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Cooking Pinto Beans on the Stove

Sonia Nair Mar 12, 2019
It is really easy to cook pinto beans on the stove. Here are some tips to make soft and tender pinto beans that can be paired with bread or rice.
Pinto beans are commonly used in Mexico as well as the United States. These beans are highly nutritious with numerous health benefits. Pinto beans are widely available both in dry as well as canned forms.
If you prefer the dry ones over the canned versions; you must have a basic know-how about the right methods of cooking pinto beans. If you think that cooking pinto beans on the stove is a difficult task; it is a misconception.

How to Cook Pinto Beans on the Stove

Pinto beans can be cooked in different ways. Some people like soaking the beans before cooking. Others cook them directly without soaking. Even the time taken for cooking may vary with the method. Cooking them in a pressure cooker will save you time, if you are in a hurry. If you want to cook pinto beans on the stove top, then, these tips may prove helpful.

Method I

If you want to cook pinto beans as fast as possible, and you don't have enough time for soaking them, then use a pressure cooker. All you have to do is to sort and rinse the beans, and put them in the pressure cooker.
For three cups of dried pinto beans, you have to add a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of ground pepper, and two to three tablespoons of oil. You may also use herbs and spices of your choice. Add enough water to the cooker, so that its level is at least two to three inches above the level of the beans.
This is because, the beans will swell up as they cook, and lack of water will burned them. Place the cooker on high heat, and wait till the first whistle, to lower the heat completely. Cook the beans for at least 45 to 50 minutes over low heat. Remove the cooker from the stove, and let the pressure drop. Open the cooker and your pinto beans are ready.

Method II

Soaking is often a part of cooking dried beans, as it makes them easier to cook. There are two methods of soaking pinto beans. If you have enough time, sort and rinse the beans, and soak them for at least 8 hours.
You may also soak the beans overnight. Make sure that there is enough water for soaking the beans. Once done, discard the water and rinse the beans, before cooking them. Put the beans in a pan and add enough water (at least two inches above the level of beans), salt, and spices of your choice. Place the pan on high heat, and allow the water to boil.
As the water starts boiling, lower the heat, and cook the beans for the next four hours. Cover the pan while cooking, and check the water level at regular intervals. You can check the doneness, using a fork. As the beans turn soft and tender, remove the pan from heat.

Method III

Boil the dried beans in a pan with enough water. The level of water must be at least three to four inches above the level of beans. As the water boils, reduce the heat, and cook for another 20 minutes.
After that, turn off the heat and let the beans cool for at least an hour. Discard the water, and rinse the beans. Put them back in the pan and add fresh water. The water level must be one inch above the level of beans. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to boil. Reduce the heat, and cook with the lid on, for around four hours.
In short, properly cooked beans will be soft and tender, and will melt in your mouth. You may try these methods for cooking pinto beans on the stove. Once cooked, you may also freeze them in a sealable container, for a few days.
In general, dried beans take longer to cook, when compared to fresh ones. Small ones cook faster, and older beans take more time to get cooked. Soaking reduces the cooking time considerably.