How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Crock Pot
Cooking Pinto Beans in Your Crock Pot
There's nothing better on a cold, snowy (or, rainy) day than the smell of a pot of beans cooking! And, of course, eating them! They are a hot and filling comfort food.
Of course, you should cook beans any time of the year because they are nutritious and have lots of fiber. It's a good idea to keep cooked beans on hand for quick use in many different recipes. Dried beans, cooked at home, taste so much better than those bought in a can.
I love to put pinto beans in my crock pot in the morning and let them cook all day. Not only do they smell good, they help warm your house. Double benefits!
If you're working, you can put them in before leaving in the morning, and come home to hot beans for dinner.
Whether they're in your crock pot or on your stove, in my opinion, pinto beans are best when cooked for several hours or, even better, all day. You can apply this recipe to any type of dried bean.
I have pinto beans in my crock pot as I write this, and boy, they sure do smell good! And, an extra bonus is that the beans cooking are adding moisture to the air and causing my kitchen to be warm and cozy!
Now, let me find a good book to read while my beans are cooking!
A Healthy Choice!
Pinto Beans are High in Fiber and Fat Free.
Recipe for Cooking Pinto Beans in Your Crock Pot
What could be easier than putting beans in a crock pot and letting them cook all day? They'll be ready to eat when you get home from a hard day at work. Mmm, they make the house smell so good, too! Plus, you can use the left-over beans another day.
Prep Time: 30 minutes + soaking time
Total Time: 6 - 8 hours
Serves: 4 - 6
- 1 pound bag of Pinto Beans
- 6 - 8 cups water for cooking
- Ham and/or other seasonings such as bacon, fatback, butter, margarine, Optional
- 1 teaspoon salt - added during last hour of cooking, Optional
- Pick through your beans and discard any small rocks or bad beans.
- Rinse beans well in cold water.
- Cover with water and let soak overnight or use quick soak method shown below.
- Rinse beans again after soaking period.
- Pour beans into crock pot and add 6 - 8 cups of water. Enough to cover plus about 1 inch above. I recommend using hot water to speed up the cooking process a little.
- Add any seasonings desired. (diced ham, butter, margarine, bacon, or fatback)
- Turn crock pot to high, and cook all day. (at least 6 - 8 hours)
- Add salt during last hour of cooking (if possible)
- Serve and enjoy!
About Crock Pots
When using this recipe, please remember that crock pots differ. Some cook hotter, or not as hot, than others; therefore times and temperatures may need to be adjusted. When cooking any new recipe, it is always wise to keep check, until you know how it goes.
Easy as 1-2-3
Step #1: Clean Your Pinto Beans
Sort & Rinse
I use a one pound bag, but you can cook at least 2 pounds at one time in your crock pot (you'll need more water).
- Sort: Dried pinto beans need to be sorted before cooking to remove any little rocks or bad beans not found with the factory cleaning equipment.
- Rinse: They also need to be washed because they are rather dirty. I usually sort mine into a bowl, add some cold water and stir them around good. Then I pour that into a colander and rinse well again with my sink sprayer. I repeat this at least twice or more.
Step #2: Soak Beans
Overnight or Quick Soak
There are two methods of soaking your beans. Overnight or quick soak. Quick soak will work if you forget to put them in to soak the night before. But the quick soak gives the beans more time to swell and is preferable. Also, they can be soaking while you sleep and ready to put in the crock pot the following morning. If you do a quick soak, it takes time to boil and then an hour of soaking before you can start cooking them.
- Overnight Soak: Rinse and sort 1lb. of pinto beans. Place in large pot. Add enough COLD water to cover beans by 2 inches. (About 8 cups) Let stand overnight or at least 6 to 8 hours. Drain soak water and rinse beans. Continue to Step #3.
- Quick Soak: Rinse and sort 1lb. of pinto beans. Place in large pot. Add about 8 cups of HOT water. Bring to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse. Continue to Step #3.
These Pinto Beans Have Been Sorted, Rinsed, Soaked and Are Ready to Cook All Day in My Crock Pot
Step #3: Cooking Directions for Crock Pot
Cook All Day
Place drained and rinsed pinto beans into a crock pot. Add about 6 - 8 cups of hot water to cover beans. Add seasonings (except salt) and a ham hock or diced ham. If you don't have any ham, just use 2 - 3 Tablespoons of butter or margarine. Set on High temperature and let cook 6 to 8 hours, or all day. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) about 1 hour or less before finished cooking.
Note: You may want to try this for the first time when you are going to be at home, to make sure the water doesn't get too low. You may need to start with more water or set the temperature on Medium. It will depend on your crock pot.
Alternative: Cooking Directions for Top of Stove
Place drained and rinsed pinto beans into a large pot. Add about 6 cups of hot water to cover beans (depending on the size of your pot). Add any seasonings desired (except salt), and your choice of ham hock, diced ham, butter, margarine or nothing. Bring to a boil. Lower temperature, cover pot, and simmer for at least 2 hours or until done. Best if simmered 4 hours or more! Add about 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) about 1 hour before finished cooking.
Note: The more done your beans are, the less "gas" you'll have after eating them.
You can choose from a variety of seasonings to cook in with your beans. Or, you can add nothing at all. I never add salt because my husband can't have it. I season mine with butter. Remember to not add the salt until the last hour of cooking, as it will keep the beans from getting tender.
Below are a few seasoning suggestions:
- Garlic cloves
- Olive Oil (or any vegetable oil)
Do not add salt until the last hour of cooking or beans will not get tender.
Now My Crock Pot Pinto Beans Are Ready to Eat!
Put These Toppings on Your Beans
People like different things on their pinto beans. My husband likes LOTS on diced onions on his and I like mine just plain. Pinto beans are good any way you fix them!
Green Tomato Relish
Let's Hear From You...
What do you like on your pinto beans?
Uses for Leftover Beans
1. Re-heat the next day
2. Freeze for later
3. Chili Beans
4. Re-fried Beans
5. Baked Beans
6. Use in Soup
Watch How to Make Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
Sometimes it helps to have a visual reference, so you might like to watch the video below. The directions in this video are a little different than mine, but basically the same. Everyone does things using their own method.
The main difference is the seasonings. She uses seasoning salt, an onion, and ham hocks to season her beans while cooking. You can use anything you think would taste good, or even nothing at all. She shows how the beans double in size when soaked, which is interesting. Have a watch:
Thanks for Your Visit
In this article you've read about how I cook my pinto beans in my crock pot, including the recipe and instructions. I hope this has given you the resources to cook your own pot! I'd love it if you left a note in the comment section and let me know how you liked them. If you have any tips of your own, please share them below.
© 2010 Faye Rutledge