The traditional method for cooking dried beans involves soaking the beans overnight, draining them and either simmering the beans on the stove top or baking them in the oven. If you need to quickly transform your dry turtle beans into a cooked side dish or main meal ingredient, use the quick-soak method to prepare the beans for cooking, then simmer or bake them as usual. You can also use a pressure cooker, which is the fastest cooking method for dry beans, allowing you to cook turtle beans in as little as five minutes, compared to the one to two hours it takes to simmer or bake them.
Pick through dry beans and remove pieces of grit or debris.
Place the beans in a stock pot with 6 to 8 cups water.
Turn the burner to high and bring the water to a boil.
Remove the pot from the burner after the water has boiled for two minutes.
Place the lid over the pot and leave the beans to soak for one hour.
Drain and rinse beans before cooking.
- 1 lb. black turtle beans
- Pressure cooker
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- Salt and seasonings
To speed up the process further, run the pressure cooker under cold water after cooking the beans. The cold tap water will cause the cooker to release pressure, enabling you to open the lid sooner and serve the beans.
It is also possible to perform a quick-soak method in the pressure cooker, but it increases the chances of the beans separating from their skins, and you still need to soak the beans for one hour before draining and cooking.
The long-soak method and gentle simmering techniques retain more nutrients and flavor than faster, high-temperature soaking and cooking methods. Simmering allows you to check the bean's tenderness during the cooking process, which isn't possible with pressure cooking.
Place rinsed, drained beans in the pressure cooker pan and cover them with water so that beans are submerged by 1 inch of water. If the beans and water fill more than half of the pan, remove some beans for a later use.
Add salt, seasonings and about 1 tsp vegetable oil, which reduces foaming.
Cover the pot and follow manufacturer's directions to set the cooker to medium pressure, or about 15 pounds of pressure.
Put the pressure cooker on your stove's burner and set the stove to medium high.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes after the pressure reaches 15 pounds. Small beans such as turtle beans take less time to cook than larger dry bean varieties.
Remove the cover from the beans when all of the steam has dissipated, according to the pressure cooker manufacturer's instructions.
Things You'll Need
Ellen Douglas has written on food, gardening, education and the arts since 1992. Douglas has worked as a staff reporter for the Lakeville Journal newspaper group. Previously, she served as a communication specialist in the nonprofit field. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut.