Beans, bean, that glorious fruit, the more you eat, the more you….well, you know.
That school yard chant is based on truth – some beans are hard for some people to digest, and that means some gastro-intestinal flatulence!
For as long as anyone can remember the adage has been that dried beans need to be soaked for at least 8-12 hours in order for them to cook correctly, and to help cut down on the disruption that beans cause to many peoples’ digestion. Before the Instant Pot moved into it’s central place on my kitchen counter, I had learned of a bake-the-beans method that made perfect beans, every single time. But, there has always been the advice to soak.
Has that advice changed now that you can cook your beans so quickly in the Instant Pot?
It depends on who you talk to, and what recipes you read! (Just like everything else, no?) Turns out there is still quite a bit of disagreement on this one, so I will provide the resources and you get to decide for yourselves!
Pressure cooking black beans results in a perfectly textured bean, and they are perfect for using in recipes like a bean dip or in a soup or stew.
Laura Pazzaglia, on her website and in her cookbook Hip Pressure Cooking says yes to soaking. Because you will get a better texture and to access the sugars in the beans correctly, Laura says to soak, if you can possibly remember to put the beans in water the night before you are going to cook them! She also details a wonderful quick cooking method for those days when you forgot to soak or you simply want beans and don’t care what they look like!
Si, over at A Bountiful Kitchen – who has the kitchen of my dreams, by the way – provides us with a great no soak black bean recipe. I will agree with her that black beans are one of the best beans to use, without soaking, in the Instant Pot. Pressure cooking black beans results in a perfectly textured bean, and they are perfect for using in recipes like a bean dip or in a soup or stew.
A Pinch of Healthy also has a recipe for a no soak bean, this time Instant Pot Pinto Beans. She says the same thing…no need to soak, very little difference, if any.
I would suggest that you read all the above mentioned posts, and then try it yourself. Many of us are busy and being able to eliminate that extra step of remembering to soak beans overnight means that quick and easy dinners can be made without that little hassle…and really, isn’t that what the Instant Pot is all about?