How To Make Ham And Beans In An Electric Pressure Cooker



Welcome to this guide on how to make delicious ham and beans in an electric pressure cooker. This comforting and hearty dish is perfect for those chilly evenings when you want a satisfying meal with minimal effort. With the help of an electric pressure cooker, you can have tender beans and flavorful ham in a fraction of the time compared to traditional stovetop cooking. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and will yield impressive results.

An electric pressure cooker is a versatile and time-saving kitchen appliance that allows you to cook meals quickly and efficiently. It uses high-pressure steam to cook food, which not only reduces cooking time but also helps to lock in the flavors and nutrients. The sealed environment of the electric pressure cooker creates a moist and tender result, making it ideal for cooking beans and meats.

This recipe calls for dried beans, which need to be soaked prior to cooking. Soaking the beans helps to soften them and reduce cooking time. You can choose from a variety of beans such as navy beans, pinto beans, or cannellini beans. The key is to select beans that will complement the smoky flavor of the ham.

In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of making ham and beans in an electric pressure cooker. From soaking the beans to sautéing the onions and garlic, to adding the ham and seasoning, we will cover all the necessary steps to ensure a delicious and comforting meal. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering dish!


Equipment Needed

Before we get started, it’s important to gather all the necessary equipment to make ham and beans in an electric pressure cooker. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Electric Pressure Cooker: You’ll need a reliable electric pressure cooker with a minimum capacity of 6 quarts. Ensure that your pressure cooker is in good working condition and has a securely sealing lid.
  2. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial for achieving the perfect balance of flavors. Have a set of measuring cups and spoons handy to measure ingredients precisely.
  3. Chopping Board and Knife: You’ll be chopping onions and garlic for sautéing, so having a sturdy chopping board and a sharp knife will make your prep work easier.
  4. Spatula or Wooden Spoon: A spatula or wooden spoon is essential for stirring the ingredients and scraping any bits that may stick to the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  5. Can Opener: If you’re using canned beans or canned ham, you’ll need a reliable can opener to open the cans safely and efficiently.
  6. Colander: For soaking the dried beans, you’ll need a colander to drain and rinse them under cold water.
  7. Meat Thermometer (Optional): While not mandatory, a meat thermometer can come in handy to ensure that the ham is cooked to the desired temperature.

Most of these items are likely already available in your kitchen. However, double-checking the list will ensure that you’re fully prepared to make this delicious meal without any last-minute hiccups.



Now let’s take a look at the list of ingredients required to make ham and beans in an electric pressure cooker:

  • 1 pound dried beans (such as navy beans, pinto beans, or cannellini beans)
  • 1 pound ham, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

These basic ingredients form the foundation of the dish, but feel free to customize it based on your preferences. You can add other herbs and spices to enhance the flavor, or even include additional vegetables like carrots or celery for added texture and taste.

When it comes to the ham, you can use either pre-cooked ham or a ham bone with some meat attached. If using a ham bone, make sure to remove any excess fat or skin before adding it to the pressure cooker.

As for the beans, it’s important to note that they need to be soaked prior to cooking. Soaking helps to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time. Follow the instructions on the package for soaking the specific type of beans you choose.

Regardless of the ingredients you select, make sure they are fresh and of good quality to ensure the best flavor and texture in the final dish.


Step 1: Soak the Beans

The first step in making ham and beans in an electric pressure cooker is to soak the beans. Soaking helps to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time. Follow these steps to properly soak the beans:

  1. Measure 1 pound of dried beans and transfer them to a colander.
  2. Rinse the beans under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities.
  3. Place the rinsed beans in a large bowl and cover them with water. Make sure to use enough water to fully submerge the beans, as they will absorb some of it during soaking.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to the water and give it a good stir. The salt helps to season the beans as they soak.
  5. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. This long soak will rehydrate the beans and soften their texture.
  6. After the soaking time is complete, drain the beans using the colander and give them a final rinse under cold water.

Soaking the beans not only reduces cooking time but also helps to improve their digestibility. It allows the beans to absorb water, which starts the rehydration process and softens their tough outer skins. This step is essential for achieving tender and perfectly cooked beans in the electric pressure cooker.

Once the beans are soaked and rinsed, they are ready to be cooked along with the other ingredients in the electric pressure cooker. So let’s move on to the next step in our recipe: sautéing the onions and garlic.


Step 2: Sauté the Onions and Garlic

After soaking the beans, it’s time to infuse some delicious flavors into our ham and beans dish by sautéing onions and garlic. This step will add depth and aroma to the recipe. Follow these steps to sauté the onions and garlic:

  1. Place your electric pressure cooker on the sauté setting and heat it up.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and let it heat up for a minute.
  3. Add the diced onions to the pot and sauté them until they become translucent and slightly golden, stirring occasionally. This will take around 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for an additional minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic.
  5. Once the onion and garlic mixture is fragrant and nicely cooked, turn off the sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker.

The combination of sautéed onions and garlic creates a flavorful base for our ham and beans dish. The onions add a subtle sweetness, while the garlic adds a rich and savory element. Sautéing them prior to pressure cooking releases their natural oils and flavors, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

With the onions and garlic sautéed to perfection, it’s time to move on to the next step: adding the ham and beans to the pot.


Step 3: Add the Ham and Beans

Now that the onions and garlic are sautéed, it’s time to add the star ingredients of our ham and beans dish – the ham and beans themselves. Follow these steps to add them to the pot:

  1. Add the diced ham to the electric pressure cooker pot.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and then add them to the pot as well.
  3. Gently stir the ham and beans to combine them with the sautéed onions and garlic.

The diced ham adds a rich and smoky flavor to the dish, creating a perfect pairing with the beans. As the dish cooks under pressure, the ham imparts its delicious essence into the beans, resulting in a hearty and satisfying meal.

With the ham and beans added to the pot, we’re ready to move on to the next step: adding the liquid and seasonings.


Step 4: Add the Liquid and Seasonings

Now that the ham and beans are in the pot, it’s time to add the liquid and seasonings to enhance the flavor. Follow these steps to achieve a deliciously seasoned ham and beans dish:

  1. Pour 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth into the pot. The broth will provide a flavorful base for the dish and help to cook the beans and ham.
  2. Add 1 bay leaf, which will infuse the dish with a subtle and aromatic flavor.
  3. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika. These herbs and spices will add depth and complexity to the dish, complementing the smoky flavor of the ham.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your preference.
  5. Gently stir the ingredients to ensure that the liquid and seasonings are evenly distributed.

The combination of the flavorful broth, aromatic bay leaf, and the well-balanced mix of dried thyme and smoked paprika will create a tantalizing aroma that will fill your kitchen as the dish cooks under pressure. The salt and pepper will enhance the flavors of the dish, bringing out the deliciousness of the ham, beans, and other ingredients.

With the liquid and seasonings added, we’re ready to move on to the next step: cooking the ham and beans in the electric pressure cooker.


Step 5: Cook in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Now that the ingredients are prepared and seasoned, it’s time to cook the ham and beans in the electric pressure cooker. Follow these steps to ensure a perfectly cooked and flavorful dish:

  1. Securely close the lid of your electric pressure cooker, ensuring that the sealing ring is properly in place.
  2. Select the pressure cooking setting on your device and set the cooking time according to the type of beans you’re using. Typically, cooking dried beans in an electric pressure cooker takes around 25 to 30 minutes on high pressure.
  3. Start the cooking process by pressing the appropriate button on your electric pressure cooker.
  4. Once the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 to 15 minutes. This natural release helps to further tenderize the beans and allows the flavors to meld together.

During the cooking process, the electric pressure cooker builds up steam and raises the internal pressure, allowing the beans and ham to cook quickly and evenly. The high pressure helps to break down the tough fibers of the beans, resulting in tender and creamy textures.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cooking times and pressure release methods specific to your electric pressure cooker model. This will ensure that the dish is cooked safely and optimally.

Now that the ham and beans have cooked to perfection, we’re ready to move on to the next step: releasing the pressure from the electric pressure cooker.


Step 6: Natural Release or Quick Release

After the ham and beans have finished cooking in the electric pressure cooker, you have two options for releasing the pressure: natural release or quick release. Depending on your preference and time constraints, you can choose the method that works best for you.

Natural Release: This method allows the pressure inside the electric pressure cooker to decrease gradually on its own. To do a natural release, simply turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker sit undisturbed for about 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, the pressure will naturally release, and any remaining steam will escape through the vent. Once the pressure indicator drops and it’s safe to open the lid, carefully unlock and remove it.

Quick Release: If you’re short on time or eager to dig into your delicious ham and beans, you can opt for a quick release. To perform a quick release, carefully move the pressure release valve from the sealed position to the venting position using a long spoon or a towel to protect your hand from the escaping steam. Be cautious as the steam is hot, and it can cause burns. Once the pressure indicator drops, indicating that the pressure has released, it’s safe to open the lid.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to follow the safety precautions outlined in your electric pressure cooker’s manual. This ensures that you release the pressure safely and avoid any accidental injuries from the hot steam.

With the pressure released, we’re ready for the final step: serving and enjoying our delectable ham and beans.


Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Congratulations! The ham and beans are now ready to be served and enjoyed. Follow these steps to complete your meal:

  1. Carefully open the lid of the electric pressure cooker and give the ham and beans a gentle stir to incorporate any flavors that may have settled.
  2. Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard it.
  3. Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt and pepper according to your preference.
  4. Ladle the ham and beans into serving bowls or plates.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs like chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired, to add a pop of color and freshness.
  6. Serve the ham and beans with your choice of accompaniments, such as crusty bread, rice, or cornbread.

As you take your first bite, savor the comforting flavors and tender textures. The combination of the smoky ham, creamy beans, and aromatic seasonings will create a truly satisfying meal. The dish pairs well with a side salad or some steamed vegetables to balance the richness.

Leftovers can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. This hearty dish tends to taste even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld together. You can also freeze the leftovers in freezer-safe containers for longer storage.

Now that you have mastered the art of making ham and beans in an electric pressure cooker, feel free to experiment with different variations. Add your favorite vegetables, experiment with different types of beans or seasoning blends, and make the recipe uniquely yours.

Enjoy your homemade ham and beans, and impress your loved ones with this comforting and flavorful dish!

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