How To Cook Southern Pinto Beans

I get asked how to cook Pinto beans all of the time.

I guess one of the reasons for that is because we use Pinto beans in a lot of our recipes. They are great for soups, stews, chili and even dips. Not to mention that they are great all by themselves, served as a side dish.

I will cover the basic stovetop method with the following Pinto bean recipe here.

2 Lbs Pinto Beans, Dried
1/8 Lb Salt Pork
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 Tbs Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbs Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbs Janes Krazy Mixed Up Salt
1 Tbs Lawry’s Garlic Salt
1 Tbs Oregano, Dried
1 Tbs Beef Bouillon

  • Sort beans according to package directions. Remove the broken and discolored beans.
  • Wash thoroughly. Cover in cool water and lift them out of the water into the stockpot. You may need to do this two or three times to remove all of the dirt, depending on your region of the country.
  • Cover with water and soak overnight, or do the ‘quick soak’ method. The quick soak method is when you put the beans into the stockpot and cover with at least 3 inches of water over the top level of the beans. Bring the pot to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. Let this stand for 1 hour.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • If you want the liquid thickened, tilt the lid during the last hour of cooking.

Servings: 10

Cooking Tips For Southern Pinto Beans

For a healthier alternative, substitute 4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the salt pork. It’s not Southern, but it is still very tasty. Pinto Beans are the backbone of many of our soup, chili and stew recipes. We always cook a large batch and freeze the leftovers to be used in many recipes.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 serving
Percent daily values based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving
Calories   178.65
Calories From Fat (28%)   49.69
% Daily Value
Total Fat 5.57g   9%
Saturated Fat 1.88g   9%
Cholesterol 5.08mg   2%
Sodium 686.36mg   29%
Potassium 427.80mg   12%
Carbohydrates 24.67g   8%
Dietary Fiber 8.68g   35%
Sugar 0.11g
Sugar Alcohols 0.00g
Net Carbohydrates 15.99g
Protein 8.66g   17%
MyPoints 3.2

The next method of cooking Pinto beans is for using a Crockpot.

  • Always pre-soak using the method of your choice from the directions listed above. Make sure you have the 3 inches of water to cover the beans.
  • Taste and adjust by adding more of the spices during the last hour of cooking since slow cooking tends to deplete the flavor of your spices.
  • Use the high or low settings that work best for your schedule. If using low, cook for 10 to 12 hours. If using high, cook for 6 to 7 hours.

Lets look at the pressure cooking method.

This one depends on the type of pressure cooker you will be using. If your pressure cooker is the stovetop style, you will need to pre-soak overnight – no exceptions. Dried beans will foam when they are cooked in a stovetop pressure cooker, so soak overnight, drain and use fresh water. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 45 minutes.

Digital pressure cookers are a little more user friendly. I use the Wolfgang Puck digital pressure cooker and it does not require pre-soaking at all. Yeah, I feel the digital pressure cooker envy, lol. Just throw all of the ingredients in there, make sure you have about 4 inches of water above the beans, use the meat setting and let ‘er rock and roll for 1 hour. However, that is the only one I have, so if you have a different brand, please check your manual for instructions for dried beans and go by that.

No matter what type of pressure cooker you use, let the pressure drop of its own accord, do not release the pressure by hand.

Pinto beans are not only versatile, but very good for you. Pinto beans are among the most nutritious of all of the plant foods. They are high in protein, B-complex vitamins, iron, potassium and other minerals. They also provide large amounts of fiber, including the soluble type, which are important in controlling blood cholesterol levels.

Well, I think I have covered all of the different methods on how to cook Southern Pinto beans, but if you think of another one let me know.

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