How to Cook Dried Chickpeas and Chickpea Stock in the Instant Pot
During the time the Instant pot takes to do it’s job with the chickpeas, you can make the sauce for it and the rest of the dishes for your meal.
Cooking dried chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) stovetop is more controllable for the the time needed, but the Instant pot is more convenient. You don’t need that extra burner while making dinner and no need to watch the pot for boiling once you’ve set the the pressure cooking. In this Instant Pot method we will use the natural release mode as opposed to the quick release. The overall time needed for stovetop and the Instant pot is about the same. For the stovetop method see Cooking Dried Chickpeas & the Resulting Chickpea Stock.
Instant Pot Method for Dried Chickpeas in a Nutshell:
- Sort: Check for and discard any no-bean particles.
- Rinse: Rinse under cold tap water
- Soak: Soak in filtered tap water for 8–24 hours
- Skim the Foam: Place in Instant pot with clean filtered water, set on Sautee mode and skim foam as it surfaces.
- Cook: Place chickpeas in Instant pot with water and set to High Pressure for 8–12 minutes
- Natural Release: Allow pressure to naturally release, usually about 25–30 minutes
- Test: Taste for firmness, drain from stock (see below for what to do if undercooked or overcooked)
Soaking Dried Chickpeas (yes, even when using the Instant pot)
Whether using the stovetop or the Instant pot soaking for 8–24 hours will give the best and most consistent beans tender all the way through. I also find, as have many, that the soaking helps for better digestion and I understand better absorption of nutrients. The taste of the water will be infused into the beans. If your tap water has an off taste or is questionable, use filtered tap water for the soaking. Before soaking, sort through the chickpeas for any non-bean particles. They are easy to spot with chickpeas.
Instant Pot Size and Amount of Chickpeas to Cook
For this set of instructions I’m using a 6 quart (5.7 Litres) Instant Pot and cooking 1 pound (450 grams) which is about the maximum for a 6 quart pot. For larger quantities of beans, consider the 8 quart Instant Pot. In general, the number of quarts of a cooking vessel like the Instant Pot or a Dutch oven is the approximate number of servings it will make comfortably.
Optional Use of the Instant Pot Steamer Basket Insert
The Instant Pot steamer basket insert comes in real handy and makes it easier to drain. I use the basket from the first rinse of the beans to the final drain from the chickpea stock left in the pot. This will add a bit more time to the Natural Release as you will need to add more water to the pot to cover the chickpeas adequately (The more water there is, the more natural release time).
Note: when using the insert basket, small amount of the foam may get trapped in the pot, making it not easy to skim (see next paragraph)
Skim the Foam(Yes, even when using the Instant pot)
Skimming the foam from boiling chickpeas also aids in better digestion. I never skip this step with chickpeas whether using the stovetop method or the Instant pot method described here. Once the chickpeas have been drained from the soaking water, they are ready to jump in the Instant pot along with plenty of water to cover. For consistency, I always fill up to the 1/2 mark of the pot (or at least 1 in/ 2cm above the beans when using the steamer insert, see above paragraph). But before setting to High Pressure we will skim the foam that is released when the are boiled in water.
To skim the foam before cooking the beans using the Instant pot, select sauté mode and set for 25 min (it will likely take less time especially if you add boiling water instead of room temp water.) When the water and chickpeas start to come to a boil, the chickpeas will release a bubbly foam. You will want to remove the foam by skimming it with a strainer and discarding it. This step (skim, then allow to boil again) will need to be repeated two or tree times and takes about 10 minutes.
High Pressure and Natural Release
The time to set for High Pressure cooking will vary to some degree by the chickpea brand and age. I try to buy about 4 pounds (2kg) at a time. Generally with a soaking period of 8 hours or so, 12–15 minutes is the range for high pressure time and a 16–24 hour soaking period, 8–12 minutes is the range. Natural release takes about 25–30 minutes and during this time the water continues to cook the beans. I never use quick release because of the moisture that gathers on the ceiling and seeps into cabinets and it can jam the release valve. It does add a little extra time, but so it goes. Overall time from the skimming the foam on Sauté to finishing with natural release is about 1–1.25 hours.
How to Rescue Undercooked or Overcooked Chickpeas
It’s better to underestimate the cook time than overestimate the time for cooking on High Pressure. Still you can improve the texture either way. Once the lock pin goes down and it is safe to remove the lid, stir the beans and taste at least 3 beans to determine if perfect or undercooked or overcooked.
How to Improve Undercooked (too firm) Chickpeas
Undercooked chickpeas is an easy fix. Setting to High Pressure is too unpredictable and usually results in way overcooked chickpeas. Instead, set the Instant pot to the Sautee mode for 20 minutes. It will start to boil again. You can start testing the beans again in a few minutes. Continue to boil on Sautee mode until the firmness you like is achieved. Add more water as needed to keep the beans well covered. The liquid reduces fast on Sautee mode. If 20 minutes wasn’t enough add more Sautee time.
How to Fix Overcooked (too Soft) Chickpeas
Drain the overcooked chickpeas from the cooking liquid and place in a bowl with cold water. Stir the bean and when the water is warm again drain the water and add back cold water to the bowl with the chickpeas and let rest for a few minutes, then drain again. This stops the cooking and helps to firm up the beans as long as they are not too overcooked.
The Amazing Chickpea Stock
The chickpea stock that comes from cooking the chickpeas has so many uses. It is amazingly versatile. Chickpea stock can be used in place of oil for sautéing which is a big gift in this oil-free kitchen. It can also be used to deglaze a pan to lift the flavorful bits. Chickpea stock can be used as the liquid for soup in place of water or store bough stock, stews and sauces, even salad dressings. If you continue to simmer the liquid after the chickpeas have been removed, it gets thicker and thicker, great for developing sauces and whipping up like egg whites.
Storing Cooked Chickpeas and Chickpea Stock
Glass jars are a good choice for storing in the refrigerator for both the cooked chickpeas and the chickpea stock. The cooked chickpeas can be refrigerated for up to four days. Chickpea stock can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days in the refrigerator and in the freezer for about three months in freezer-safe container(s). There are some glass containers that are freezer-safe.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- Instant stainless steel pot to soak the chickpeas
- Instant pot steam basket or colander
- Instant Pot
- Instant Pot steamer basket or strainer or large slotted serving spoon to drain the chickpeas
- strainer to skim foam
- storing containers
- 1 lb dried chickpeas also called garbanzo beans
- 8 cups or so of filtered water for soaking
- 8 cups filtered water for cooking more if needed to cover if using the steamer basket insert
- Sort the Chickpeas—Check for non-bean particles1 lb dried chickpeas also called garbanzo beans
- Rinse the Chickpeas
- Place in the Instant Pot (Stainless steel) with filtered water and soak for 8–24 hours8 cups or so of filtered water for soaking
- Drain the beans in the colander (or from the Instant pot steamer basket if using) then rinse.
- Put the chickpeas back in the stainless steel Instant Pot and add enough water to cover chickpeas at least 1in / 2cm above the beans, about 8 cups or more. Do not use the lid!!8 cups filtered water for cooking
- Select the Sautee mode and set to 25 minutes. As the chickpeas start to boil about 10 minutes after starting, start skimming the foam as it surfaces with a strainer. Hit the cancel when no more foam surfaces.
- Select High Pressure and set to 10 minutes and let go to natural release which takes about 25 more minutes ore 30 more minutes if using the steamer basket
- Test the chickpeas: once the lock pin goes down and it is safe to open the lid, stir the chickpeas and taste at least 3 to determine if they are to your liking for firmness.
- See above for more about what to do if they are undercooked or overcooked.If undercooked, leave in the pot and select sautee for 10–20 minutes and test every 5 min un til they are to your likingIf overcooked, remove and drain from stock and run cold water over the beans an/or set in a bowl with cold water,for a few minutes, then drain
- Let the remaining chickpea stock cool before storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Date your storing containers and store and/or use in your dish.