Simple Pinto Beans Recipe - Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 2 lbs. dried pinto beans
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 lb. smoked pork hocks
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 cup green chilies optional
  • salt to taste

Extra Equipment Needed at the Campsite

  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • Charcoal if not using wood
  • Small shovel or tongs
  • Serving ladle


Before You Leave Home

  1. Sort and rinse pinto beans.

  2. Soak overnight.

  3. Dice onions and toss into resealable bag.

  4. Put black pepper, cayenne, and bay leaf in separate resealable bag.

Cooking at the Campsite

  1. Toss all ingredients except green chilies into your dutch oven.

  2. Add water to at least an inch above your ingredients.

  3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.

  4. Simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally and replenishing coals when necessary.

  5. When beans are almost ready, add green chilies.

  6. Be sure that your water is boiling down so the bean juice is thickening up.  If you have excess water, cook with the lid off until it evaporates down.

  7. Once about ready to take off your coals, test to see if it needs additional salt.  Add salt as necessary, stir, then serve.