Back Roads Living

How to cook Pinto Beans and Corn Bread

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how to cook pinto beans

How to cook Pinto Beans

Growing up here in the southern part of Kentucky, we learned early how to cook pinto beans and corn bread. They are commonly called soup beans here. We grew up on,… well, I would not call it a farm. Not sure what to label it but we raised farm animals and a large garden.

The reason I say that is because we had many of the country pets and critters but not as many as a large farm would have. I guess you would just call it,.. Back Roads Living or Country Life!

As most folks in the day, we had cats and dogs for pets. The farm animals we had were chickens, and hogs. These were not raised for pets as many are today! We had never heard of someone having a pig or chicken as a pet. At our house the pigs were for fattening up and eating and the chickens provided eggs until they stopped laying, at which time they made great stews! We never owned a cow or horse.

Ingredients for: Pinto Beans

  • 1 – 16 oz bag of pinto beans
  • 6 – 8 – Cups hot water
  • Pork of your choice to taste
  • Salt to taste

how to cook pinto beans The lifestyles were on the poorer side and we ate a lot of pinto beans and corn bread. The most common and most loved beans we ate were mothers home cooked pinto beans. She bought packages of the wonderful beans and soaked them overnight and then cooked them in her big kettle with ham hock or whatever pork meat was available at the time and it was some of the best eating we ever had! We love them with fried potatoes and canned beats!

After a long day at school and getting the evening chores done, we could smell those pinto beans cooking! By the time supper was served, We called it supper. Most folks call it dinner! Supper is a country word I guess. I don’t hear that term used any more. Anyway, we were ready to eat! We always had onions and cornbread with this meal! I am so glad my mother taught us how to cook pinto beans.

Soaking Directions for: Pinto Beans

For the Quick Soak:

  1. You will need to rinse the beans well and drain in a colander and then add to a large pot.
  2. For every 1lb (16oz) of beans add 6-8 cups of hot water. (We usually only fix 1lb at a time)
  3. Bring this to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Cover the pot and let the beans stand for 1 hour
  6. Drain off the water and rinse the beans well.

For the Overnight Soak:

  1. Rinse the beans well several times and drain through a colander
  2. As above use 6 -8 cups of water per 1lb (16oz) of beans
  3. Allow to soak overnight or at least 6 – 8 hours.
  4. Drain the water and rinse the beans well using your colander

how to cook pinto beans Cold milk was also a must have! Nothing like a big glass of cold milk with those pinto beans and corn bread! We always had home cooked meals for every meal! After the pinto beans were eaten out of a couple of times we ate the leftovers! Mother would make bean cakes out of the rest! These were wonderful with fried potatoes and any type of meat!


Cooking Directions for: Pinto Beans

  1. In a slow cookeradd pinto beans and 6 -8 cups of water per 1lb (16oz) of beans
  2. (Optional) Add your salted pork. (We used pieces of seasoned country ham) Use whatever you desire, ham, slab bacon, anything pork that suites you. We added at least 1 full cup in ours.
  3. (Optional) Add 1/4 cup of chopped onions (Some folks like onions added in their personal dish as they eat them instead of cooking them in with the beans)
  4. Add pepper if you like it! 1/8 Tsp.
  5. Salt to taste.
  6. Turn on high and let cook for approx 7 – 8 hours.
  7. You can check the beans for texture, serve when they reach the desired texture you want. Ours took 7 hours.

For stove top cooking:

  1. Follow all the directions above, add to a kettle instead of slow cooker, cover, allow the lid to sit so as not to seal the kettle. You need the steam to escape so it does not boil over.
  2. Cook on medium heat for 2 – 3 hours.

Serve with our delicious Homemade Corn Bread!

I sure do miss those meals! We still go out to my mothers house on Friday evenings along and eat those wonderful pinto beans and homemade corn bread. She is in her 80’s but still fixes the best beans in the country!

She always fixed hers in a kettle.We now fix them in a slow cooker! We miss the aura of the country times and settings of long ago but the taste is still the same!


We hope you enjoy these recipes for How to cook Pinto Beans and Corn Bread. Tell us how you fix your favorite Pinto Beans!

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