Feb 2, 2020

Dry Pinto Beans Traditional, Slow Cooker, and Instant Pot Methods: Simple Basic Cooking

I've been asked to share the most simple cooking instructions for some of those following. You all know I love to cook and have been doing so since I was knee-high to the kitchen stove.

Why not since the majority of my followers are young men and ladies.  I think it will be fun!

Are you ready to cook dry beans and peas?  Let's get to it.  I said Pinto Beans, but it applies to all dry beans.

Here we go! I hope you enjoy your cooking experiences and feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  I suggest you cook the Slow Cooker or Soaked and cooked on the stove before attempting to use pressure cooking of any kind. When you do decide to use pressure I strongly suggest that you: 

  • Get help with an experienced cook when using a Real Pressure Cooker or Canner. 
  • Read your instruction booklet with your Instant Pot because you will be dealing with pressure.  You can be burned or worse if not careful!
I personally have blown up some things in a traditional pressure pot, not only once but twice in my 50-year history of using one!  So it is important that you heed my warnings. I like to say don't be afraid to try something new but always be aware and practice safety.

Dry Pinto Beans


Traditional Soak and Cook Beans Method Using Soaked Beans


1 Lb. bag dry Pinto Beans Soaked in water for 8-12 hours, drain and add to pot with the following.
4 cups of water
3 pieces Bacon
1 teaspoon salt


  • Look through the beans for rocks, trash, then rinse and drain
  • Soak Pinto Beans overnight with water to cover and half that much more water for swelling of beans.
  • Rinse and put into a large pot with enough water to cover beans
  • Add fat meat if desired and salt.
  • Bring to boil
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours or until tender, checking regularly.


Slow Cooker Dry Unsoaked Beans Method


1 Lb. bag dry Pinto Beans (straight from the bag, not soaked)
4 cups of water
3 pieces Bacon
1 teaspoon salt


This is for dry unsoaked beans.
  • Go through 'Look your beans' as my grandma used to say, then wash and drain them.
  • Put into a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover the beans with water. Then add at least half that much water again to allow for swelling of the beans. Keep in mind the slow cooker does not cook as much of the water out as other forms of cooking. 
  • Add ham bone, soup bone, bacon, fatback or other fat meat if desired. 
  • Add salt (unless you have ham on the bone then add later if needed).
  • Cook on low all day, or overnight! Turn to warm until serving.
Tip: You can also presoak the dry beans. You should watch/check on the cooking of these because the cooking time will be shorter.*

Alright, you young ones, I am no expert in this way of cooking, but find that it is a very simple way to use pressure cooking. That being said I advise you to cook them in the other ways before using the Instant Pot Method.

You see I'm from the old school of the heavy-duty pressure cooker pot with the pressure gauges. I'm very comfortable with those but hey, who am I to argue with progress? I have a Pioneer Woman Instant Pot might as well take advantage of it. If any of you want instructions on how to use a regular pressure cooker, send me a note and we'll do a post on that as well.

Be sure you read the *Important Notice above!



Instant Pot Cooking Method


1 Lb. bag dry Pinto Beans (straight from the bag, not soaked)
4 cups of water
3 pieces Bacon
1 teaspoon salt


  • Go through the dry beans to remove any rocks, bad beans, or trash
  • Rinse and place in Instant Pot.  Add water (liquid) bacon and salt.
  • Check the lid to make sure it is clean and clear.
  • Close the lid and place knob to Sealing to build up pressure
  • Set Manual for 45 minutes under pressure
  • Let the Instant Pot cool naturally, probably about 20 minutes.
  • Turn knob on top to Vent (it should be free of steam after that long, but be careful just in case.  Place a thick kitchen towel on top of gauge to collect some of the hot steam if you wish).
  • Open the lid and stir beans
  • Take a few beans out to test for tenderness
  • If they are tender that is great season more if needed, and keep them warming until serving.
  • If they are not tender: Replace lid and cook an additional 15 minutes cooling in the same manner as before.

Substitutions Tips and Variations No Matter Which Cooking Method You Use


  • For 4 cups water:   3 cups chicken broth plus 1 cup water, Or 3 cups vegetable broth and 1 water. **Just make sure you have the equivalent to 4 cups water**
  • For Bacon:  Fatback, Streak of Lean, Pork side meat, ham bone, 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Or No fat at all.Your choice.
  • For Salt:  Any Salt-Free you may use.


You can if rushed after looking and cleaning dry beans cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cover tightly with a lid for 30 minutes.  Then continue on with normal cooking.  This will work but they don't taste near as good and some of the outer skins of beans will come off.


  • You may soak your dry beans overnight and then shorten the cooking time to approximately 10 minutes. 
  • You may also add a small chopped onion and some chopped garlic to the beans.  There are many recipes online for cowboy beans with all sorts of added ingredients.  The choice is yours. Today I am sharing the bare necessities needed to cook a dry bean.
  • There are tons of recipes out there and any number of ingredients can be added to them for quick one-pot meals.

These beans can be used in chilis, soups, stews, refried, just any number of ways after cooking in this manner. They are inexpensive and full of protein!

Enjoy Your Cooking Experiences

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Talk of the Town #210


  1. I have always been afraid of a pressure cooker. I love to cook dried beans. I cook them slow on the stove. I like for them to have a thick juice or what my husband calls “A gravy”.
    Give me some pintos, cornbread and onions and I’m a happy southern girl.

    1. Oh yeah, I like the simmering traditional way myself. I like what your husband calls 'gravy'!  That does make them so good!  You making me hungry with your cornbread and onions talk too!