July 2, 2013
How to Cook Dry Beans in a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker & on the Stovetop (Plus Video!)
Tomorrow is Eat Beans Day! I love the ease of canned beans (open, rinse, ready!), and I still recommend keeping canned beans on hand for "last minute" cooking or convenience when you don't have the time to make beans yourself.
Still, home-cooked beans are great. They cost a fraction of what you'll pay for canned beans, there are no added salts (or anything else... unless you add it), and you can make a big batch passively while you do laundry, watch TV, do homework, etc.
Beans also freeze beautifully — so making a big batch is a good thing!
Now, a confession: I just got into cooking my own beans a few months ago. I'm lazy and a horrible planner, so it was always the same story: I forgot to soak my beans overnight... and/or cook them so they'd be ready for our next meal.
Sometimes beans would soak for days on my counter. Whoops!
I also had the problem of not wanting to stand over my cooking beans so 9 out of 10 (okay, 10 out of 10) times they would "boil over" and make a huge mess. (If you've never had to scrub black bean water off your tile and stove — trust me, this is something you want to avoid at all costs!)
And despite setting a timer, I would also always "forget" I was cooking beans (because it takes hours) and then my beans would overcook, or run out of water and burn... and eventually set off a smoke detector...
(I started to think maybe I should stop writing cookbooks if I can't even manage to cook beans from scratch!)
Then I splurged on an electric pressure cooker and my world changed. No pre-soaking required! No standing over the stove! No having to check on anything! I can just put the beans in, set it, and go.
An hour or so later, they're done! And even if I forget, that's okay, because the pressure cooker stops cooking and keeps me safe from myself.
BUT you don't have to have a pressure cooker. The stove top works just as well and you can use a slow cooker too.
Here's an old video (2+ years ago) of me cooking beans on the stove in my tiny NYC apartment — proof that I *can* cook beans the old fashioned way
(*If you get HH blog posts via email delivery, please note that videos are only viewable on the blog or directly at YouTube (sorry, you can't embed video into email):