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How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Slow Cooker

Pinto beans are necessary to eat every once in a while. They contain enough nutrients and such a nice fragrance that’s pleasing to the senses, especially when cooked with meat. If you’re planning on cooking this recipe dish for dinner using a slow cooker, but you don’t know how to go about the processes involved, there is no need to worry.

In this article, we’ll be walking you through the procedures and guidelines encompassed, including some useful cooking tips you should take note of whenever you plan to cook pinto beans using a slow cooker.

How To Cook Pinto Beans In A Slow Cooker

Pinto Beans Nutrition Facts

How To Cook Pinto Beans In A Slow Cooker

Tips for Cooking Pinto Beans in a Slow Cooker

Clean pinto beans – if it’s your first time handling pinto beans, you might not know yet that, just like other kinds of beans, pinto beans also contain a lot of stones or discolored beans that need to be taken out before you start anything else. Just shuffle through the beans to remove the dirt.

Soak the beans – soaking the pinto beans in clean water allows them to get softer, which in turn allows them to cook faster when they’re in the slow cooker. Soaking and washing the beans also helps in removing some of the unwanted starch that makes people feel bloated when they eat pinto beans.

Fill the slow cooker with water – when you put the pinto beans into the slow cooker, it’s best to fill the pot to the brim with water. This is because the beans absorb water a lot, so you don’t want them to cook halfway or burn before they’re done cooking.

Although if you’re cooking a very small amount of beans, fill the pot with water until the beans are completely submerged.

Don’t add any salt at the beginning – I normally don’t add salt to my pinto beans when I start cooking until much later. This is because I don’t want to run the risk of over-salting my dish or disrupting its cooking process. Just to be safe, add a little bit of salt at the end of the cooking, and add more salt to it if you need to.

Use some vegetables – you can cut up chunks of simple vegetables like onions and parsley and drop them into your slow cooker together with the beans to give it some flavoring, so it’s more delicious when ready. You can also use other spices or herbs like rosemary, thyme, or garlic.

You can make a whole dish – if you’re running out of time in the kitchen or you don’t want to cook your pinto beans plain with just salt and pepper, you can add other ingredients like meat, fish, vegetables, and a whole lot of seasonings that will cook at the same pace as the beans, and result in a delicious weeknight dinner.

You can fry the beans – just because they’re cooked in a slow cooker doesn’t mean they can’t be fried afterward. They, in fact, can be fried on the stovetop! If you’re craving some fried beans to eat with rice or vegetables and you only have the slow cooker pinto beans, just know that you can fry them with a little bit of cooking oil. This helps to save money and time for cooking fried beans.

How long to cook the beans – you can cook your pinto beans on high for about 7 hours or on low for 10 hours or so. It all depends on what you prefer or if you’re too busy to continue cooking this recipe dish for 7 hours. If you are away all day, cook on low to prevent the beans from burning at home.

Cooking Time for Pinto Beans in a Slow Cooker

Below are the adequate timing guidelines you should always carry out whenever you want to cook pinto beans using a slow cooker.

Cooking procedure Cooking time
Cooking pinto beans in a slow cooker on low  10 hours
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How To Cook Pinto Beans In A Slow Cooker

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  • 1 or 2 lbs of pinto beans
  • 1 lb of any kind of smoked meat
  • Bell peppers, chopped
  • Onions, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste (optional)
  • Water
  • Seasoned cooking oil (optional)


  1. Pour your beans into a large bowl and filter or pick through the beans for any discolored beans or stones in them. When you’re done filtering it, wash the beans with clean water a couple of times or until the water becomes clear and the starch is lesser. Wash in a sieve over the sink or a bowl, and change the water every once in a while.
  2. Add the beans into the slow cooker. Next, add in your smoked meat and vegetables, and fill the slow cooker to the brim with water. Cover the lid of the slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours; ensure you check on the beans every 2 to 3 hours to check if the water has dried up, if it’s cooking right, etc. If the water isn’t enough and you need to add more, ensure it’s the hot water you use.
  3. After the beans are ready, add the amount of salt that you think is suitable for your taste. Don’t worry about the flavoring too much, though; the meat and vegetables are sure to give a hand in that aspect, too.
  4. You can also season with sugar if you like, about 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar. You can also add a few drops of seasoned cooking oil to the beans. Your delicious slow cooker pinto beans are ready to be eaten. Enjoy!

You can serve it with some rice, potatoes or cornbread. Your family is sure to love this simple and easy recipe dish. Not only are pinto beans so tasty, but they’re also very nutritious and sweet-smelling. Keep in mind that you can store it in the refrigerator for at least 3 days in an airtight container. To heat the beans, reheat them in the oven for 30 minutes or more.

If you’re interested in more tips and guidance on how to harness your skills at cooking pinto beans in a slow cooker, please feel free to check out this video recipe.

  • Author: Bobby