How to Cook Pinto Beans

I was wondering if anyone knows how to cook pinto beans? Also, is it best to try frozen or canned beans first or step up to dry beans immediately?

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Jul 28, 2020
Rocks in the bag of pinto beans
by: Anonymous

I have been cooking pinto beans for over 60 years. I have never found a rock in my bag of beans. There is, however, a black ball that looks like a rock. If you put it in water it will dissolve. It is dirt.

Apr 25, 2017
Tex-Mex Pintos
by: Jack Bolden


2 cups pinto beans - sort out any debris and shriveled or split beans.

Rinse 2 times in clear cold water. Cover them with 2 inches of clear water in a large pot with a lid. Bring them to a rolling boil and continue for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for 1 hour.

Drain off the water and rinse again. Cover the beans with an inch of clear water and put on stove over medium heat.

Add the following as the beans and water are heating up.

1 small onion, peeled. (add whole onion)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled. (add whole cloves)
4 red chili pods stemmed and seeded.
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
2 level tbsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Bring beans and the above to a slow simmer and cook covered until tender (check and stir the pot every half hour). When the beans are tender remove the chili pods and garlic cloves, discard the onion. Cut the chili pods open and scrape off the flesh. Finely mince the chili flesh with the garlic cloves and return the paste to the pot. Give it a quick stir and serve or refrigerate for later use.

Recipe can be doubled.

Feb 26, 2014
My way of cooking pinto beans
by: odawajoe

Here is my wonderful way of cooking pinto beans. First here are the recipe ingredients that you will need to make a wonderful and tasty pot of good beans:

2 cups rinsed pinto beans
10 cups water
4 cut slices of bacon
minced garlic to taste (about 4 tbsp)

Cooking Instructions:

Bring ingredients to rolling boil. Lower temperature to a simmer and allow pinto to simmer for about 3 hours. Then add in some salt and pepper to taste.

Remove pot from heat source and allow to sit and cool on another burner for 1 hour, with lid still covering pot.

That's it. Your beans are now done.

For an added treat, now I get some fresh tortillas and I mash some beans with a fork add a slice of cheddar cheese put on a little hot sauce and roll it up into a burrito. Then I put a little Ketchup before each bite and it's really good comfort food.

May 31, 2012
Spicy garlicy pinto beans
by: Anonymous

Pick the rocks out of the beans. Rinse well and soak overnight. Rinse again and cover with cold water. Add 2 strips of bacon, a tablespoon of oregano, 4 garlic cloves (minced), a couple of dried red chili peppers, and salt. Cover and simmer for 2 to 4 hours. When the beans are soft, turn off the heat. Blend a cup or two of the beans, peppers and bacon, then return the blended beans to the pot and stir. Mmmm!

Mar 26, 2012
How to cook pinto beans the old school way
by: MountainGirl

Here's how I cook soup beans and corn bread. This is the way my pioneer ancestors made them and how I still make them today.

First look over the beans and discard any shriveled beans, half-beans and especially stones. Wash them in cold water.

You can soak them over night - or not - but if you soak them there is no need to cast off the water.

Place the beans in a large kettle and cover with fresh cold water. Add a good piece of pork to them at this stage. If you don't have a piece of pork then add bacon grease. The soup beans will taste much better if you add pork or bacon grease or both.

Bring to a rolling boil and turn down to simmer for a couple hours. Keep checking on them - stir them once in a while - you don't want them to scorch. Add boiling water to them as necessary. You'll know they're done when you take one out and eat it. If it's soft then you're golden.

Corn Bread - this recipe will make a small "pone"

1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup corn meal
1 egg
1 tablespoon baking powder. You may have to adjust this amount depending on how strong the flour is you're using.
1 cup milk - approx.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, add the egg and milk and mix well. The consistency of the batter should be sort of like cake batter.

Place a good blob of butter in a cast iron skillet and pre-heat in a 400 degree oven. When the skillet is hot, pour the batter in and spoon some of the butter on the top.

Bake 20 minutes.

Bread is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Soup beans and corn bread are good with fresh sliced onion on the side and some type of cooked greens.


Oct 19, 2011
How I cook Pinto Beans Soup
by: Appalachian Man

Don't worry about soaking the pinto beans, which here in the mountains we call "soup" beans. Just sort them and rinse them, watching for any small rocks that might be in them.

Then, put them in a bowl or kettle; cast iron is best but not necessary. Fill with water that is at least 3-4 inches above the beans. Put on the stove on high.

Once water starts boiling, add salt (I usually add a tablespoon or two) and oil of any type to the boiling water (vegetable oil, olive oil, grease, etc). Reduce heat to medium heat and cover.

I cook them about three hours over low-medium to medium heat and might add HOT water a couple of times to the beans. (DO NOT ADD COLD WATER since it may make the beans burst). Just add HOT water (hot water from the faucet is fine).

After they have cooked for an hour or so, I slice and/or dice onions and add them to the beans. I also add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar since I like the sweet taste it gives the beans.

Most people like to add some type of pork to the beans; salt bacon, bacon slices or a similar type of pork. All these additions are optional however.

They should be ready to eat after a couple to three hours of boiling over medium to medium-high heat.

Eat with sauerkraut or mustard greens on the side and with cornbread crumbled up in the beans. It really depends on your taste.

It is really difficult to mess up on fixing soup beans, other than burning them, so experiment, add what you want but just don't let them burn. Stir them occasionally. After eating, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week or so.

Aug 25, 2011
For a different experience
by: Anotheronymous

As the others said, soak over night in water. Drain the next day and add beef broth, large onion (sliced), garlic, salt/pepper and even a bit of chili powder (for heat). Then substitute hamburger or turkey meat (pre-cooked and drained of any grease) for the ham. Cook at least two hours on low to medium low replacing the level of liquid with more beef broth as it boils down.

Sep 25, 2010
Cooking Pinto Beans
by: Johnnie

Whatever you do, be sure to soak your pinto beans overnight. Just before cooking them, pour off the soaking water, rinse the beans and cover with fresh water. Cook the pinto beans until they begin to tender, then add your favorite seasonings.

May 05, 2010
Cooking Crock Pot Pinto Beans
by: Anonymous

I do not use a crock pot.

I've been cooking pinto beans for over 55 years, long before crock pots were invented.

There are two methods I use depending on how big of a hurry you are to dig in.

The slow (and best) method is to soak them overnight in enough water to cover plus about two inches. I add salt to the water which makes them tender up. A smoked ham hock is added as well as garlic (crushed) when you cook them the next day. Check the water level to make sure they are covered. Bring to a slow boil for about 15 minutes and then reduce to a until tender. Keep tasting and adjust seasoning until they are to your liking. Always check to make sure the water is covering the beans. This soup is the tastiest thing you can imagine...especially with cornbread.

Don't forget the ham hock.. cut off the skin and fat (I like the Fat) and add it to your plate of beans.

The fast method is to boil the beans for about 20 minutes ...take off the stove until luke warm ..put them back on to simmer until done..about 2 1/2 hours.

Mar 01, 2010
The Best Way to Cook Pinto Beans
by: Jharvey

1. Soak the pinto beans overnight.

2. Rinse and discard the bad beans.

3. Place in Crock Pot and add 32 oz of chicken stock.

4. Add your favorite smoked meat (I used ham shanks)

5. Seasoning salt to your liking (not to much)

6. Black pepper, garlic, bay leaf

7. Whole onion, smashed fresh garlic

Let simmer for a couple hours, until they reach tenderness.

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