How to Cook Pinto Beans
"Beans, beans..." While we all snickered at the saying as grade school children, it turns out beans really are good for your heart. High in fiber, they help your body keep your cholesterol levels in check, which can help prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions. And since dried beans tend to be among the cheaper offerings at most grocery stores, knowing how to cook pinto beans and other varieties is a great way to get a lot of bang for your grocery buck.

With a combination of Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, jalapenos, chili and garlic powders, hot sauce and barbecue sauce, this pinto bean recipe provides a bold punch of Southwestern flavor that works as a side or main dish. It will definitely make an impression.

Hi. I'm Miranda with and, today, I'm gonna show you how to make Pinto Beans. Now, this is a perfect side dish for either a barbecue or a picnic and it's definitely nice and low fat, and also pinto beans are fantastic source of protein. They're also really inexpensive when you buy the dried version, so let's check out all of our ingredients which we have laid out here. We're gonna start with a total of 8 cups of water, so I have 4 cups here to the side and then also 4 cups here in my large pot or you could use a dutch oven. Then I have 2 ham hocks, smoked. I have 1 medium onion, chopped. I have 1 pound of rinsed and dried pinto beans, then we have 2 tablespoons of Worcester sauce, we have 2 tablespoons of chili pepper, we have 1 to 2 whole canned jalapeƱos, seeded and chopped. I have 2 here 'cause I wanna give it a little bit of a kick, and then we also have 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and then 1 dash each of both liquid smoke and just a bottle of hot sauce. So, we are going to start with the 4 cups of water that we have here in our big pot. We are going to turn our heat on nice and high, and this is sort of-- this is a two-step process so we're gonna start by just cooking the pinto beans on their own, so we're gonna pop them in here, and then we're gonna bring this to a boil, and as soon as it comes to a boil, we're gonna reduce it to a simmer, we'll pop our cover on, and let it cook for just 2 minutes and then we'll be right back. Okay, so now it's been boiling and simmer like this for 2 minutes, so I'm gonna take it off the heat. Put the lid back on and I'm gonna let this hang out and soak up for about 1 hour and then we'll be back. Okay, so our pinto beans sat for an hour. We've drained them, rinsed them, and put them back in the pan. Now, what we're going to do is add that remaining 4 cups of water, so just pour that on in. I'm gonna add in the ham hocks, it's gonna just cook right in there, then all the other ingredients, just pop this all in. Okay. So, now, we are gonna bring this to a boil and then once we bring it to a boil, we're gonna reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2-1/2 hours so it takes a little bit of time but it's inactive time and I promise it's well, well worth it so we'll come back then. Okay, so our pinto beans have cooked for 2-1/2 hours. They're all nice and tender and wonderful. Now, if you wanted to add in barbecue sauce, you can certainly do that, like a little tiny taste of it. That's optional. If you do, you wanna do it in the last like 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, like while they're still cooking, but we're done and I've-- I've opted out of that today because I have these lovely ham hocks that I think are just gonna give enough flavor. Now, I've removed them from the pinto beans and cut the meat off the bone and then just discarded the bone so I've got the nice chopped up meat here and I'm gonna reintroduce that to the pinto beans. So let's just do that now, and just give it a nice stir. This is gonna be such a delicious side dish. And add-- I mean, you know, it took a while to cook but most of that was inactive time. Pinto beans are so nice and chockfull of that protein, and really inexpensive to buy so who doesn't love that, but there you have it, super simple. That's how you make Pinto Beans. Thanks for watching, and for more great recipes and savings, visit us at
What You'll Need
  • 1   pound dry pinto beans

  • 8   cups water

  • 2   smoked pork hocks

  • 2   tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  •  Dash liquid smoke (optional)

  • 1   medium onion, chopped

  • 1   teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2   tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 - 2   whole canned jalapenos, drained, seeded, and chopped*

  • 2 - 3   dashes bottled hot pepper sauce

  •  Bottled barbecue sauce (optional)

Step By Step
Rinse beans. Combine with 4 cups of the water in a Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 1 hour. (Or, place beans and 4 cups water in a large bowl; cover. Set in a cool place 6 to 8 hours.)
Drain beans and rinse. Return to pan. Add remaining 4 cups water and ham hocks. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke (if desired), onion, garlic powder, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, and pepper sauce.
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Add more water, if necessary, and stir occasionally. Add barbecue sauce to taste during last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, if desired. Remove pork hocks; remove meat from bones and discard bones. Chop meat and stir into beans. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

  • * Hot peppers contain volatile oils that can burn eyes, lips, and sensitive skin. Please wear plastic gloves while working with peppers and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Once you get a taste for this flavorful dish, you'll appreciate why knowing how to make pinto beans is such a mainstay in Southwestern cuisine. Whether you're dining on steaks or burgers or fajitas, a side of pinto beans may be just the thing to jazz up your meal.
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