How To Soak And Cook Pinto Beans? (The Ultimate Guide)

In this article, I am going to show you, how to prepare, soak and cook pinto beans on the stove, in a slow cooker, and using a pressure cooker. In addition to that, I will also cover information on storing them properly.

Let us get started.

a bowl containing cooked pinto beans

How To Prepare Pinto Beans?

Either you grow your own pinto beans or buy them from the supermarket, it’s important that you sort the bad ones from good ones first.

Bad beans will have mottled skin, dark spots, and visible traces of mold with an unusual smell.

It is usually very easily recognizable when you first open the bag, and it smells a bit rancid. Sometimes there are also traces of stones and rocks, so you should sort that out as well.

Failure to do so might have you eating unpleasant-tasting beans, rocks in your mouth, or even food poisoning from mold.

To pick out bad beans, you need a good light source and a container.

Take a handful, spread them out in the open, and just sort out bad beans, rocks, and mud clots out of the bunch and leave the good ones in the container.

Then you can place the pinto beans in a colander and rinse out any dirt from the good beans under cold running water.

How To Soak Pinto Beans?

First, you do not have to soak your beans before cooking; but it is all given and take.

If you soak your beans, the texture will be better, and you will need a shorter cooking time.

If you do not soak your beans, it is fine, but you will have several burst open beans and need a longer cooking time. So, we still recommend you soak them beforehand to get the best results possible.

The amount of time needed to soak your beans completely depends on the time you have available.

You can either use the long soaking method or quick soak. When you use the long soaking method, soak the beans overnight in a large bowl with water and salt from 8 to 24 hours.

But if you do not have time to soak them overnight, you might want to use the quick soak method.

Add the beans to a large pot of water then bring the water to a boil for about 2 minutes. Then turn off your heat and let the beans soak for another hour.

As you can see, you can soak the beans overnight at room temperature or quickly soak them in boiling water. The minimum amount of time for pinto beans to soak is around an hour as mentioned.

Both quick soak and long soak will give you the best results regardless. Some words of advice though, do not soak them longer than 24 hours, or you will find bean sprouts or fermented beans.

How To Cook Pinto Beans In A Slow Cooker?

One of the ways you can enjoy pinto beans is by using the slow cooker to process them.

It’s quite safe to cook it in a slow cooker, just make sure that you have the patience for it because it takes around 4 to 7 hours of cooking time!

After rinsing your soak beans (or unsoaked, it all depends on your preference), place your pinto beans into the slow cooker along with the spices you’d like to incorporate.

Some popular ones are garlic, onion, celery stalks, virgin olive oil, paprika, chili, thyme, and carrots to create the perfect veggie base.

Then pour some water into your slow cooker, the rule of thumb is 4 cups of water for every cup of pinto beans you’re making. If you want 1 pound of pinto beans, that’s equal to 2 cups of pinto beans and 8 cups of water.

Then you can choose to cook it on low for around 6 to 7 hours or on high for about 4 hours of cooking time. If you forgot to soak your beans, please allow an additional hour for your beans to cook properly.

How To Cook Pinto Beans In A Pressure Cooker?

A simpler and quicker way for you to enjoy pinto beans is by using a pressure cooker to make your pinto beans dish. It’s a whole lot faster with the same amount of flavor, so you win either way.

The first steps are similar to a slow cooker, you need to sort out your beans first then soak them if you have time. After that, prepare the beans by rinsing and washing any debris leftover.

The amount of water you need is the same, so you’ll need around 4 cups of liquid for every cup of pinto beans. If you’re planning to make 2 cups of pinto beans, then you’ll need an additional 4 cups of liquid and so on.

Then don’t forget to incorporate your chosen seasonings into your pressure cooker, this includes about 1 teaspoon of salt.

Close the pressure cooker lid and turn the steam release valve into the “sealed” position on the lid so you can start the cooking process. Then after cooking it, make sure you release the pressure for about 15 minutes.

There are different amounts of time required for soaked and unsoaked beans.

If you manage to soak your beans first (either overnight or quick soak), you can cook them for only around 15 minutes in the pressure cooker and release the steam for another 15 minutes.

But if you forgot to soak them and are dealing with dry pinto beans, first of all, you need to thoroughly rinse them first as they must have lots of debris left on them.

Then you need to cook it for 30 minutes and release the steam for 15 minutes.

After releasing the steam, you can try the pinto beans one last time and put in additional salt or seasoning if needed.

How To Store Cooked Pinto Beans?

If you have leftovers, you might be wondering if pinto beans are fridge friendly.

You need to store them in the fridge or freezer; because if you only leave them at room temperature, they’ll go bad after 2 hours due to rapid bacterial growth.

So as long as you store them in the fridge or freezer straight away, they’ll be safe to consume.

The best way to store pinto beans is using airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. You can let the air out first and seal them properly to avoid oxidation.

Some people use mason jars, but you need to make sure that the mason jar is tight enough and has no air leaks before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you’re planning to consume the beans in the next few days, storing them in the refrigerator would suffice as it’ll keep them fresh for 3 to 5 days.

But if you’re storing for long-term consumption, store them in the freezer in an airtight container and they’ll be good for about 6 months.

That’s it. I hope now you have a clear understanding of preparing, soaking, cooking, and storing pinto beans.