Pinto Bean Secrets

I have my ups and downs with Pinto beans.   Here’s the list of things that I have learned.

  • Don’t add tomatoes at first- the beans will take forever to cook.
  • Add most of the spices at the LAST 2 hours.
  • Use Chicken bullion, not beef bullion, in the water.
  • 1lb beans to 6 cups water, then it  will need 2 cups more later.
  • You don’t need to soak the beans in a crock pot- not at all.
  • Bacon is really good in the beans, but cook the bacon first.
  • I put a WHOLE jalapeno, stem removed at the start.
  • Don’t cut up the jalapeno, it will make it too hot.
  • The beans make a nice gravy, all by themselves.
  • When you add more water to the beans, heat it up.. otherwise the beans will turn black.  Add bullion to the water.
  • Only a few spices are needed.  The best beans are the simplest.  Then, tweak it to suit your taste, with peppers and stuff on the side.
  • I add the bacon at the last 2 hours, that way the beans don’t get oily. I cook that bacon up nice and crisp.
  • Bacon is the best meat additive.  I’ve made really expensive pots of beans, that were not as good as plain bacon.
  • If you add meat at the very first, it tends to make the beans greasy.
  • When I set my crockpot on HIGH..the jalapenos will split open, and stew.
  • A little cumin tastes pretty good with pinto beans.  Just a LITTLE.  Cumin is a ingredient of chili.  I add just a hint.

The mexican grocer has a wider variety of bullions, I am gonna try some vegetable bullion next time.   Tomato based products make the beans take forever to cook.  I’ve experimented with BBQ sauce and ketchup- eh, I didn’t like ’em.  I like that natural gravy, with some crispy bacon and jalapenos on the side.


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