Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kitchen Staples: Kidney Beans

I have been meaning to post more of these for a while and just have not yet perfected the timing for each kind of bean. Pressure cooker times for beans will vary a bit according to the size, soak time, and age of your beans. I've noticed that the older the beans are the less evenly they tend to rehydrate so you tend you get some overcooked beans and some tough ones all in one pot. I am not entirely sure how to correct that aside from regularly changing the water during the pre-soak. That said, here's the approximate timing I've figured out for kidney beans if you want a big batch to keep in the freezer. You can use them for soups, refried beans, Spanish rice, etc. So much more convenient when you already have them cooked!

Pressure Cooker Kidney Beans
Dried kidney beans

Soak the kidney beans overnight in water. Whenever the beans start to stick out of the water, that's a sign that you need more water. Switch the water and refill the container so you have a few inches over the beans. I would not soak more than about 12 hours, otherwise you'll get mushy beans that fall apart. Pour the soaked beans into a pressure cooker and fill will water until you have a few inches over the beans. Clamp on the lid and turn the heat on high. Once the pressure cooker reaches full pressure (first big "whistle"), drop the heat to your lowest setting and cook for 15 minutes. Switch off the heat and use the rapid release method before opening the cooker.

Cool the beans (a cookie sheet works well) and divide up into the quantities you use most often.

Note: If you're in the Western world, do not follow this pressure cooker timing. Second generation pressure cookers are more efficient than these so look for a pressure cooker times chart for II gen. cookers.

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