What Everybody Ought To Know About Cooking Pinto Beans Fast

By anonymous bean


cooking pinto beans fast

Photo yy: jeffreyw

Cooking pinto beans begins with sorting. The reason for sorting is mainly to make sure the beans are free from rocks. Many people also like to pick out the beans that are darker or odd shaped although those beans will not hurt you.


To begin sorting, pour a few cups of beans onto a table. Sit at the table in front of the beans with a pan or bowl large in your lap that is large enough to fit all of the beans that are on the table. Scoot beans from the edge of the table to the pan or bowl, removing any rocks or anything else that you see that needs to be removed.


After sorting the beans, place them in a colander and wash under running water under the faucet in the kitchen sink for a minute or so. It’s best to hold with one hand and move the beans around with the other to make sure that they are clean. Washing them under running water will assure that all dirt has been rinsed from them.


Once beans are sorted and washed, it’s time to begin the cooking process. It is very important to note that beans expand at least double when cooked with liquid. Make sure that you use a pan that has plenty of room for this expansion.

There is a fast method and a slower method for cooking pinto beans. The fast method takes about four hours. The slower method takes overnight for soaking and about four hours for cooking.<span

Cooking pinto beans fast

The fast method is to put the pinto beans in a pan. Cover with water at least three inches above the beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the beans sit for one hour with the lid on. The beans will then be plump and ready to cook.

Remove the lid after the hour and pour out water. Refill beans in pan with clean water, covering beans at least one inch above the beans. Bring beans to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer beans with lid on for about four hours, checking every hour to make sure beans continue to have enough water.

The Slow Method

The slower method involves covering the pan of beans with water at least three inches above the beans. Soak overnight. The next morning the beans will be plump and ready to cook. Pour out the water and fill with clean tap water, covering beans at least one inch above the beans.

Bring beans to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with lid on for about four hours, checking every hour to make sure beans continue to have enough water.If you have a slow cooker (commonly called a crock-pot), you can cook the pinto beans all day on low. Just make sure that the water level is filled as high as it can be so it won’t go dry.

Some beans cook faster depending on how old they are. Beans are done when tender when poked with a fork or by tasting. If the beans run out of water while cooking, they will be dry and have a burnt taste. It is important for them to always have plenty of water.


Seasoning beans vary with personal preference. Do not add salt until after the beans are cooked. Adding salt before cooking will make the beans less tender. Adding chopped onion or fresh garlic while cooking makes very flavorful beans. Salt and seasonings to taste can be added after a few hours of cooking. Simmer for a short time after adding seasonings.

Pinto beans need to be used within a few days in the refrigerator. They can be frozen to use at a later date. Freeze the juice too as they will dry out. Pinto beans can also be mashed easily with a potato masher or an electric mixer.

Start by using little juice and then add juice as desired. Fresh water can be used if you don’t end up with enough juice. Frying hamburger and using chili-seasoning mix make great chili beans. Get creative. Once cooked, pinto beans have many uses in casseroles, dips and Mexican style food. Easy and affordable, not to mention easy to cook, pinto beans are a delight.

Bean Cakes

2 cups mashed beans1 small onion, chopped1/2 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons cornmeal1 tablespoon flour1 teaspoon chili powder Mash beans with a fork and add cornmeal, salt, flour and chili powder. Stir well. Add the chopped onion and mix until well blended. If the mixture is too dry, thin it with bean juice or a small amount of water. Heat a skillet and grease it with bacon drippings.

When the pan is hot, drop in the bean mixture by the spoonful and mash each cake flat with a spoon. Brown and serve.

* Parts of this article borrowed from essortment.com.


  1. I love cooking beans in the crock pot. I didnt know about adding salt till the last bit of cooking. The trouble with beans is, when we have them at my house, the dogs all seem to get gassy, even though they dont get any.

  2. Mystery Guest says:

    This article helps me to see how others cook and especially beans. I enjoyed reading it.
    My mom was the best bean cooker I ever knew.
    She picked, washed her beans. Put them in a pot of with water level above the beans plopped some salt pork in them and brought them to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmered and added water as needed. After they had become soft she added salt to taste. Then she proceeded to simmer them till she almost had them on the table.
    If you over salt the beans, which can happen, peel and quarter two potato’s and cook in the beans.
    And I am proud to say “I am my mothers daughter.”

    • You can cook them in a fraction of the time in a pressure cooker. If soaked overnight, you’re looking at 45 min to an hour, if not presoaked, figure 90 minutes…

  3. ChristineM says:

    I didn’t know about the salt and the fast method of starting them. Will definitely make the bean cakes. Thanks.

  4. tommy2rs says:

    Then there’s the really fast method of cooking beans. Use a pressure cooker. Hard to done in 40-45 minutes flat.

    Refried bean (refritos) and cheese taquitos with jalapenos, one of my favorite breakfast tacos

    • Tom Arnold says:

      I like saving time in the pressure cooker, but you need to be real careful not to overload the pot with beans, rice, grains, and pasta because these foam a lot. The rule of thumb I use is never fill the pot more than halfway including liquid. If you check the manual for your pot, you’ll probably find all sorts of dire warnings about these food types. A couple of manufacturers flat out say “don’t do it”.

      When I’m pressure cooking beans, I add a pinch of cream of Tartar. I’m not sure if it helps with the foaming but it’s what my mother and grandmother did so their experience is my teacher.

      Like I said, I don’t know for certain if it helps with the foaming when pressure cooking, but I DO know it helps with the soak. It also cuts down the gas later. When you start eating a regular diet of beans, your body adjusts to the diet change and starts processing them better and the pressure and gas goes away or reduces for most people. Unfortunately my wife has never been “most people” and has never fully adjusted so we keep things on hand that help her.

      • A teaspoon of oil per cup of beans will help keep the foaming down. You could also use bacon grease and that will also help the flavor.

  5. I’ve used the fast method for years. Seems to help with the gas situation; not completely, but improvement over the slow method.

  6. mom of three says:

    I get beans that are triple washed never had a rock yet. I love making my own refried beans.
    cook a bag of pinto beans
    mash them up
    add some evaporated milk 1/2 can to start
    Add plenty of grate some cheese to add to the mixture
    Keep them warm to let the cheese melt don’t let it get to hot or the beans will burn.

  7. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Pinto beans are my favorite bean. A little cornbread, beans cooked with fatback, a chunck of sweet vadalia onion, chowchow, or jalapeno jelly. Yummy!

  8. Bear230 says:

    Try adding some red or green chile, cumin, onion, beef bullion , one can of tomato sauce, and a small amount of garlic. If you like you can add some cooked beef to the beans. When done a warm tortilla and you are good to go.

  9. Because fuel in my suburban location is finite, I have switched all my bean storage to pre-cooked “instant” bean varieties. Just can’t afford to burn that much precious fuel if the grid is down.

    • I can 14 pints of beans at a time. Lower salt content compared to commercially canned plus on the table in less than 10 minutes unless I am making a casserole. Saves lots of fuel this way.

  10. Son of Liberty says:

    There’s a truly fuel efficient way to cook beans that is absolutely the most flavorful I’ve ever encountered. This is a truly (very) slow way of cooking beans, but is very economical and renders them delightfully tasty.

    First, plan on doing it in the old slow manner by soaking the beans overnight. The beans I buy are carefully processed so I don’t need to worry about much cleaning/washing – though I do run them through a rinse cycle at the sink and briefly run them through my hand to look for rocks (old habits die hard). I also pick off the hulls/half beans/etc. that are floating after covering the beans with about three inches of water.

    After letting these set overnight, I add some additional water (if needed), the onions, a little garlic (or powder), and any other spices (except salt) to the beans. I do not drain them, but put them on the stove and bring them to a rolling boil. Then I turn them off.

    Next, I put the pot of beans in an old ice chest converted to a passive slow cooker for this (and similar) purpose(s). I’ve lined it with rigid insulation secured in place on all six surfaces of the chest, and tightly sealed. Any space left over I surround the pot of beans inside the old ice chest with old clean towels I have solely for this purpose, and tightly close the lid.

    I leave these set for the next seven to eight hours – approximately ten a.m. until about five to six p.m. After setting the table, frying some sliced potatoes (to a nice golden to dark brown), and baking a pan of corn bread, I take them out, salt them, and set them on a hot pad in the middle of the table, take the lid off – and wollah!

    They are fully cooked and now ready to eat. Tasty, delicious, and licked up by my hungry family.


    Son of Liberty

    • texasann says:

      The ice chest method with towels also works for baked potatoes, especially for a crowd. Bake for about 15 minutes in the oven, wrap potatoes in towels, transfer to a styrofoam cooler,and leave for 4-6 hours or until ready to serve. Great for cookouts and fish frys! Fluffy , too!

  11. Redwood Mama says:

    For reducing gas, add some baking soda to the soak or first boil. Also have heard that if you soak to sprout slightly there will be none(may have heard it here!) I will have to try your bean cakes! Thanks!

    • What I do is stir a pinch of baking soda in about halfway thru the cooking. You will see the gas foaming up. Keep with tiny pinches until the foaming quits. Seasoning with smoked ham hocks, cilantro, chili powder, jalapeños, onion and garlic has won me a couple of cook offs… I use the same mix with canned pintos, with bacon instead of the hocks.
      We do take our beans seriously here in Texas. And the iced tea. Don’t forget it…. Or the Alamo. Brown some hamburger meat, add in about 2 cups of beans with lots of the liquid. Simmer a bit until slightly thickened. Take some corn tortillas and fry them up until just chewy, or like chips if you prefer. Layer bean-meat mixture with jack cheese and tortillas. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa and guacamole. Like a taco salad deconstructed.. Yum…

  12. Don Duncan says:

    Beans, rice, especially wild rice, and any grain that takes time to cook, I rinse, sort out debris, place in pot with an excess of beef, veggie, or chicken broth (not water). I like to put extra broth because I enjoy the juice more than the beans. I boil for 5 min. & let sit over night covered. I cook until tender, taste, then add whatever I feel like & simmer a little more. I only add raw garlic just before eating because it loses nutrition if cooked. Sometimes no spices are needed. Go by taste.

  13. axelsteve says:

    I do the long soak method. I let them soak for 24 hours or so. I change the water once or twice. I never really follow a recipe to season them. That way they are never the same and it does not get boring.

  14. Benjammin says:

    So many things to do with pintos. Grandad would cook up a pot of beans and add a cut up jalapeno to every pot along with a little tomato sauce. He’d refrigerate the leftovers, and we would eat on that pot along with some fried summer sausage or spam for lunch till the pot was empty. He was an old cowhand and ate beans his whole life.

    One way I like to do pintos is to cook them into refrieds with a little lard mixed in, then dehydrate them. Then I take a 1/4 cup of the dried refrieds all crumbled up, a 1/4 cup of minute rice, a teaspoon of chili powder or other southwest seasoning and mix them in a vacuum bag. Then when I need a quick meal, I dump the bag contents into a bowl or big mug, add a cup of boiling water, stir, and let sit for a few minutes. My daughters will steal the bags if I let them. This way I can cook them when I have time, and just rehydrate/reheat when I want without the waiting. About 300 calories per serving, balanced well between protein, carbs, and fat.

    Pintos and cheese in a tortilla are a real treat. Filling and tasty, they stick with you.

    Epazote is an herb that will help greatly with the gas beans give us. I’ve also seen some recipes that add yeast to soaking beans. Apparently the yeast consumes or breaks down the one sugar that our digestive systems can’t; the one that gives us gas so much. Of course, there’s all sorts of remedies to try. YMMV.

    • Hunter Prepper says:

      Can you explain the dehydration process for the refried beans. This sounds like the perfect meal I can heat in my Kindel Cook, when I am out hunting or riding long distance.

  15. madison says:

    how would you cook the beans without electricity? there should be a simple off-grid stove you can make. I`ve been wanting to make one, but I don’t know how.

  16. Son of Liberty says:

    See comments above regarding the use of an old ice chest and/or wrap in towels method. It really works.


    Son of Liberty

  17. Soak overnight in 2 or 3 TB of baking soda and water using a colander in the sink.
    They’ll cook in 45 minutes next day.

  18. JP in MT says:

    Article “posted” to my Binder.


  19. I use what is called the “90 minute method”. Is very simple, after sorting, cover with 1″ of water, simmer for 15 minutes. Check water, add to bring it to 1″ again if necessary, cover with a tight fitting lid and place in 275 deg F oven for 45 min. After the timeer goes off, check water again, add as necessary to finish out cooking, return to oven for final 1/2 hour. Tender beans from bag to table in less than 2 hours, works with all of them, navy, pinto, black, red, et-cetera.

  20. like the many ways of cooking beans. i love beans but when i eat too much, my wife does not love me LOL.
    thanks folks


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