How to Cook Dry Kidney Beans in Instant Pot | Dry Kidney Beans in Instant Pot
Indians are synonymous with pressure cooking. We cook our dals on a daily basis using our handy cooker. Soak it overnight and pressure cook the next day for 5-10 whistles (depending on the beans) and ta-da, its done. I knew of no other way for dry beans until my advent  to the US. I was shocked to witness other nationalities cooking it for 2-3 hours on stove top! And here I was complaining that I had to cook Kidney beans for way more whistles (around 5-8 min more) than other beans!! To me, our cooking felt way more developed then.  So, its no surprise to me that Instant pot is a rage all over. I know I am late to the Instapot party; call it laziness or reluctance to change or overcautious with anything new, I put off buying this wonder gadget. Between my handy pressure cooker, slow cooker and  oven , I felt this was just going to be a fancy accessory in my kitchen.
How to Cook Dry Kidney Beans in Instant Pot | Dry Kidney Beans in Instant Pot
Well, enter husband! Out of the many hints given during the previous months ( and not so indirect clues ) about the stuff I wanted, he brilliantly picked up my apprehensions about Instant Pot (that I mentioned like ONCE) as something that was  going to make me ecstatic and gifted it for my birthday - Me: BIG ROLLING EYES. Sigh! Since I guess I like him,  I slowly started trying out stuff using Instant Pot and have kinda found my comfort level. Out of the many things I have tried, my top most use has been to cook my beans in it. I make HUGE portions and freeze them to use throughout the month without any hassle or baby sitting a pressure cooker (let alone a pan over stove top). This especially works like a CHARM for the hard to cook dark Indian kidney beans.  With my pressure cooker I usually found the beans oscillating to the extremes (mushy or hard) with the perfect "soft yet retaining shape texture" eluding me more often than not. That issue has been resolved with this and most importantly the results have been consistent.  Here's how I do it.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Around 6 cups of cooked beans
  • 1 lbs (2 cups) Dark Kidney Beans - Have the lighter shade? See Tips
  • About 5 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves/ Epazote
  • 1 tsp Salt (or as needed)
1. Kidney Beans: For this pictorial I have doubled the quantity. Since I prefer making a huge batch, I am using 2lbs (about 4 cups) of beans that I will soak overnight and cook the next day.

Lighter Shade Kidney Beans : Also, these are dark Kidney beans ( got it from Indian grocery) that is bigger and deeper reddish brown color than what you find normally. I have updated this post with the timings for lighter shade of Kidney beans (Organic Food to Live Brand) that took far less time to cook. Depending on the brand, age and color/size of your beans, you will have to adjust the timings. Use these numbers accordingly as per your beans.
1. I soak my beans overnight with apple cider vinegar. I am not very strict with the amount ( I eyeball it) but its approximately 1 tsp for 1lb of beans I find this addition of acidic medium helps a lot with digestion.
2. Next day I rinse out the beans. I dont use the soaking liquid.
3. Load the instant pot with the drained beans and cover it with water. You want to add about an inch more water than the beans. Since its already soaked beans, it won't need a lot of water like dry beans.  Its optional but you can use any kind of flavoring. Since I make a big batch (to freeze for various uses through the month) , I just tend to add some bay leaves/ Epazote (for digestion) and some salt.

Important Note: I am using a 6QT Instant Pot and  2lbs ( 4 cups of dried beans). Since the beans are already soaked, they don't need much water while cooking as opposed to cooking unsoaked beans. If you want to use dried beans right away  (without soaking) I would suggest going with only 1lb of dried beans and using 8 cups of water.
4. Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to "Sealing".
5. Set the timer to 25 minutes. This time makes perfectly cooked beans, soft yet retaining shape. If you are looking for a mushier consistency (soups/mashed beans), then go for 35 minutes.Also, the cooking time will vary depending on the age of the beans and brands. Go with this time and adjust accordingly if needed.

Important Note: For unsoaked beans (1lb), it takes about 45 minutes of cooking time. Add another 10 minutes for a mushier consistency.
6. I let the pressure settle on its own and go for natural pressure release (around 15 minutes). I find this helps to cook the beans with better texture - no shriveling or broken pieces. At this mark, switch off and turn your vent to release pressure if any to open the lid. By this point you will find the pressure release will be less without much steam or noise (as opposed to quick release).
7. Press  to check if completely cooked. This time gives me cooked beans with its shape retained. But if you want it really soft - bordering mushy, you can cook it for 30 minutes. Depending on the age of your beans and type/brand, the timing can vary a little bit +/- 10 minutes. Adjust accordingly.

Note:Consuming undercooked kidney beans is said to be toxic.  You should be able to easily press on the beans. If not add another 10 minutes although I havent faced this issue in all the 6-7 times I have cooked them.
8. Shorter Cooking Time for Light Kidney Beans

These lighter shade of Kidney Beans though ( organic Food to Live brand) that I have used was cooked to perfection for 10 minutes at High Pressure with a natural release at around 10 minutes. You can adjust the cooking time anywhere from 8-10 minutes. Test your batch to adjust timings.
While I find it extremely useful to make a big batch, you can definitely make smaller batches as well. The time remains the same. Use it right away or freeze for later use.
How to Cook Dry Kidney Beans in Instant Pot | Dry Kidney Beans in Instant Pot

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By Emma on Nov 24, 2020

I have made a big batch of 500 grams dried organic kidney beans, describes here as lighter kidney beans. I put them in the instant pot for10 minutes, high pressure, 10 natural release. They were still a bit too crunchy. Closed the lid, 5 extra minutes of high pressure, quick release. They were cooked to perfection ! This resulted in 1290 grams of cooked beans, which I freeze in portions for later use.