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Jan 1, 2012 02:45 PM

Need pressure cooker advice NOW. Anyone on who knows how to cook with them?

I'm trying out my pressure cooker for the first time today. I'm currently making dried pinto beans and ham hocks. All the recipes call for about 55 mins of high pressure, but I soaked mine overnight (closer to 24 hours) so I am assuming a shorter time. Any ideas on how long I should cook them? Thank you!

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  1. Make sure that you do not fill the pot more than half way. the beans can foam up and block the pressure safety valve/release.
    Since the soaking usually reduces the cooking time in half I would start there. You can always bring it back up to pressure and cook longer if needed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      I don't think that the problem will be your beans rather that smoked pork hock. That usually takes 45 to 55 minutes to cook through, longer if the pork hock has been hanging in your larder and drying out. I still always soak my beans overnight as well; the texture of the beans is better.

    2. Try looking at this chart --
      it is a chart for cooking *already soaked* beans in a pressure cooker.

      2 Replies
        1. re: vvv03

          You are probably already done with your beans but I always put a teaspoon or so of oil in each batch of beans to prevent foaming. Read that somewhere.

      1. I pressure cook pinto beans often. I like to quick soak them - bring to boil then set aside for an hour. Pressure cook them with half a peeled onion, ham hock, about 6 C water and no salt. Bring to high pressure then turn them down to medium pressure for 15 minutes. While they cook I prepare a soffits with onion, garlic, red and green peppers, half a jalapeƱo, oregano, salt and pepper. Add this to cooked beans and boil the mixture for 15 minutes. I think they are perfect this way.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CharIties

          CI has done some research ( I know, there is controversy on these boards about CI's testing methods, etc., but I find many of their ideas to be spot-on. Take it all with a grain of, er, salt!) and found that salting beans actually makes them tender to the middle, better seasoned at the finish, and NOT tough on the outside.
          Basically, do a 'quick brine' of your beans before cooking, then cook them up.
          If cooking in a pressure cooker, be sure to follow instructions for your model, or cook on lowest pressure setting to avoid blown-out beans!
          Love Charlties sofrito above - sounds delish!

        2. There are a million ways to cook beans apparently. I do a presoak for several hours, and then pressure cook them for about 15 minutes to see how well they are cooking. I cooked pintos a couple of weeks ago, and I tested them after 15 minutes (timed from the beans coming to pressure) and then pressure cooked them for a few minutes more, to get them as done as I wanted. If you chill the cooked beans overnight they will be firmer than if you eat them shortly after cooking them.

          I hope you were happy with your pinto beans. I hope you enjoy using your new PC.

          1. I'd love to hear how your beans turned out.

            I recommend presoaking (with or without salt, I prefer no salt) the beans, draining and then cooking pinto beans between 4 and 6 minutes at pressure with a natural pressure release. I think that at 15 minutes they would be falling apart and too mushy for my liking.

            You can always put them back on the heat but you can't make them less done. I guess that you could always turn them into Spicy Pinto Bean Dip if you needed to.

            It's great to see so many more people pressure cooking these days. I have been teaching people how to do this for 15 years and maybe the time has finally come when more people will pressure cook regularly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Veggie Queen

              Some of the fear seems to have subsided.