Quick Way to Soften Pinto Beans

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The pinto bean, a native of South America, is used primarily in Mexican recipes. It's the bean most often used in refried beans, adds flavor and texture to soups and burrito fillings. These protein-rich relatives of the kidney bean are typically sold as a dry bean. The beans require soaking prior to cooking to help speed the rehydration process. The usual soaking method takes 24 hours, but a quick soak method minimizes the soaking time to as little as one hour.


Dry beans require soaking to rehydrate properly.

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Things You'll Need

Step 1

Place the pinto beans in a colander. Sort through the beans and discard any cracked or shriveled beans.


Step 2

Rinse the beans under cool, running water. Stir the beans with a spoon or your hand as you rinse so the beans are thoroughly cleaned.

Step 3

Transfer the beans to a cooking pot. Pour 6 cups of water for every 1 lb of dried beans into the pot.


Step 4

Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Boil the beans for two minutes then remove the pot from the heat.

Step 5

Soak the beans in the covered pot for at least one hour. Drain the beans in a colander then return them to the pot. Add fresh water and simmer the beans for two to four hours, or until they are tender.


Older beans may require longer soaking. Beans have soaked sufficiently once they have become swollen and you can dent the surface of a bean with your fingernail.