Dried pinto beans are packed with nutrition and extremely healthy. A ½ cup serving has only 120 calories and 0 grams of fat, as well as 9 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. For someone that has never cooked dried pinto beans before, canned may be preferable because of ease of preparation. Dried pinto beans shouldn’t be overlooked though. Once the technique for preparing dried pinto beans is learned, they will quickly become a household favorite.
Sort the beans. Dried pinto beans are usually sent through a machine that inspects for rocks and clumps of dirt. This doesn’t mean that the machine catches everything though. Take the time to sort through the beans to make sure everything that goes into the pot is actually a bean.
Quickly rinse the dried pinto beans in a colander.
Place the beans in a large vessel so that they can expand while they soak overnight. Beans will expand up to three times their size.
Cover the beans with water, using about 6 to 8 cups per one pound of dried pinto beans.
Drain the soaking water from the beans and rinse them thoroughly.
Place the beans in a slow cooker with the smoked ham hock and cover them with water. Using a slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to cook beans. Instead of constantly attending to a pot of beans on the stove, all that needs to be done is to occasionally check the beans to see if they need more water.
Cook the beans on low heat for 8 to 10 hours. Check the beans often to make sure they have enough water.
Add seasoning to taste. It’s best to salt beans after they finish cooking. Salt can prevent the beans from cooking properly; adding it too early could ruin the pot of beans.
If you want your beans to be thicker, place them in a pot after they’ve cooked in the slow cooker. Bring them to a boil. Continue to cook until the beans thicken.
If beans have not softened after soaking all night, the beans are old and should be discarded.