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5 from 20 votes

How to Cook Dry Beans

Carefully read through this how to cook dry beans guide to learn everything you need to know about cooking beans from scratch in the instant pot. Gather all the info from preparing, cooking and seasoning, to storing and freezing cooked beans.
Then, check out these delicious instant pot beans recipes to get cooking your own batch!
Vegan Black Beans - My go-to recipe to replace canned beans
Brazilian Black Beans - This sausage and bacon bean recipe is a hearty and delicious side dish
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Brazilian, global, Latin American
Keyword: beans, instant pot
Servings: 6 cups
Author: aline_shaw


  • Instant Pot


  • 16 oz dry beans
  • Smoked animal product of choice (Smoked Sausage, ham hock, smoked ribs, etc) (optional)
  • 1-2 bay leaves, other dry herbs
  • 1-2 Heat of choice (smoked peppers, chipotle in adobo, jalapenos etc) (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp spices, such as cumin etc
  • 4 strips other animal fat such as pancetta, bacon etc
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp Brazilian Sofrito or 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp acid, such as vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp salt *start with 1 tsp, taste then add more as needed. The quantity of salt will always vary according to other ingredients you're adding that already contain salt - bacon, sausage etc, for example.


  • Follow the instructions above to pick, wash, then soak the beans in cold water for 30 mins.
  • Change the water, and soak in cold water for another 30 mins.
  • Drain beans, then add them to a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add the desired dry herbs, dry/smoked pepper, and/or smoked animal producst such as smoked sausage, smoked ribs, smoked ham hock... at this time - cover with 5 to 5 1/2 cups of water.
  • Close the instant pot, and cook on manual for 30 mins**
  • After 30 mins, safely release the pressure and open the pan.
  • Change the now open/uncovered instant pot settings to sauté mode, and let the beans simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Season with salt and pepper, add the spices, and the acid. Stir and continue to simmer.
  • Meanwhile, add fat of choice (bacon, pancetta, olive oil...) to a large skillet over medium to high heat. (If using animal fat, render the fat, and cook until browned. You may need a little olive oil as well before you add the aromatics)
  • Add the aromatics (such as onions, shallots...) to the skillet and sautée until the transparent and soft, 2-3 mins.
  • Add the garlic to the skillet, stir and sautée until fragrant and lightly golden.
  • Pour the contents of the skillet into the beans, stir and let it simmer until desired thickness is reached.
  • If freezing, portion the beans into freeer safe containers, and let them cool to room temperature before closing and putting away. Read Freezing Beans section above for more detail.

Bom Apetite!


    **this time is the recommended time for black beans. Please check out Instant Pot Beans Cooking Time section of the article for other types of beans cooking times.