Dry Beans in Pressure Cooker

Tonight we’re having black beans and of course, they’re cooked in the pressure cooker.  I had 9.6 ounces of beans left in a bag.

The beans were washed and soaked in plain water for four hours.  The soaking water was dumped and the beans went into the 3.5 liter pressure cooker with just water — no seasonings.  There are lines inside the pot for the 1/2 mark and the 2/3 mark.  For most foods, the pot should not be filled more than 2/3 full.  For dry beans, the pot should not be filled more than 1/2 full.  The 9.6 ounces of beans, along with water, didn’t come close to the 1/2 full mark.

On the Kuhn Rikon cookers, the pressure regulator is built in to the top.  The one red line indicates low pressure.

When two red lines are showing, the contents are under high pressure.  The beans were cooked for about 10 minutes and then the pressure was allowed to release on its own.

In the above picture, because the the little gizmo with the red lines is now down and even with the sides, there’s no pressure and it’s safe to open the lid.

If I had wanted to do a quick release of the steam, which isn’t recommended for beans, I would turn the little center gizmo (the thing with the red lines) towards either real fast release (the center picture of the steam) or for a slower release, I’d turn it to one of the smaller steam pictures.

Pretty simple, huh?  See why I like the Kuhn Rikon pots the best?

A bit blurry, but you can see where the beans are in the pot,, and the 1/2 full mark, as well as the 2/3 mark.  I think this will show that one full pound of beans could easily be cooked in this small 3.5 liter pot.

Once the lid is removed, seasonings (salt, jalapeno powder, cumin, black pepper, onion powder . . whatever we want) is added and the beans are simmered for a few minutes for the flavors to blend.  What could be easier?

Here’s a handy chart for the amount of time to cook beans.


  1. 1


    Cooking in pressure cookers was a topic at my quilting group lunch today. I think I will have to buy one now that I’m over my pressure cooker fear. Thanks so much for all the information.

  2. 3


    So, I’m gathering that you cook beans for dinner as opposed to cooking potatoes or rice like some of us do? I love beans and would like to eat more of them. This looks like a great way to do it!

  3. 4

    Diane says

    We had black beans and brown rice for supper. I wish I had the pressure cooker as I cooked them for several hours. It seems to be that black beans take longer to cook than any other kind of dry bean. Probably just me though.

  4. 5

    Barbara says

    You are such a wealth of information. Thank you for sharing with us. I LOVE reading your blog!!


  5. 7

    Michelle says

    ooh yummy black beans. Did you know you can use the water from soaking black beans to dye protein based yarns? Just add alum!

  6. 8

    Terry says

    Hi Judy, I have a pressure cooker that I use often too but not usually for beans. I will give this a try. You said ya’ll eat beans often. Are they served as a side dish at most meals or main dish? Like the black beans above, were they in lieu of potatoes or rice? Or do you serve them along with your meat, starchy, and vegetable. This is one of the reasons I don’t cook them more often. I’m not sure how to serve them. Are they a starch or a protein, main entree or side and what do they go with? Thanks for sharing about cooking them. Something that seems simple but very interesting. I know they are a healthy choice and would like to have them more often.

  7. 9

    Mary-Jeanine says

    Terry, I’m not Judy, but I just wanted to say that beans are so good for you, I’m not sure we need to categorize them. DId you know that beans and rice together make a ‘complete protein’? This means the protein is as good or better than meat. Beans can go in chili, soup, over rice, taco casserole, pureed (alone or as a thickener), the possibilities are endless. Here is a place you could go to get more ideas: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_food_blog/