Cook Dried Black Beans in an Instant Pot | 3 Easy Methods

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Everything you need to know to make dried black beans in an Instant Pot, including how to know they’re cooked, how long to cook them, and how to serve them. With no-soak, quick-soak, and overnight soak instructions.

A small white porcelain bowl sitting on a wooden trivet, filled with black beans garnished with cilantro and diced white onions. A silver spoon is in the bowl on the right side

WHY YOU’LL LOVE MAKING BLACK BEANS IN AN INSTANT POT

This is the most foolproof method for making easy and tender black beans from scratch. When you have freshly cooked beans on hand, you’ll always have a healthy, simple meal in the fridge to whip up!

Making beans in the pressure cooker is one of our old standbys, and we recommend it to everyone who’s new to the Instant Pot. Home-cooked beans are full of flavor and have a soft, pillowy texture that we love.

Once your black beans are cooked, enjoy them with Burritos, Chicken Taco Salads, and Ground Beef Tacos.

We love beans in our house, so we have several guides to making perfect Instant Pot beans, with more on the way:

An overhead shot looking into an Instant Pot, filled with dried black beans and water. The pot is sitting on a white marble counter and a bag of dried beans has scattered across the countertop.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

Here’s all you need to make delicious black beans in an Instant Pot:

  • Beans. Dried black beans are inexpensive and easy to find at most grocery stores. 
  • Baking soda. You’ll need this if you’re doing an overnight soak on your beans to help them soften up. 
  • Salt. You’ll add this to season the legumes as they soak and cook. 
  • Vegetable oil. This optional ingredient is useful if you’re opting to use the no-soak method.

If you’re making these black beans to serve as a side dish, you can also add many different kinds of vegetables and seasonings to the cooking process.

A photograph of a silver mesh colander holding dried black beans and being rinsed over the sink.

How to Make RECIPE KEYWORD in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

There are two options for cooking dried beans in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker: allowing the beans to soak initial, followed by a quick cook time, or not soaking the beans prior to cooking and just using a single pressure cooking cycle from start to finish.

Black Beans: No-Soak Method

Pros: Requires a longer cook time, but it takes the least overall time of the three methods and it’s dump and go.
Cons: The beans are somewhat more likely to split and may cook up slightly less tender.

The no-soak methos is pretty straightforward: fill the pot with 3 cups water, salt, and any additional seasonings. Add the beans and set the cook time for 30 to 35 minutes. Let them release naturally or for at least 20 minutes to reduce the changes of foaming.

A vertical image of an Instant Pot with a heaping ladle of black beans suspended over the cooking pot.

Black Beans: Overnight Soak Method

Pros: This method results in fewer split skins and the nicest texture. Cons: You have to remember to start the recipe at least 8 hours ahead of cooking.

If you’re planning ahead and want to soak your beans the night before, start by stirring salt and baking soda into 8 cups of water in a big pot, such as the pressure cooking pot. Add your black beans, cover the pot with a towel or tin foil, and let them soak for 8 to 12 hours. 

When the beans are done soaking, discard any that have floated to the surface during soaking, then drain the rest. Rinse the beans well and clean the pressure cooking pot if you used it for soaking. 

Next, combine the beans with 1¼ cups of water, and a teaspoon of salt in the pressure cooking pot. Cook them on high pressure for 5 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Finish with a quick pressure release, and remove the lid. If any beans are floating, discard those, then test to make sure your beans are nice and tender.

If they are, drain the beans and enjoy. If not, cook them at high pressure for a few more minutes, until they’re cooked through. 

An overhead shot of a gray and brown rimmed bowl filled to the brim with black beans. A silver spoon is holding a scoop of beans on the right center of the bowl, and the beans are garnished with onion and shredded cilantro.

Black Beans: Quick-Soak Method

Pros: It’s a nice balance between speed and the smoother texture you get from the overnight soak, but takes much less time and you don’t have to remember in advance. Cons: There will be more split skins than in the overnight soak method.

To do a quick soak, dissolve a tablespoon of salt in 4 cups of water in the pressure cooking pot. Add the beans and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. After a minute, turn off the Instant Pot and let the beans soak for an hour. 

After soaking, drain and rinse the beans well and rinse the pressure cooking pot. Now it’s time to cook. Combine the beans with 1¼ cups of water, and a teaspoon of salt in the pressure cooking pot. Pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the cook time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Finally, finish with a quick pressure release, and remove the lid. If any beans are floating, discard those, then test to make sure your beans are nice and tender.

If the beans are ready to eat, drain the beans and enjoy. If they’re still a bit hard, return the lid and them at high pressure for a few more minutes.

A photo of a silver spoon filled with cooked black beans suspended over a ceramic bowl with a brown rim. An Instant Pot and cilantro are out of focus in the background.

Important Tips for Making Black Beans in an Instant Pot

  • During the cook time (not the soak time), you can substitute the cooking water for a more flavorful clear cooking liquid, such as chicken or vegetable broth 
  • You can also flavor your beans by adding seasonings to the cooking water, such as dried or fresh herbs.
  • It’s less important to soak black beans than kidney beans or pinto beans, because they have thinner skins, but some people prefer the texture of beans that have been soaked.
  • If you’re soaking beans for more than four hours, place the container in the refrigerator for food safety. Beans may contain bacteria that can grow to harmful levels or produce a toxin if they remain at room temperature for too long.
  • If you’re worried about foaming or spitting during pressure cooking, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the cooking pot just before cooking. (I generally don’t feel the need to do this when making overnight-soaked or quick-soaked beans.)
A shot of cooked black beans in a white bowl on a wooden trivet. An Instant Pot is out of focus in the background, along with a larger serving bowl of black beans.

Frequently Asked Questions about Making Pork Carnitas

What’s the best way to store cooked beans?

Store cooked beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can enjoy them cold or reheat them on the stove, in the microwave, or in the Instant Pot.

Can I freeze cooked beans?

Yes! You can freeze fully cooled, cooked beans for up to three months. They may be more prone to the skins splitting when you reheat them, but the flavor will be the same.

How should I serve black beans?

There are countless ways to enjoy your cooked black beans! We love them in burritos, on salads, in soups, or in grain bowls. Once they’re cooked, you can flavor them with seasonings, sauces, and salsas. The options are endless!

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can cook more than 1 cup of beans at a time in a 4-quart or larger pressure cooker, but be careful not to fill your cooking pot above halfway, since beans can produce a lot of foam when they cook. 

MORE Instant Pot Bean Recipes

Here are some of our favorite ways to make beans in an Instant Pot / pressure cooker:


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A small white porcelain bowl sitting on a wooden trivet, filled with black beans garnished with cilantro and diced white onions. A silver spoon is in the bowl on the right side

Homemade Black Beans from Dried | 3 Cooking Methods for the Instant Pot

Servings: 6 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Beans
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beans, black beans, dried black beans, homemade black beans, Instant Pot black beans
Here’s everything you need to know to make black beans in an Instant Pot from dried, using the overnight soak, quick-soak, or no-soak methods.
Print Pin Recipe Rate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried black beans cleaned of debris and rinsed well

Overnight Soak

  • 4 cups cold water plus 1¼ cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt optional
  • Additional seasonings if desired (garlic, onion, oil, etc.)

Quick Soak

  • 4 cups water plus 1¼ cups water divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt optional
  • Additional seasonings if desired (garlic, onion, oil, etc.)

No Soak

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil optional

Instructions

OVERNIGHT SOAK METHOD

  • Place 4 cups cold water into a large pot. (I used the pressure cooking pot). Add the salt and baking soda, stirring briefly to combine. Add the black beans, then cover loosely and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.
  • Remove any beans that may have floated to the top, then gently drain the remaining beans into a colander. Rinse well under cold running water. (If you used the cooking pot to soak the beans, be sure to clean it here.)
  • Add 1 1/4 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt (if using), any additional seasonings, and the soaked beans. Select High Pressure and 5 to 7 minutes cook time.** When the cook time ends, turn the pressure cooker off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid. 
  • Discard any beans that are floating, and check several beans to make sure they're tender. If not, return to high pressure for a few more minutes.
  • If desired, drain the excess cooking liquid. Serve immediately or use in your favorite recipe.

QUICK SOAK METHOD

  • Add 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to the pressure cooking pot. Then add the rinsed beans to the cooking pot. 
  • Seal the lid in place and select High Pressure and a 1 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn the pressure cooker off and let the beans soak for 1 hour. 
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the beans, and discard the soaking liquid. Rinse out the cooking pot. 
  • Add 1 1/4 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt (if using), any additional seasonings, and the soaked beans. Select High Pressure and 5 to 7 minutes cook time.** When the cook time ends, turn the pressure cooker off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid. 
  • Discard any beans that are floating, and check several beans to make sure they're tender. If not, return to high pressure for a few more minutes.
  • If desired, drain the excess cooking liquid. Serve immediately or use in your favorite recipe.

NO SOAK METHOD 

  • Remove any beans that may have floated to the top, then gently drain the remaining beans into a colander. Rinse well under cold running water. (If you used the cooking pot to soak the beans, be sure to clean it here.)
  • Add 3 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, any additional seasonings, and the beans. Select High Pressure and 30 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, turn the pressure cooker off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid. 
  • Discard any beans that are floating, and check several beans to make sure they're tender. If not, return to high pressure for a few more minutes.
  • If desired, drain the excess cooking liquid. Serve immediately or use in your favorite recipe.

Notes

* Can cook more than 1 cup at a time, but be careful not to fill your cooking pot above halfway, since beans can foam. 
** This is another recipe where elevation matters. We’re making our beans at 5,000 feet. After 5 minutes our beans are mostly done but not quite, but we’re much happier with 7 minutes cook time. We haven't tested it at sea level, but I suspect a 5 minute cook time would be more appropriate at that altitude.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 2548mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g

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