Pinto beans are great on their own, but they also make a great addition to chili and other recipes. Though canned pinto beans may seem easier, the best flavor comes from using dried pinto beans. Dried pinto beans first need to be soaked either overnight or using a quick soak method. The quick soak method takes a fraction of the time and even helps reduce the gas causing effects of pinto beans.
Sort and rinse the beans. Because dried beans are hard, machines that process them often miss other hard objects, such as rocks or clumps of dirt. By pouring the dried pinto beans onto a cookie sheet, you can easily sort through them to find any foreign objects. Also discard any beans that are shriveled or cracked.
Rinse the sorted beans in a colander to remove any dirt.
Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with water. The pot needs to be big enough to allow the dried beans to expand three times their size. You will need 6 to 8 cups of water per pound of dried pinto beans.
Boil for the water three minutes and remove the pan from the heat.
Cover the pot and allow the beans to sit for 1 to 4 hours, depending on how much time you have. One hour is enough time for the beans to soak, but more time can reduce how much gas the beans produce.
Discard the soaking water.
Rinse the beans one more time and then proceed to cook them as normal.
When beans can be squished between the thumb and forefinger they have soaked long enough.