Pressure cooker, Time Lapse Video, Weeknight dinner
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Pressure Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili

Pressure Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

Pressure Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

As far as I’m concerned, Halloween starts chili season. My mom made a bowl of chili every year, which we would ignore – there was candy to eat! Now that I’m older3, I look forward to the chili as much as the candy.

This is the chili of my youth. Ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and chili powder. 4 I’ve updated my recipe for modern tastes – heavy on the chili powder and other spices – but the big change is using the pressure cooker. It lets me cook the chili with dried kidney beans, adding more flavor than the canned beans of my youth.

Kidney beans are tricky in the pressure cooker. They are one of the few beans that I make sure to soak overnight before cooking – unsoaked kidney beans always take forever to cook. And, why not take advantage of the soaking time to brine the beans?

Here it is, my favorite chili for Halloween. Or a rainy fall weeknight. Or, really, whenever I want a taste of my youth.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili


Video: Pressure Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili – Time Lapse []



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Pressure Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 pounds ground beef (Preferably 85% lean ground round or 80% lean ground chuck)
  • 1 cup beer (or water)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade) or water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt


  1. Soak the beans: Sort and rinse the kidney beans, then cover with 2 quarts water and add the salt. Soak the beans overnight (or at least 8 hours) at room temperature. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Saute the aromatics: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pressure cooker. Saute the onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Toast the spices and cook the beef: Make a hole in the center of the onion mix and add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and cloves. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir into the onions. Add the ground beef, stir to coat with the onions and spices, then add the beer. Cook, stirring often, until the beef just loses its pink color, about 3 minutes.
  4. Cook the chili: Stir the kidney beans, chicken stock, and crushed tomatoes into the pot. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring up to high pressure. Reduce the heat to maintain the pressure, and cook at high pressure for 12 minutes in a stove top cooker, 15 minutes in an electric cooker. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  5. Season and serve: Stir in the black pepper, then taste and add salt if needed. (I usually add another teaspoon of kosher salt.)






  • I make this chili to be kid-friendly – but it doesn’t have much heat. I serve with a collection of hot sauces on the side. (Or pickled jalapenos, as you see in the picture.)
  • No pressure cooker? No worries. Use a dutch oven with a lid, and double the chicken stock (or water). Follow the instructions until “lock the lid”. Then, bring the pot of chili to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer until the beans are tender, about 90 minutes. Continue with the Season and serve step.
  • Forgot to soak? Increase the chicken stock to 4 cups and cook the beans at high pressure for 35 minutes (45 minutes electric PC). Now, that’s just an estimate – unsoaked kidney beans have a wide range of cooking times in the PC. Check the beans after the natural pressure release, and if any are still tough, lock the lid and cook for another five to ten minutes, depending on how done they seem. (Soaking evens out the cooking time; that’s why I recommend soaking kidney beans, as opposed to, say, black beans, which do fine unsoaked.)

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Texas Red Chili
Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili
Pressure Cooker Turkey Chili with Chorizo and Pinto Beans

My other Pressure Cooker Recipes


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  1. Aaron Friedman says

    I was just curious, where did you come up with the ratio for the brine? Cooks Illustrated and Serious Eats have a much higher salt content.

  2. Kelley says

    My whole family enjoyed this tonight. Before dinner my girls were complaining that I was making chili but after trying it they asked for seconds. I appreciated that it had great chili flavor without being too spicy so even my kids would enjoy it. My husband added spice to his and was happy.

    I’ve made several of your IP bean soup recipes and all have been a hit. Thanks for posting such great recipes!

  3. Sandy says

    You mention cooking kidney beans not soaked…but you didn’t mention they must still be drained and rinsed due to the toxic gas they release.

  4. Katie says

    Big Tent Chili is where it’s at!

    If I want to cut the meat to one pound, do you suggest any other changes? I’m comfortable winging it on the stove, but never know what’s ok in the pressure cooker and what will ruin everything. Thanks!

  5. Bill Shoemaker says

    Hey Mike,

    I, too, believe in the “big chili tent.” I’m about use your recipe – except I have soaked black beans – and who knows what else may happen as I work through the steps.

    But the real purpose of this note is to THANK YOU for your blog. When I decided to make chili today (and no, it’s not Halloween yet) you were the first person I thought of for a reliable recipe. That’s some praise so you can blush and say aw shucks.

    After I get it made, I won’t get to put it in the fridge overnight so it can improve with age. What do you think about switching to slow cooker mode on the IP and let it meld that way?

    Thanks again . . .

  6. Sharon says

    Can’t wait to try this. Thanks. I’m a little surprised that you use chicken stock instead of beef stock. To be healthier?

    • I use chicken stock because I always have it in my freezer. Chicken stock is cheaper, easier, and the taste is just about the same. If I have beef stock I’ll use it.

  7. Kara says

    Thanks for this recipe. I hit Google looking for a pressure cooker chili recipe with beef and beans to help me adapt my stove top standard, and your recipe was perfect for that. I adjusted the seasonings, switched to pinto beans, and chopped instead of ground the meat, but your template helped me do the conversion with the proper ratios and timing. I appreciate your blog very much!

  8. Wes says

    Great recipe Mike. I just got an Instant Pot and have tried out a few of your recipes so far with success. I started my chili with some finely diced guanciale on low heat to render out the fat which I then sauteed the veg in and continued with your recipe. Pancetta or regular bacon would work great as well. It helped to build flavour and add some lubricating fat as I was working with extra lean ground beef. One question though – after a 15 minute cook at high pressure I waited 32 minutes for the pressure to come down and the valve still hadn’t dropped. I opted for a manual release at that point and the steam still sprayed out for a good two minutes so there was still a lot of pressure in there. Should I still wait until the pressure comes down on its own or does that risk over cooking things based on your times? Should I just do a 15 minute quick release? I know that electric PCs can take longer to come down because of the electric element and how they are insulated. Cheers!

    • I let the pressure come down naturally if I have time; if not, I let it go for 15 to 20 minutes then quick release whatever’s left in the pot. As long as you give it 15 minutes of natural pressure release, the recipe should be cooked enough; it’s tough to overcook, so letting it go longer with the natural pressure release doesn’t hurt. (I updated the recipe – 20 minutes is more realistic for a minimum natural pressure release.)

    • Soaking the beans, and cooking longer than I normally would (15 min vs 10 min) seems to take care of any problems.

  9. liberty53 says

    How watery is this supposed to be when done? Mine came out with 1/4 of liquid on the top of the chili when I finished and the beans seemed to be a little too tough so I pressure cooked for another 20 minutes. Still a lot of liquid after that. I reduced on saute to boil off some of the liquid. I’m using an instant pot btw.


    • It sounds like you got a bad batch of beans? After an overnight soak, kidney beans shouldn’t take 35 minutes to cook – that’s about how long they take unsoaked. I’ve heard that beans that sit in the store for a year or so get tough and won’t cook through, no matter how long you wait.
      As for the liquid – because there is no evaproation in the pressure cooker, it is a little on the watery side, but it shouldn’t have that much water left. (Again, a bad batch of beans?)

  10. Donnie says

    I used this recipe twice now (added a couple extra things myself) and it turned out fantastic! Thank you, this really is a solid recipe, the wife loved it! And she’s picky when it comes to chili.

    • You’re welcome. And, I’m glad you added a couple extra things – it’s not really chili until you’re improvising.

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