How to Parboil Pinto Beans

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Parboiling pintos can help the beans soften.
Parboiling pintos can help the beans soften. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Parboiling pinto beans is a common step in the cooking process when the beans will be canned or transferred into a soup or casserole. Parboiling imeans to partially cook a food by submerging the item into boiling water for a short time. Parboiling pintos helps to soften the beans and can decrease the overall cooking time of other recipes which call for soft beans in the finished product.

Things You'll Need

  • Pinto beans
  • Paper towel
  • Colander
  • Large pot
  • Slotted spoon

Pour pinto beans on the paper towel to sort out assorted discolored or broken beans. Watch for small pebbles that sometimes get included in commercial bags of pintos. Discard the discolored and broken beans and pebbles.

Transfer the pinto beans to a colander and rinse under running water to remove any dirt. Drain the water, and pour the pintos into a large pot.

Colanders provide an easy way to rinse pintos.
Colanders provide an easy way to rinse pintos. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Cover the beans with water at least 2 inches of water. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beans from the pot and return to the colander. Heat the water from medium to high heat until the it begins to rapidly boil.

Transfer the pinto beans carefully into the boiling water with the slotted spoon until all the beans are submerged. Add more water to the pot slowly if the beans are not covered adequately so as not to disrupt the boiling process.

Allow the pinto beans to boil until they begin to soften. Remove the pot from heat. Parboiled beans may be rinsed in cold water to stop the cooking process or transferred to another container to continue the cooking process.

Parboiled pintos can be cooked, canned or frozen for later use.
Parboiled pintos can be cooked, canned or frozen for later use. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

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