Crock Pot Pinto Beans are tender and loaded with savory flavor.
The slow cooker (or crock pot) cooking method is perfect for meal planning.
EDITOR’S NOTE (June 19, 2022): Updated recipe and instructions. This update is NOT sponsored.
DISCLOSURE (SPONSORED IN 2019): I published this Crock Pot Pinto Beans recipe for the first time on January 25, 2019. At that time, I received compensation and complimentary pinto beans from Hurst’s Ham Beens.
All comments are my own.
WATCH VIDEO TUTORIAL (UPDATED July 28, 2022):
Photographed April 23, 2022.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CROCK-POT AND A SLOW COOKER?
Since Crock-Pot® is a registered trademark, manufacturers use the term Slow Cooker.
The modern slow cookers have a crockery pot insert with heating elements in the sides and bottom. The food is surrounded by heat. The heat settings are HIGH, LOW, AND KEEP WARM.
BACK STORY: MY AUNT’S CLASSIC CROCK-POT®
This sturdy beauty belongs to my precious aunt (76 years blessed) who has owned it for 20+ years (estimated). I used it in 2019 to make my first recipe for Crock Pot Pinto Beans.
Although it’s scratched and dented on the outside, the inside is looks good and it works well!
INSPIRATION FOR THE UPDATE
Recently, this recipe has become very popular on my blog. The increase inspired me to update it with new photos and helpful tips. Also improved the recipe and instructions.
This update is not sponsored.
HOW TO INSPECT & SORT PINTO BEANS
Dry beans are a natural agricultural product. Despite using modern cleaning equipment, foreign material and grains get into the package.
Always inspect, sort and rinse before cooking.
Pour dry pintos into a bowl or spread out on a flat surface.
Carefully search for foreign particles. Discard whatever you find.
HOW TO RINSE PINTO BEANS
Place a colander or bowl in the sink. Pour sorted pinto beans into the colander.
Thoroughly rinse with cold water.
SHOULD PINTO BEANS BE SOAKED BEFORE SLOW COOKING?
According to hurstbeans.com (experts), pinto beans do not need to be soaked before slow cooking.
In my opinion, soaking or not soaking is a matter of personal preference. Soaked beans cook faster than dry beans. Soaked are done in 6 hours. Dry are done in 7 hours.
My recipe requires soaking. For that reason, I’ve included helpful tips for individuals who prefer either quick soak or overnight soak.
HOW TO SOAK PINTO BEANS (AFTER SORTING/RINSING)
Pour sorted/rinsed pinto beans into a pot.
Add water until it rises 2 inches above the beans.
Place lid on pot. Turn on high heat.
Allow beans to boil for 2 minutes before turning off heat.
Keep lid on the pot while the beans soak.
USE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SOAK METHODS
- Quick Soak: Soak 2 hours with lid on pot.
2. Overnight Soak (Suggested)
Soak 8 hours or overnight. Keep in pot as shown above or pour beans and water into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
HOW TO RINSE SOAKED PINTO BEANS
Place a colander or large bowl in sink.
Pour pinto beans and the soak water into the colander.
SMOKED HAM HOCKS
Smoked ham hocks contain plenty of savory, smoky ham flavor.
Rinse in warm water before using.
SMOKED TURKEY WINGS (ALTERNATIVE SEASONING)
Most grocery stores have Smoked Turkey Wings chopped in medium sized pieces and slathered with savory smoked seasonings. Check in the meat department.
Do not rinse before cooking.
Perfect for individuals who avoid pork for whatever reason.
THE LIQUID: USE CHICKEN BROTH OR HAM BROTH
Although many prefer to simmer pinto beans in chicken broth, my favorite is Ham Broth. Very easy to make.
While beans are soaking, make the Ham Broth.
If using dry beans (no soaking), simply prepare the Ham Broth first. Then, add the dry beans.
HAM BROTH RECIPE
Place one smoked ham hock (rinsed) and a coarsely chopped white onion in a large pot.
Cover with 16 cups of water. Simmer for 1 hour. Discard the onions. Keep the ham hock to cook with the pinto beans.
PREPARE TO COOK
Place soaked (or dry) pinto beans, chopped onions and one smoked ham hock in the Crock Pot (or Slow Cooker).
Pour in enough chicken or ham broth to cover the contents as shown in this photo.
KEEP LID ON SLOW COOKER WHILE BEANS ARE COOKING
CROCK POT COOKING TIMES
Cook soaked beans on HIGH for 6 hours.
Cook dry beans on HIGH for 7 hours.
THE HAM FLAVOR PACKET
Ham Flavor Gluten-Free Seasoning packet is included with Hurst’s HamBeens Pinto Beans with Artificial HAM Flavor.
After the pinto beans are done, add contents of seasoning packet.
Stir gently until well combined. Simmer two more minutes.
Pinto Beans and onions served with Homemade Self-Rising Cornbread.
Pinto beans and onions with a dash of red pepper flakes.
Also pairs well with my Mini Cornbread Muffins.
Calories and nutritional information not included with recipes on this site.
A popular online nutritional calculator is myfitnesspal.com.
Copy recipe link in the address bar and add it to their calculator.
No need to type each ingredient.
Crock Pot Pinto Beans
- 1 package (20 oz.) pinto beans (inspect, sort, rinse, soak) Per instructions printed on back of package.
- 1 smoked ham hock rinsed
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- chicken broth or ham broth Enough to cover pinto beans in slow cooker.
- 1 Ham Flavor Packet Packaged with Hurst's dried pinto beans.
- salt to taste
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped To garnish each serving (optional).
- Inspect, sort and rinse pinto beans.
- Soak "rinsed" beans as instructed on the back of the package.
- Place a colander or large bowl in the sink.
- After soaking, pour the soak water and pinto beans into the colander or large bowl. Rinse thoroughly.
- Place soaked/rinsed pinto beans in the crock pot (or slow cooker).
- Add smoked ham hock and diced onions.
- Add enough chicken broth (or ham broth) to cover the top of the contents.
- DRY BEANS: Cover and cook on HIGH for 7 hours without opening the lid during cooking time.
- PRESOAKED BEANS: Cover and cook on high for 6 hours without opening the lid during cooking time.
- After the pinto beans are done, add contents of Ham Flavor seasoning packet. Stir gently until well combined. Simmer two more minutes.
- Serve hot. If desired, top each serving with chopped onions.
- REFRIGERATION TIP: Store cooled pinto beans in a container with a tight lid. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.