Ham Hocks and Black Eyed Peas – in Pressure Cooker

Ham Hocks and Black Eyed Peas are a New Year's Day tradition in the Southern US. Easy pressure cooker instructions.


  • 1 pound dry black eyed peas frozen or canned may also be used
  • 1 Medium chopped onions save the peel!
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-4 1/2 pound ham hocks shanks or ham bone with some meat still on it may also be used
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper optional
  • 1 cup chopped celery optional


  1. Soak dried black eyed peas overnight per package directions (or follow package directions for quick soak). Drain and rinse.

    The no soak method: you can cook dry beans in the pressure cooker if you want to skip the soaking stage. Read the important note in step 6. 

  2. If using canned, drain and rinse.
  3. If using frozen, leave on counter to come to room temperature or step 4 will take longer to come to pressure.
  4. Put ham bones, onion peel and bay leaves in a pressure cooker with 6 cups of water. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and let steam release naturally (20-30 minutes).
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove ham bones, leaves and peel from liquid. Discard leaves and peel. Set bones aside to cool. 

  6. Add remaining ingredients to pressure cooker. Bring back to high pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Do a quick release of the steam. If beans are not as soft as you'd like, add some more water and finishing cooking on high heat.

    NO SOAK METHOD: If you did not presoak the dried beans, turn the cooker off and wait another 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. 

  7. Remove meat from bones and chop, add to beans and serve with cornbread.

Recipe Notes

NOTE! Pressure cooking times are not exact. Variations can be expected because of altitude, type of pressure cooker used, starting temperature of ingredients, etc.