Thread Number: 73713  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Pinto Beans?
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Post# 973583   12/14/2017 at 05:54 by johnrk (BP TX)        

Living in the Houston area, so much of the time when beans are mentioned, many think pinto beans automatically. We're fortunate that we have Casserole brand, because they are much higher quality than the crappy, dirty beans that are usually sold under the store's brand name. Rather like the way that Camellia beans from LA are so much better also.

I just had a steaming bowl of pinto beans, cooked in one of my pc's. I generally make mine vegan out of laziness, though at times I'll drop in a knob of bacon or salt pork. These I just ate are pretty much a standard recipe for me: I add comino, some red pepper flakes, a tiny bit of Liquid Smoke, a little garlic powder, a little paprika and either chopped onion (as I did this morning) or a little onion powder.

I run about 50/50 between slow cooking them after a quick soak method, or pressure cooking them for about 20-25 minutes.

Does anyone here enjoy these beans as I do? I've been known to just cook these up, dump the beans in the Cuisinart with a little more seasoning, and turn them into refried beans after a pass in the skillet. Makes for an easy dip with some grated cheese on top when friends come over for cards.

Post# 973598 , Reply# 1   12/14/2017 at 08:15 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Pinto beans have been my most commonly used bean when I cook a dry bean. I have no idea why... Part of it is availability in my grocery store's bulk bin. Those beans historically seemed very clean and seemed to cook fast--although recently cooking time seems to have gotten slower. I usually use beans in something else, not as a standalone dish. I don't object to beans on their own, and maybe I should have them that way more--I think perhaps it's an issue that I've gotten used to the idea that beans are one ingredient. And canned beans may well be best treated that way.


I just cook in a normal pot. Typically a fast soak (boil short period/soak 1 hour/cook in new water). I'd like to try a pressure cooker one day...but it's beyond my current White Trash budget...

Post# 973599 , Reply# 2   12/14/2017 at 08:17 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I remembered seeing Kevin313 post a video on cooking pinto beans:


Post# 973607 , Reply# 3   12/14/2017 at 08:53 by johnrk (BP TX)        
Lord Kenmore

I have a half-dozen pc's, and some I never use since I got an Instant Pot. Unless you cook on glass top induction, I'd be happy to give you one to explore the joys of pc cooking.

If you'd like one, PM me at the address on my profile.

BTW--the older that dried beans get, the longer they take to cook. It really does pay attention to notice the expiry date on them.

Just keep in mind that while pc's will cook your dried beans quickly, they won't have that same 'soupy' gravy that so many of us like. It's why I usually do mine either stove top simmer, or in a slow cooker.

And I do have a small slow cooker I never use any more because of the Instant Pot, I'd be delighted to give that to you also if you'd like it. It's the perfect size for one person--as we are.


Post# 973621 , Reply# 4   12/14/2017 at 10:06 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Pinto Beans

Are a staple in the South, I have eaten them all my life, I soak them overnight, in the morning I put them in the crock pot with fresh water and a ham hock, turn to high and cook all day.about 4 or 5 hours is enough, but if you cook them longer it wont hurt them, serve with coleslaw and cornbread for a old fashioned country meal.

Post# 973633 , Reply# 5   12/14/2017 at 11:13 by washerboy (Little Rock Arkansas)        
norgeway is correct

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dried pinto beans are a staple down here. I swear if I ever move out of the south I'll never eat another bean!!!

I don't soak them anymore. I buy whatever is in the bag, rinse and pick out the rocks or whatever I think looks like a rock. Put them in the PC with about triple the amount of water, salt, pepper, onion and some bacon grease. I have to PC mine for about 50 minutes to get them tender. Of course I serve them as a main dish with a skillet of corn bread. Also like to sprinkle some hot sauce on top; chow-chow is great on them as well

Post# 973638 , Reply# 6   12/14/2017 at 11:47 by johnrk (BP TX)        

I don't know about NC, but here in TX where I live, I'm amazed at how expensive ham hocks have gotten. Most of the time these days for my 'daily' beans, I will buy cheap bacon (better 'cause more fat), vacuum seal slices and freeze them for later use. I'll just drop a piece of bacon in the beans instead. I just picked up a bunch of packages of salt pork on sale at my local H-E-B, sliced those into right-sized cubes and vacuum-sealed those for freezing.

You can get your protein from Wagyu beef for God-only-knows what cost, or you can get your protein with foods like beans--thereby rendering more money in your pocket for washers and dryers...

Post# 973666 , Reply# 7   12/14/2017 at 15:52 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I have a half-dozen pc's, and some I never use since I got an Instant Pot. Unless you cook on glass top induction, I'd be happy to give you one to explore the joys of pc cooking


Unfortuantely, I'm working with a setup WORSE than glass top anything... My "stove" is a tiny 800 watt hot plate... No, I'm not joking. At least it's better than no burner...which was the situation I was in for a period last year... (I had enough gadgets, though, so I could do kitchen basics.) I figure I'll probably put off any PC experiments to the day when I have a working stove at my disposal.


Thanks for the offer, though!


Just keep in mind that while pc's will cook your dried beans quickly, they won't have that same 'soupy' gravy that so many of us like. It's why I usually do mine either stove top simmer, or in a slow cooker.


I hadn't known this, but I have heard criticism of using a pressure cooker. I remember Julia Child seemed to be of the opinion that fast cooking wasn't ideal with many things IIRC, and IIRC some recipes would specify with a PC that it only be done part of the time under pressure. Her influence may be one reason I've not really seriously considered a PC until recently (thanks to (At the same time, though, I recognize that even if there are compromises--and I'm sure that point might be debatable in some circles--the speed advantage of a PC might make it a winner sometimes.)


As for slow cookers, I have at least 3 that I can think of, ranging in size from really small (tiniest Crock Pot--maybe 1.5 quart?) to maybe 6 quart West Bend. I should really seriously consider using them... But I'm so used to regular pans, and one thing that I dislike about slow cookers is that they do need planning and foresight.

Post# 973667 , Reply# 8   12/14/2017 at 15:54 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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the older that dried beans get, the longer they take to cook. It really does pay attention to notice the expiry date on them.


I do pay attention to dates if the beans are bagged. The ones I've used the most in recent history are bulk bin buys, so who knows what the date might be? For all I know, they might be filling those bins from regular prepacked bags of beans that expired last week...

Post# 973689 , Reply# 9   12/14/2017 at 18:55 by johnrk (BP TX)        
I Love Julia

but she wasn't the end-all in cooking any more than any other expert. I still think that her series, "The Way To Cook", is the best basic reference made in print and on video for new cooks.

There are two factors with pressure cooking that makes it useful: temperature and pressure. The biggest benefit is the rise in temp allowing food to cook faster. Now, I don't buy into the practice of pressure cooking something for five or six minutes; I find that to be silly. But for longer cooking requirements it can be a joy. The second factor, pressure, can mess up as much food as it benefits. For instance, a lot of meats, to me, are made less palatable by cooking under pressure. OTOH I like being able to buy pork ribs in the grocery store, bringing them home and having BBQ ribs ready to serve in 45 minutes.

The queen of pressure cooking is still Lorna Sass. I can remember in the 80's when her book, "Cooking Under Pressure", revived the pc market. She still has, I think, a bunch of videos on YouTube.

Post# 973698 , Reply# 10   12/14/2017 at 20:32 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
re 5 or 6 minutes!

I use a pc for nearly all beans 5 minutes!! carrots about 7 potatoes 8 to 10!!

Post# 973710 , Reply# 11   12/14/2017 at 23:06 by bendix5 (Central Point, Oregon)        

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We all love pinto and navy beans here. My son and his family come over for bean and cornbread dinner. I made some today. I had left over pot roast and the juice from cooking it in the crock pot. Defatted the juice and strained it. Chopped the meat, celery, onion. Added garlic, cumin, S & P and a dash of chili powder. I put everything in the pot and simmered it on the stove most of the day. Super meal for a cold day. I had some frozen yeast rolls so set that up to rise and that was dinner tonight. We also love navy beans so after Christmas we will have navy bean soup. I cook down the ham bone for that. I have cooked them many times with my Model 40 Presto. I recently put new seals in it and its ready to go for another few years. I think my mom got it for a wedding gift in 1947. I have been thinking of a new electric one. I have also been thinking of a instant pot. My mom cooked beans quite a lot when we were growing up. I don't care for lima beans or black eyed peas. You all have a Merry Christmas. Dano

Post# 973727 , Reply# 12   12/15/2017 at 05:29 by johnrk (BP TX)        
What An Attractive Couple You Are!

Must be the climate, right?

It's all of 50F right now just south of Houston and as always, people act like it's fifty below.

If there's one thing my parents insisted on growing up, it was high quality food. None of that processed crap, which was just as bad in those days. Plus, my father didn't like casseroles so the only time I ever junk like that was visiting someone else. Strangely, it's rather carried over to me--I seldom fix casseroles, either.

Your meal prompted me to reply, though, because wasting food was a no-no always, and it is with me also. Sickening to realize that 25% of purchased food goes down the garbage. I like making pot roast but sometimes go overboard on the veggies. Like you, I recycle them into something else yummy. I buy organic field corn and grind my own meal for cornbread--I thought that was just for us in the South!

And when I see 'Dano' I automatically think of Royal Dano, one of the best actors to grace film.

I hope you have an equally Merry Christmas on your end of the country!

John Richard

Post# 973734 , Reply# 13   12/15/2017 at 06:08 by johnrk (BP TX)        

What pc (or pc's) do you use?

Post# 973737 , Reply# 14   12/15/2017 at 06:45 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Hopelessly "Suthun" I love dried beans in every variety.
I overnight soak and then change the water and rinse. Slow cook all day on the stove or sometimes a slow-cooker. Toss in a chicken thigh or a chunk of turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Serve with cornbread or biscuit.
I love the smooth consistency of cooked-down pinto beans.

Post# 973744 , Reply# 15   12/15/2017 at 07:07 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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LordK: Thanks for linking the video to Ralph's (with Kevin behind the camera for this one) Mexican-style pinto beans recipe. I have tomorrow off; this is the perfect recipe to slow cook on cold winter's Saturday.

Post# 973748 , Reply# 16   12/15/2017 at 07:34 by johnrk (BP TX)        
Soaking Beans-

The reason to soak beans, has been documented for 75+ years, is to get rid of the phytic acid along with some indigestible sugars that cause flatulence and make the gut work harder. Not all varieties of beans, however, have the same amount. Pintos and red kidneys and black beans appear to have the most and navy beans and blackeyed and field peas, the least.

But what the heck, some people probably think farting is funny...

Post# 973762 , Reply# 17   12/15/2017 at 08:51 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I have my Grandmother's Model 40.

Does yours look like this ?

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Post# 973869 , Reply# 18   12/15/2017 at 19:18 by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Pressure cookers

I have probably 25 or so but I use a stainless steel 1958 sears maid of honor by. Presto or a stamped aluminum model 700 presto from 1957 I have a small Kuhn Rikon that is nice but I tend to use the vintage ones as with anything I have a aversion to anything new

Post# 973876 , Reply# 19   12/15/2017 at 20:16 by bendix5 (Central Point, Oregon)        

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Eddie it looks the same. I did get a new regulator several years ago. I still have the old one but it pops up on its own letting off stream. They are great for cooking and I wish more people would learn how to use them as you can make a meal pretty fast. Another my mom made in ours was ham, potatos and green beans. I have never been able to figure out what she put in to make the gravy. Good how ever it is cooked though. No lid is beef tips and noodles. Noodles boiled separate. My sister love this. Our mom used to make homemade noodles for this. Thanks, Dano

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Post# 973931 , Reply# 20   12/16/2017 at 05:39 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I love rice and beans, with some meat (usually beef) and a salad. It's one of my favorite meals.

And yes, a good soak makes beans more digestible.

If you don't have time to soak, you can "power soak" them with salty water for 1 or 2 minutes under pressure, drain and rinse them, then cook them as usual (no salt) under pressure, salt after cooked. I am told that salting beans when pressure cooking prevents the skins from splitting but also prevents them from getting soft so it takes much longer to cook.

   -- Paulo.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO earthling177's LINK

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