Making beans from scratch at home can be difficult unless you’re a professional chef or have loads of time. Fear not! As true believers in scratch-made, we’re demystifying the bean-cooking process for you using one of our favorite new kitchen tools, the Programmable Pressure Cooker.
First, let’s put some of the misconceptions around bean-cooking to rest. Here are the top three reasons why beans might get ruined in the cooking process.
You’ve got acid in your cooking broth.
A lot of people think that salt ruins beans when you’re boiling them, but this is entirely false. You most likely have an acidic ingredient in your pot, such as vinegar, tomato paste or lemon juice. Acid clings to each bean’s outer shell and prevents liquid from getting through it and softening it.
The beans are old.
It’s a widely-held belief that dried beans stay fresh over time, but this isn’t the case. Aging hardens the bean’s shell and increases chances of exposure to air. Pay attention to the expiration date, and if your beans have graced the pantry for more than a year, you may want to pay a visit to the grocer (or Cheddar’s!).
They might not be well hydrated.
If you’re buying by the bag, beans start off dried, and it takes some time to re-hydrate them. You’ve got to soak them in water for about 12 hours before they’re even ready to boil. If you’ve skimped on that time, your beans won’t tenderize properly.
The Easiest Way You’ll Ever Make Beans
The Programmable Pressure Cooker takes bean problem no. 3 and flips it on its head. Beans have never been simpler and quicker to make. Here’s how.
- Gather your ingredients:
- 1 pound dried beans
- 1/2 whole, peeled onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium whole, peeled garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 8 cups water
- Rinse the beans and pick out any stones. Add the beans to your Programmable Pressure Cooker, as well as all other ingredients – ending with the water.
- Lock the lid and set your Programmable Pressure Cooker to Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes (for black beans and pinto beans) or 40 minutes (for chickpeas). The valve on top should be set to Sealed.
- Once the beans are done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure with an oven mitt or towel.
- Remove the bay leaves, onion and garlic. Drain and rinse the beans and enjoy!
This makes about five cans of beans, so plenty to store for later use. Interested in more recipes with the Programmable Pressure Cooker? Click here!
If you’re hankering for a delicious bean-based side dish, we know a thing or two. Visit your local Cheddar’s, and we’ll welcome you to try out our Homemade Black Beans.