Pressure cooking dried beans a snap
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Soaking then cooking dried beans can be a pain. The pressure cooker can help make bean recipes a breeze.
Here are a few bean cooking tips from "200 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes" by Cinda Chavich.
Pressure soaking. You can speed up the soaking process by using the pressure cooker. Place beans and water in the cooker -- 3 cups water for every 1 cup of beans, plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil if you have a jiggle-top cooker. Lock the lid and bring the cooker up to full pressure.
For small beans: Remove the cooker from the heat immediately and let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes before releasing remaining steam using the quick release valve.
For larger beans: Cook under full pressure for 1 minute, then allow the pressure cooker to come down naturally for 10 minutes.
For chickpeas and very large beans: Cook for two to three minutes on high pressure before allowing the pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes, then releasing remaining steam using the pressure release valve.
When cooking beans, never fill the pressure cooker more than one-third full, as beans expand when cooking. Also, be sure to use at least two cups water for every cup of dry beans in the recipe.
Never salt beans before cooking, as salt can cause the beans to become tough and not soften properly.
-- Susan Banks
First Published April 1, 2010 12:00 am