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cooked pinto beans fresh out of the instant pot

How to Cook Dried Beans (stove top, pressure cooker, AND slow cooker instructions)

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths- Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 35 minute
  • Yield: 6 cups of cooked beans 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A full guide on how to cook dry beans in the instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove top, so that no what you have, you can make amazing beans at home!


  • 1 pounds or 2 cups dried beans
  • water
  • drizzle of oil*, optional


  1. Rinse and beans and sort through them, remove any bit of debris or small rocks.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  3. Cover the beans in the slow cooker with water until it reaches 3 inches above the beans. Cover beans in the Instant Pot with enough water to come 3 inches above the beans (taking care not to pass the 2/3 full line indicated on the inside of the stainless steel insert/cooking pot). Cover beans in a stock pot with water until the beans are covered by about 3-4 inches of water.
  4. Add the lid to the slow cooker. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8. Cook in the Instant Pot under high pressure for 25-45 minutes and then let the pot rest at a natural pressure release for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes release the rest of the pressure. Cook on the stove top at a simmer for 1-3 hours, adding additional water as needed.
  5. When beans are cooked to your liking, drain the extra water from the beans.
  6. Use beans as you would canned beans in dishes and store any extras portioned out into smaller containers and kept in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.


  • These are pretty large guidelines because there are a few things you'll need to adjust on your end. If you are soaking your beans overnight (roughly 8-12 hours) the cooking time will be reduced by roughly 50% or half. Also the type and size of your beans matters too. Smaller beans like small red or navy beans will cook faster than medium sized beans such as black beans, pinto beans, or cannallini beans. And the beans that take the longest too cook are the large beans like large kidney, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, or large lima beans. So be sure to make note of what kind of beans you are cooking, their size, and if you soaked them or not to determine how long you'll need to cook them. SEE the blog post for more details on specific cooking times for specific kinds of beans.
  • When cooking a bean that is new to me or cooking beans for the first time, I like to just take the time to see what produces the best outcome. Start checking your beans for doneness at the start of the cook time range and adjust as needed. Then make a note somewhere (I write on the inside of my favorite cookbook) so that you can remember what cook time worked best for you for a certain kind of bean.
  • I like to add just a drizzle of oil when I'm cooking my beans in the Instant Pot or on the stove, this helps to reduce foaming and they don't boil over or make as much of a mess on the inside lid.
  • If you do soak your beans, be sure to drain and rinse the beans well before adding them to your cooking vessel or choice and adding fresh water.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min- 8 hours
  • Category: side
  • Method: Instant Pot, slow cooker, stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to cook beans, how to cook dried beans, instant pot dried beans, pressure cooker dried beans, slow cooker dried beans, how to cook beans in crockpot