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How to cook beans or pulses in a pressure cooker

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Summary

A comprehensive table of beans & pulses together with soaking and pressure cooking times and pressures.

How to cook beans or pulses in a pressure cooker

Use this basic guide if you do not have a specific recipe

  • Pick through the beans and discard any discoloured beans or loose skins
  • Soak in cold water for a minimum of the time shown, soaking overnight is usually the best way to achieve this
  • Change soaking water a few times if possible
  • Never cook the beans in the water they were soaked in
  • Rinse the beans well at the end of the soaking period
  • Ensure the pressure cooker is at least a quarter full
  • Never fill the pressure cooker more than half full
  • Always cover the beans with at least 5 cm (2") water
  • Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the water - this reduces foaming
  • Allow the pressure cooker to get to the required pressure and then begin timing
  • Use the specified pressure release method - this is the natural method in the case of dried beans or pulses
  • A bean is usually perfectly cooked when it can be easily squashed between your forefinger and thumb
  • If the beans are not sufficiently cooked, return to pressure, cook for another 3 minutes and allow the pressure to reduce using the natural method.
    Re-check that the beans are cooked to your liking.


BEAN VARIETY COLD WATER SOAK TIME
minimum period
PRESSURE COOKING TIME COOKING PRESSURE
High = 15 psi
Medium = 10 psi
Low = 5 psi
PRESSURE RELEASE METHOD
Azuki (red) beans None 8 minutes High Natural
Black beans 4 hours 12 minutes High Natural
Black urad beans None 7 minutes High Natural
Black eyed peas None 10 minutes High Natural
Borlotti beans 4 hours 7 minutes High Natural
Broad beans 8 hours 4 minutes Medium Natural
Butter beans 8 hours 4 minutes Medium Natural
Chickpeas 8 hours 25 minutes High Natural
Faba beans, (Fava beans) 8 hours 4 minutes Medium Natural
Lentils or Split peas None 7 minutes High Natural
Lima beans 8 hours 4 minutes Medium Natural
Mung beans (green) 4 hours 9 minutes Low Natural
Pinto or mottled beans 4 hours 12 minutes High Natural
Red kidney beans 4 hours 12 minutes High Natural
Mung beans (red) 4 hours 9 minutes Low Natural
Shell beans 4 hours 10 minutes High Natural
Snap, string or runner beans None 4 minutes Low Cold water release
Soya bean 8 hours 35 minutes High Natural
White or cannellini beans 4 hours 12 minutes High Natural
White urad beans None 7 minutes High Natural
Yellow or Peruano beans 4 hours 10 minutes High Natural

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