Slow cooked pinto beans taste great, and are excellent for serving with tortillas, bread and rice. While cooking pinto beans in a crock pot, some basic things that you should keep in mind are pre-soaking beans, choice of seasonings and the cooking period.
The taste of well-cooked pinto beans is so appealing that they are used in many dishes, including soups, dips, tostadas and burritos amongst others. Basically a Mexican delight, cooked pinto beans have become a favorite dish for the Americans too. You will get dried beans and pre-cooked beans in the market. Many opt for the latter one to save time, but these packaged foods are loaded with salt and seasonings. So, a healthier approach is to cook pinto beans in your style by using a slow cooker.
Cooking Dried Pinto Beans in a Crock Pot
So, you are all set to cook pinto beans and are wondering how to go about it? The tricks for preparing the best tasting pinto beans are adding the correct seasoning and cooking to the right doneness. And a little planning is all you require for preparing these beans. Yes, dry pinto beans are hard and prior soaking is needed to cut down the cooking period. But how long does it take to cook pinto beans in a crock pot? The cooking time depends on the method you opt for, and whether the beans are pre-soaked or not. Here are the basic steps for cooking pinto beans in a crock pot.
Step #1 ~ Soaking the Beans
For soaking pinto beans, add 2 cups of beans in a large pot, and pour 1 quart water. If you are serving many people, increase the beans amount and soaking water. Put lid and soak beans overnight (or at least 4 hours).
Step #2 ~ Preparation
Next day, drain soaking water and transfer beans into a colander. Rinse them under running tap. Now, you can add soaked pinto beans in the crock pot or slow cooker. To the pot, add 4 cups vegetable broth or water.
Step #3 ~ Choosing the Seasonings
Choose seasonings according to your preferred taste buds. You can add 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons molasses and cook pinto beans. Later you can sprinkle salt and pepper accordingly to suit your preferred taste.
In case you are fond of spicy dishes, don’t use molasses in the recipe. Rather you can add 1 tablespoon chili powder, dash of garlic powder, chopped onions (or onion powder), dash of red pepper and salt to the crock pot.
Step #5 ~ Cooking the Beans
After adding the seasonings, cover pot and cook on high heat for 6 hours. If time permits, consider cooking pinto beans in a crock pot at low heat setting for 10 hours. For both cases, open lid after cooking period is over and check whether the beans are cooked well or not.
Step #6 ~ Wrapping it Up
If you find the beans a bit hard, cover lid and continue cooking pinto beans for 30 minutes on high heat and 1 hour on low heat. You can taste cooked beans to see if the seasonings are perfect or not. Accordingly, add more salt and spices to suit your taste.
Apart from this, you can try many more pinto beans crock pot recipes. Many prefer adding seasonings in the later part of cooking to serve a more flavorful dish. For trying the same, cook pinto beans until tender in the slow cooker, say for 6 hours on low heat. Then add salt and remaining spices. And if you like the flavor of bacon, try pinto beans bacon recipe. Fry bacon properly with chopped onion and cilantro. Use these along with salsa to cook tasty pinto beans. This savory dish is best served with rice.
If you are interested in cooking dried beans directly, parboil them with sufficient water for half an hour. Drain beans and discard cooking water. You can add these beans in the crock pot, add water and the desired seasonings. Adjust the heat setting to high and cook for 4 hours. Then lower heat to low and continue cooking for 3 hours more to enjoy tasty pinto beans.