Whether you are using pinto beans grown in your own garden or cooking store-bought pinto beans, preparing the beans before cooking is necessary. Pinto beans provide vitamins, minerals and a quarter of the recommended daily allowance of protein, according to the New Mexico State University extension office. Pinto beans can be used in a variety of recipes or eaten on their own as a side dish. Getting the beans from their hard, dried state to an edible and soft state for recipes takes minimal work.
Pour the dried pinto beans into a colander. Sort through the beans and remove any that are shriveled or discolored as well as any small stones and anything else that isn't a bean.
Rinse the beans in clear water, moving them around with your hand.
Fill a pot with 5 cups of hot water for each 1 cup of dried pinto beans. Boil for two minutes, then let stand covered for one hour. Alternately, cover beans with cold water and soak them in the pot overnight in the refrigerator.
Pour the beans into a colander and drain out the soaking water. Refill the pot with fresh water using 5 cups of water for every cup of beans.
Place the pot on the stove and cover with the lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer on the stove for two hours or until beans are tender.