Pinto Beans : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Has anyone been able to make the pinto beans edible? You know there won't be "hamhocks" and such out there.

I've one edible recipe, a mock chili, from a cafe.

I tried to make refried beans and it was an unedible bland paste that was ghastly tasting.

-- Paula (, November 19, 1999


Yes, Paula, we have been sucessfull for years at making pinto beans edible, but not over 2 or 3 times per day.


-- Got Chili Powder?

-- Greybear (, November 19, 1999.

Paula: Wash beans thoroughly. Place beans in stock pot and cover with water (about 2 inches of water). Place lid on pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Turn heat off, place lid ajar on pot for steam to escape. Let beans sit for 4-5 hours. DO NOT drain water from beans. Add 2 bay leaves, pepper, 1/4 cup dried minced onions (or fresh if you have them), and bring to boil and simmer 45 minutes. Add 1 can of stewed tomatoes (mexican, or italian), and 1 envelope of taco seasoning. Simmer for 30 more minutes. One small bag of beans will feed at least 6 people. You can add more water if beans look like they are going dry. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke if you like the hamhock flavor. If you have left overs, you can mash them and make refried beans and serve with corn chips. Learn to make flour tortillas.

-- bardou (, November 19, 1999.

Use bullion, even a little sugar in the beans. Also I always put in a can of Coke for dark beans and a can of Seven-up or Sprite for light beans. After cooking the beans you could add syrup/bar-b-que sauce and make bake beans. The secret to great beans is not to add the salt until the beans are tender. You must use seasoning for beans or you will have a bowl full of blah. Try adding a can of tomatoes, onions, or even a can of Rol-Tel to your beans until you hit on a combination that suits your taste.

-- Carol (, November 19, 1999.


Needs garlic! Everything but ice cream and watermelon needs garlic.

We don't need no stinkin firearms, our breath will do.

-- LM (, November 19, 1999.

Hey Paula,

I saw your other thread. You need to stock up on some sauces & syrups ya know. Doesn't have to be expensive, but it sure makes a difference. Hot sauce, Soy sauce, pancake syrup. I know there are Smart & Final stores down there, they have large jars of ham base for soup stocks - as well as chicken, beef, and a good one by Knorr with a chicken tomato base. Lots of Mexican food sections in the larger markets are stocking these now too.

I like black beans better, but they're a little more expensive. Lentils are great & take less cooking time, you can throw some in with your white rice & they're done at the same time. You can sprout them for variety.

Thanksgiving time is when baking goods and spices traditionally go on sale. Get some bay leaves from the ethnic food section, sometimes the spices are cheaper there. Check out some cook books from the library. Hang in there.

-- flora (***@__._), November 19, 1999.

Damn LM!!! I forgot the garlic!!! Yes, garlic, garlic, garlic! Thanks LM, now the recipe is complete. (You can add a small can of jalapenos too).

-- bardou (, November 20, 1999.

Down here in deep west Texas.Pinto beans were the lifeblood of my family when I was growing up. And they are simple to make. First pour a bit of the beans out on a newpaper and check them for rocks,dirt etc in them then put those beans in a colleander Then pour out another bit of beans to check for rocks. Do this untill you have the amount of beans you wish to cook. Run water through the beans throughly washing them with your hand.

Next, you can either put water in the pot of beans and begin to cook them (slowly). Or you can let them sit over night. I get an excellent pot of beans either way.

do not put salt into the beans while they are cooking, it will make them tough.

Now as to seasoning you can use, there is reallyno end of them. First one that comes to mind can be found in the spice sction of your is called aptly enough "Pinto bean seasoning ( I recommend it).

For meat flavoring salt pork (cut in tiny slices), ham hocks. Or, if you are preparing for when TSHTF...Go to the dollar general store and buy about 10.00 worth of TVP Bacon Bits. Combine this with a couple of ham bullion cubes it works great.

The onions, this is the place to use the dried onions. Garlic, either powdered, of the fresh is good also. add some tomato sauce to it if you want to use chli powder. To make chili con carne (Chili with beans) add a cup of the dried hamburger rocks to the pot as the beans are cooking >

Hope this helps you Have a nice evening


-- Shake (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), November 20, 1999.

Damn Bardou, I forgot the jalapenos. I knew there was something missing from my supplies.

Wonder where I can get 100 lbs of freeze dried jalapenos?

-- Chilihead LM (, November 20, 1999.

My personal opinion: salad dressing. Also, get a range of different beans to produce slightly different tastes and a psychological boost. I go for canned because they are precooked.

-- Mara (, November 20, 1999.


In this part of the southwest, the viejitas (old ladies) have some major pointers which I have learned over the years. I pass these on to you as part of our sonoran traditions and great lover of frijoles!

1.) Carefully pick over the beans and remove all the ugly beans (those split, wrinkled, and off color) as well as debris (non- beans). Rinse in HOT water.

2.)Cover the beans with 5 times water the volume of the beans. Do not add anything else at this point.

3. Bring to a roaring boil and reduce to a simmer after 5 minutes.

4. Reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 2-4 hours (depending on volume) stove top (longer if you have a crock pot) until tender. If you find it necessary to add waterm add only HOT water. After they are tender, add salt pepper jalapenos, onions, garlic; whatever suits you tastebuds. Gee-out of room-email for more details!

-- Big D (, November 20, 1999.

I've canned about 14 pints of what I call my "additive" for beans. Each pint has about a cup and a half of shredded picnic ham, diced onion and garlic, salt, and pepper. I top off the mixture with boiling water and seal the jars, and process according to canning instructions for most meats. I've used one of the pints to try it out and it worked fine. I brought the beans (in this case great northern) to a boil then covered and turned off heat for an hour. At the end of the hour I added the extra water needed with my "additive" for flavor. Since the beans are again brought to a boil the canned meat has plenty of time to be safe to eat. (Have to boil canned things for at least 10 minutes before eating.) Add extra seasonings to taste. Should work well with other types of beans also.

-- LG (, November 20, 1999.

ANYTHING will make pinto beans good, even really good! Trick to it is they have to cook many hours (7 or 8 hours min.) to be really tasty. An onion is a minimum and it will make a pot of beans great!

Also, to refry 'em you need to use grease, crisco if you have to, lard if you want it to be really good. If you hunt or your neighbors do, rendered bear fat makes the best beans of all.

As one of the other posts mentioned, don't put the salt (and for sure black pepper) until they have cooked for several hours.

-- Roger (, November 20, 1999.

With all those hours to cook, be sure to add a pressure cooker to your gear. Cuts the time down to 45 mins. Even solves the stale beans (hard as rocks FOREVER!) problem.

-- farf (, November 20, 1999.


If you don't happen to have a 'House Beautiful' kitchen available beef jerky will keep and takes up little space, maybe other dried meats.

-- maid upname (, November 20, 1999.

Paula --

Soak the beans over night. This has always helped. I used to slow cook them in a crock pot. About 5 hours. The rest of these suggestions are good too, although I suspect that 'fatback' will be in short supply for a while. (Although, come to think of it, it's only salt pork, which ought to keep pretty well in a heavy brine.... Hmmmm, got to think about that one.)

What I can't believe is that nobody posted the 'magic' ingredients for really good pinto beans. Tabasco Sauce (which has many magical properties for other food items as well), and Pepper Sauce. (This *can* be bought at the store, but the best way is to take little green chiles and add vinegar (typically in a vinegar cruet) and let 'em steep. (Preferably for several months, but its pretty good after a week or two.) Just keep adding vinegar as the level goes down, and if you notice that the peppers are dissolving, toss in a few more.

-- just another (, November 20, 1999.


Thanks for asking the question and thanks to all those who responded!!!

I hesitated to purchase beans because I don't have a clue what to do with em. This is a great help!




-- Michael Taylor (, November 20, 1999.

The Dollar store has the small cans of Dak hams for $2.00.You could add that to the beans.

-- Maggie (, November 20, 1999.


Refried beans need lard [or better yet, bacon fat]. That gives them the taste. You also need peppers.

-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 20, 1999.

My thanks also to everyone for a great cooking lesson on beans!

-- Psychotic (y2k@doom&, November 20, 1999.

Dollar General has little cans of chunked ham @ 2 for $1.00. One can is plenty to flavor your beans. Personally, I like the beans with onion, garlic, salt and pepper and no ham flavor at all. Yes...for really GOOD refried beans you need to fry in lard or bacon grease.


-- Taz (, November 20, 1999.

Thanks everyone. I'll try again. "I've just got to make these edible for myself as I have many, many, pounds of pinto beans. It's enough to make a person weep just looking at them.

-- Paula (, November 20, 1999.

Many nights our dinner was pinto beans and DONT forget the cornbread.

-- smfdoc (, November 20, 1999.

wow, I've been eating beans for 20 years & have always added the salt right at the beginning - & the beans have never been tough -- my cooking time at 3000 feet is 2.5 hours.

The biggie with beans is to make sure you chew them, unchewed beans in unchewed beans out. Zip nutrition. If unsure, use an old fashioned wire masher to partially break the cooked beans apart.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, November 20, 1999.

One small bag of pinto beans will feed 6 cats and 2 dogs. Yuk

-- Betty Alice (, November 20, 1999.

Dear Paula,

The magic ingredient for getting beans to be appetising is,in my humbe Brit opinion,STARVATION.How can anyone eat that awful food?Are you all vegetarian over there ??? LOL

-- Escape (From Lenny@in the nick of, November 20, 1999.

Got Beano?

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 20, 1999.

Escape: Actually, while I was appreciating all the tips on preparing beans (Paula, I, too, have enough to make a grown person cry!) I was wondering why you would always have to have all these seasonings. As a child, we ate pintos seasoned w/nothing but salt and ate those with our sweet cornbread and a tall glass of cold, fresh milk. Mmmmm, MMMMM!!! Maybe a pickle on the side. I grew up a bit poor, can ya tell?

Now I am too spoiled. But I still like some good old-fashioned plain beans every now and then.

Thanks to everyone. Had a great time cutting and pasting these tips into a document to go into the Y2K Cooking file!

-- preparing (, November 20, 1999.

An extended cooking time is prefered...but if you wish to worsen the taste and speed up the cooking process by 4x, add a small amount of baking soda.

-- ron (, November 20, 1999.

The following link will give you instructions for making a solar oven out of cardboard boxes! I've made one and tested it by cooking PINTO BEANS since it is said they are the most difficult to cook in a solar oven and they take so long to cook anyway (=lots of fuel!) They were great! And the oven will cook anything from bread to turkeys (if you have one!)

-- Garden Gal (In my, November 20, 1999.

Mitchell, You hit on a good point, "unchewed bean in unchewed bean out". Do yourself a favor and any small children you might have, and mash up their beans, I still remember those awfull diapers, that came the next morning.

-- Marli (can'tget@it.duh), November 20, 1999.

This past summer I too wanted to try some of all those pinto beans I had. Made the best baked beans ever. Soaked the beans over night. Boiled them 1 hr in the morning. Poured off most of the water and put in a baking dish. Mixed two good glugs of catsup with two more glugs of Kraft BBQ sauce and added lots of brown sugar. Mixed it with the beans and covered with foil. Baked them til tender and goop was absorbed. All the guests loved them. My husband evern thought they came very close to the pinnacle of his Mother's beans. Chuckle. Pam.

-- Pamela (, November 20, 1999.

They say Summer Savory takes the Fart out of the beans. Don't know if it works- I prefer au naturel. Of course, I don't have many close friends either.

-- (rickc@home.xcom), November 20, 1999.

La Git swears by epazote.

-- flora (***@__._), November 20, 1999.

rickc: Try a tablespoon of ginger to reduce the effects of gas(add to the beans while cooking). Just thought I would clarify to keep you from taking the ginger outright!! Also, cumin helps add flavor. To the person asking how we colonialists can stand the dish, you would have to live here in the Southwest to comprehend the "love" affair.

-- Neil G.Lewis (, November 20, 1999.

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