How To Make Perfect Pinto Beans In The Crockpot

I love pinto beans, I’ve just never been able to cook dry beans to get that great texture and taste of beans I’m served in a restaurant or out of a can.  Mine have always been just a little too crunchy or not really very flavorful.  So frustrating!  Until Now.  Thanks to Mommy’s Kitchen (who adapted her recipe from Southern Plate) I have become the Queen of Pinto Beans.

We’re talking pinto beans and ham so delicious you could eat them every day for the rest of your life.  Beans so good, you’ll like them even if you don’t like beans!

The first time I followed this recipe I was a little incredulous.  Sugar in beans?  Oil in beans? I now wouldn’t make them any other way.

Pinto beans and ham - Perfect Crock Pot Pinto Beans - best beans ever!

Perfect Crock Pot Pinto Beans adapted from Mommy’s Kitchen


  • 1 lb bag of dry pinto beans
  • 1 Tbls Salt
  • 1 Tbls Sugar
  • 2 – 3 Tbls Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Tbls Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Optional (but recommended): Add one of the following for extra seasoning and flavor; ham hock, ham bone, or a slice of country ham cut into pieces. If you like your beans spicy, add a jalapeño pepper.

Directions for Making Perfect Crock Pot Pinto Beans

Sort your beans and remove any broken pieces or pebbles. Rinse, then place in a large bowl and cover with water.  Mommy’s Kitchen adds baking soda to her water – I love this trick!  Just about 2 tablespoons of baking soda added to the water will work. Soak the beans overnight.  In the morning drain the water and rinse the beans.

**Sometimes I double soak my beans. From noon – 8pm soak as directed above then I rinse, put back in bowl and cover with water for overnight. It’s not necessary, but it’s worked well for me.

Let’s cook!

Add the beans to your crock pot and cover with fresh water. Add the salt, sugar, oil and pepper. Now’s the time to add your ham if using.

Place the lid on the crock pot and cook beans on high for 6 – 8 hours.  Do not open the lid to check or stir for at least 3 hours (if you can’t resist, be sure to cover them back up). If you need more water or seasonings add it after that point.  The beans should have a soup like consistency.

After 6 hours, test beans and if they are cooked you are done. Otherwise, continue cooking until beans are soft.

Serve the beans with all your favorite fixin’s.  These freeze well for those days you don’t have prep and cooking time.

What do you think?