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Old 10-17-2006, 07:34 PM   #1
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Dry beans in a pressure cooker

Hi everyone,

I'm an expatriate grad student living in Brazil and taking my first stab at cooking some famous Brazilian beans in a pressure cooker. I'm about 30 minutes into it (gonna let it cook for about 40 min), and just wanted to know if it's normal for steam to be hissing out from the top valve. It is fairly noisy, and I'm a little hesitante to get too close to it!

Is this normal? Anyone have any tips for cooking dry beans in a pressure cooker?

I added about 500 grams of beans and a little more than 2 liters of water and it's cooking over an open-flame stove (sorry I'm a newbie ).

Thanks, appreciate any help!

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Old 10-17-2006, 07:57 PM   #2
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I would turn the heat down just a little bit, so it is not hissing to the extent that you are nervous.
Yes, I have cooked beans in a pressure cooker. It is normal for some hissing to occur.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:02 PM   #3
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Hissing is normal - but not a full-blown costant hiss - what type of pressure cooker do you have?

It is imperative that you put some oil in your beans while they cook. This oil keeps the foam down which prevents the steam valve from clogging. About 1 TBS per 2 cups of beans then addiitonal oil for more beans.

I'm not going to argue/defend this statement so don't anyone even try to say it's not true known fact.

So......what kind of pressure cooker do you have? Does it have a round weight on top that you turn to the different weights? Or is the pounds/pressure controlled by heat. Also, what brand do you have?
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:31 PM   #4
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Wow thanks for the fast replies

After 40 minutes, I turned off the flame, opened it up, and saw that the beans were starting to get about as soft as they should be, but there seemed to be extra water (not the nice, super-thick juice), so I emptied some water, added some sauteed some onions, garlic, and soy oil and let it cook for about 15 minutes longer. After that, it is starting to look and smell about right. It was still boiling when I opened the pressure cooker so I put the lid back and let them simmer.

I'm not sure about the brand of my pressure cooker. It holds about 4.2 L. The lid has a long flexible metal piece that can be clamped to the handle of the pot. At the top/center of the lid, there is a valve, I think it is weighted (I've noticed that if I wiggle it, I can adjust the volume of steam released). There is also a red valve on the lid that I assume acts as a back-up.

I just tried some of the beans, they're good, but the broth isn't thick enough to my liking, seems too watery. And the beans don't quite have enough flavor, I think next time I need to add some sausage and pork meat.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:01 PM   #5
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When I make a pot of pintos I will dice up, fairly small, a potato. By the time they are done the potato has usually broken down and thickened the broth. If not totally broken down stirring will usually do the trick.

Try using a ham bone for seasoning or smoked ham hock, or even bacon. If you want to you can even thicken your water with some instant potatoes and I think some people use tapioca? Is that right?

As far as the rocker on top - you want it to rock about 3 or 4 times per minute - too much more than that your heat is too high.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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I take it Brazilian beans are black beans? If so they can be seasoned with lime juice, spring onions, and cilantro. But you probably know that already! You can also cook them with a dried red chili for some heat!
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:19 PM   #7
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What everyone else said about turning down the flame. It should just barely hiss, I think. And meat/ham definitely helps beans. Put everything in at the beginning--onions, a little celery, grated carrot if you want, ham hock. Cover the beans with 2 fingers worth of water and cook for about 40 minutes. LOVE my PC.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:09 PM   #8
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Rather than adding a foreign (non-bean) thickening agent, I take about a quarter cup of cooked beans and mash them up with a spoon until they are of a mushy constinency and add them back to the pot. If you stir them in thoroughly they will provide a gravy type thickening. This always works for me.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora
Rather than adding a foreign (non-bean) thickening agent, I take about a quarter cup of cooked beans and mash them up with a spoon until they are of a mushy constinency and add them back to the pot. If you stir them in thoroughly they will provide a gravy type thickening. This always works for me.
LOL LOL LOL - All I had to do was look at my black bean soup recipe - that's what I do with it to make it thicken - boy, sometimes I just don't think! Thanks for coming to the rescue here!!! I feel so DUH right now!

Clemsontiger - you can still do that with what you have left. I don't actually remove my beans I just use a stick blender right in the cooking vessel when I'm done.

(walking away just shaking my head wondering how I make it through the day sometimes!)

...are you a SC transplant? I'm in NC - where we REALLY have a school called "Carolina" (running really fast right now!............lol)
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:25 PM   #10
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Well, all in all they came out pretty well. Flavoring the next pot will be my priority. Mmm, thinking about them flavored with bacon or smoked ham hock almost makes me hungry again :)

I say Brazilian beans, but here they are called "feijão carioca," they're not black beans (feijão preto). They resemble pinto beans but are not quite the same, instead of specks of dark brown, they have long transverse stripes, maybe they are a different variety of pinto beans, just not sure.

I really appreciate the help and tips! I am sure I'll have more questions in the future for you guys. Thanks :)

-Graham
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