- Release the pressure by the cold water method: carry the pressure cooker to the sink and run cold water over the lid (but not the valve).
- Drain the beans, and they're ready to use in your recipe.
Give this method a try in this recipe for Pressure Cooker Black Beans and Chicken.
No Pressure Cooker? Stovetop Quick Soak Method
This stovetop quick soak method is also quicker than soaking your beans overnight but takes an hour longer than the pressure cooker method.
Its advantage is that it simply uses a saucepan on the stovetop rather than using a pressure cooker.
Follow the same steps as above, but placing the beans in a saucepan and bringing to a boil over medium-high heat on your stovetop. Boil for two minutes. Then take them off the heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for one hour. After an hour, you can drain them and then cook them.
Pressure Cooker Safety Tips
You may have seen your grandmother using a pressure cooker like a pro, but you're a little scared of them having heard (or seen) what can go wrong. You can reduce the risk by following these seven safety tips for using a pressure cooker.
As always, you should take some of the time you will save to first read the manual for the pressure cooker so you understand its features and how to use it safely and effectively.