How To Cook Northern Beans

In the past, I have explained how to use a pressure cooker for cooking beans.  Read the posts, Homecooked Garbanzo Beans and Simple Bean Soup. The steps are the same, the seasonings and cooking times are different.  Pressure cookers do come in different sizes, so be sure to read the user's guide before cooking.

NEVER NEVER, and I mean, NEVER, throw away the User's Guide to any kitchen appliance, ESPECIALLY for a pressure cooker. I refer to mine many times.  It saves me from under cooking or over cooking the food.

Using my handy dandy pressure cooker, I filled it with

  • 2 cups dried Northern Beans, rinsed clean
  • covered with 2 1/2 inches of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves cut in half
  • 1 bay leaf

After the pressure regulator started to chatter, I turned the heat down to medium low and set the timer for 25 minutes.  After cooking for 25 minutes, CAREFULLY remove pressure cooker away from heat and allow it to sit until the pressure is completely reduced and the air vent/cover lock has dropped.  I've never timed how long that takes, maybe 10 minutes?

Remove the bay leaf.  Give the beans a stir, the garlic chunks should dissolve into the soup.  I tend to remove the garlic bits that don't dissolve, so I don't have to hear the kids say, "Ewww, what's that?"

Now you're ready to divide up the beans and use them in any recipe.  If you're just planning to store them in the freezer to use later, they will keep well in an airtight container for up to one and half months.  Freezing foods does not improve their quality, texture or flavors, so the less time in the freezer the better.