I've shared recipes done in my Instant Pot before....
For Deviled Eggs...
...and for Soups like this one...and this one... But most of all, for Chili!
A few of us were talking about our Instant Pots recently, and I realized that I had used it six times in one week.
I think this purchase was worth while!
On Saturday I cooked beans for the chili I planned to make in the slow-cooker on Sunday morning. I like making the beans ahead of time so that I know they're all set for the chili and won't turn out half-cooked and crunchy.
Is there anything worse than crunchy beans? (Unless they're dry-roasted, of course!)
One thing I learned when we moved to the Black Hills was that beans, rice, and all baked goods cook differently at higher altitudes. I had spent a lifetime - more than 50 years - ignoring those "high-altitude" directions. Suddenly, now that we live at 3500 feet, they are important!
|Views like this one on the Needle's Highway in|
Custer State Park makes cooking
adjustments worth while!
So, I've learned a lot about cooking beans in the last seven years. (For instance, did you know that older beans (ones you've been storing for three or four years) take longer to cook than fresher beans? And did you know that high altitudes can make it nearly impossible to cook beans the way you've always done it?)
The last time I shared a recipe using beans, I just listed "cooked beans" in the ingredients list. Today I'm going to help you actually cook those beans.
I know you're asking yourself why you would cook dry beans when you can just buy a can of beans at the grocery store.... I used to ask myself the same question. Especially after several bean-cooking failures. In fact, a few years ago, I gave up on dry beans. It was just too much work and too much time to soak and cook, and cook, and cook those beans!
Until I bought my Instant Pot.
Now I gleefully cook dry beans in an hour or so, and save big bucks at the grocery store! (Compare the prices of canned beans vs. dry beans the next time you're at the store and you'll see what I mean.)
Beans for Chili in the Instant Pot
2 cups dry beans (I use small red beans for chili, but you could use kidney beans or pintos.)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
at least 6 cups water, maybe 8
Rinse the beans and pick through them. Sometimes stones are missed in the sorting process at the bean bagging facility, and these guys haven't been washed since the last rainstorm when they were in the field.
Put the beans, vinegar, and water in your Instant Pot. (Don't worry about the vinegar adding a sour flavor to your chili or whatever you're making - you're going to be rinsing these beans before you cook them with your other ingredients.)
Cook on high pressure until the beans are done.
Don't you hate it when a recipe gives you those directions????
But in this case, it's necessary. I cook 2 cups of small red beans for about 40 minutes, but at your elevation they might only need 25 minutes. Or 30. You just have to experiment.
After the cooking time is over, let the pressure release naturally. Open the pot and check the beans. Fish some out of the liquid with a spoon and blow on them lightly. Does the skin on the surface of the bean crack? Try squeezing one - is it soft? Then they're done.
But if they aren't done yet, go ahead and seal the pot again, cook for an additional 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how crunchy they were,) and let the pot go through the cycle, including the natural pressure release.
Once the beans are done to your liking, dump them into your colander/strainer and rinse and drain those beans! Discard the water they've been cooking in, too.
Now they're ready to use in your recipe, or to store in the fridge for a day or two until you're ready to use them.
These guys are ready for Sunday's chili lunch, or I could use them in a salad. Or bean soup. Or...
What is your favorite way to use beans?
Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.