Do you prefer eating a healthy nutritious diet over unhealthy junk food? If you do, then dried beans must be in the top 10 food items on your list of nutritional foods.
They’re perfect for adding to soups and stews, making bean salads, and even for bean pates and dips. Use them to stuff sweet potatoes or curry them … the list of ways to cook and serve beans is endless.
To make beans a regular part of your diet, you need a quick, easy way to cook them regularly. Sure, canned beans work well but they can become expensive if you are using beans often in your meals.
Beans are often sold in 2-pound packets and this is why you are probably wondering, “Can I cook 2 lbs of beans in my Instant Pot?” You certainly can as 2 lbs (just over 900 g) of beans plus cooking water will come to below the Instant Pot’s maximum capacity marking.
Why should I worry about the maximum capacity marking?
The maximum line on the inside of your Instant Pot or pressure cooker’s inner pot is a very important safety feature. Not only the meal but also the appliance can be spoiled if the maximum capacity is exceeded.
Putting too many beans inside can cause the pressure valve to become blocked when the legumes expand with cooking. Remember – dried beans, rice, and pasta absorb a lot of liquid as they cook and swell to many times their volume.
Too little liquid added into the pot with the beans can cause everything to stick and burn and will ultimately ruin the Instant Pot’s silicone lining.
How much is too much?
For any beans, rice, and grains such as quinoa in any pressure cooker, the maximum allowed quantity is half full. This includes cooking water or broth. Other types of food like meat, that don’t expand when cooked can fill the pot to two-thirds full.
Beans tend to double their size once cooked, taking up a lot more volume in the pot. The cooking process also generates large quantities of foam which, if the pot is too full, will spray out through the valve once the pressure builds up. This will block the valve and damage it.
How to release the pressure?
When you have finished cooking up to 2 pounds of beans, rice, or other types of food that swell, you should always use the natural pressure release method rather than the quick release way because this will prevent the foamy starchy liquid from escaping through the valve during pressure release.
What if I’m cooking a mixed dish with beans?
If you are cooking something that contains beans and other ingredients like meat and vegetables, such as a stew, you can fill the pot to the two-thirds mark as a maximum. Remember that this includes the liquid.
Does this only apply to my Instant Pot?
No, these guidelines apply to all makes and models of pressure cookers, whether electric or stovetop. The reason is that all pressure cookers whether manufactured in Asia, the US, or Europe, have valves in their lids.
The maximum fill regulations are there to make sure that food and cooking liquids do not block or trigger the safety mechanisms found in the lid.
One of the most common reasons for pressure cooker accidents is that someone fills the pot beyond its stipulated maximum capacity.
How To Cook 2 Lbs Of Beans In An Instant Pot
Now that you know that you can cook 2 lbs of beans in your Instant Pot, here’s how.
- First, wash the beans under cold, running water and remove any sticks, stones, or discolored beans.
- There is no need to soak the beans. This is where the pressure cooker works its wonders!
- Pour the beans into the Instant Pot. Add two to three times the amount of fresh, cold water. (For every cup of beans, add 2-3 cups of cold water.) Remember not to exceed the halfway mark on the inner pot. The beans must be completely covered with water.
- Add a tablespoon of cooking oil as this prevents foaming. Add also a teaspoon or two of salt for flavor. (You can also add things like onion, garlic, bay leaves, and other herbs for flavor.)
- Put the lid on, seal the vent, and choose your time depending on the type of beans used. Times range from 6 to 20 minutes.
- Once done, allow the pressure to naturally release.
How To Store All Those Beans
Now that you have cooked 2 lbs of beans in your Instant Pot, you may be wondering how to store them if you don’t need to use them all at once. Easy!
Simply divide the cooked, cooled beans into portion sizes and spoon them into freezer containers or Ziploc bags. Store them in the freezer for up to six months.
Can I cook 2 lbs of beans in an Instant Pot? Yes! Just ensure that you don’t fill the pot beyond the halfway mark, including liquid, and all will be well. You may never need to buy canned beans again!