Steaming beans in a pressure cookerPosted: 1 July 2011
Beans can be steamed in the pressure cooker. I soaked 2/3 cup of kidney beans overnight. Put the steamer basket in the pressure cooker, added 2 cups of water, put the beans in, then turned on the heat. After the water started boiling I put the lid on and locked it. When it reached high pressure I cooked them for 20 minutes. After that I let the pressure come down naturally.
I tried one and it seemed fine. Possibly they could be cooked for less than 20 minutes. I had to go somewhere quick so I dumped them in a plastic resealable bowl and put it in the freezer.
I’m not sure what the advantages are for cooking them this way. Possibly fewer nutrients lost, like steaming vegetables versus boiling them. It also gives you more flexibility for how you use them; for example, you could use them in a salad, or any dish where you’d need to make the other part separately. I also suspect that they’re less likely to fall apart and get mushy, and I’ve also read that when you soak them that it’s a good idea to add some salt to the soaking water which firms their skins so that they don’t fall off when you’re cooking them.
You can also cook them with the bain marie method. I added 2 minutes to the suggested time. Less cleanup with this method at least; other than that again I’m not sure what the advantages are. Both methods seem a bit more “gentler” to me, whatever that might mean.