What Color Should Pinto Beans Be?

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Pinto beans are a treat to the taste buds! When it comes to appearance and flavor, they are different from other beans. Usually, when the other beans are monochromatic in color, pinto beans have a vibrant appearance. But magically, when you cook them, they take on a different color!

Pinto beans have a beige or tan color with reddish-brown streaks all over their body. The stripes fade away when cooked at the correct temperature, leaving a wonderfully creamy texture with a pink tone.

So, if you are unsure whether you are cooking your pinto beans perfectly or not, you are in the right place! In this article, I will discuss what color should pinto beans be, how to know if they are undercooked, and how to tell if they are old, etc. To have a clear understanding of these, please read the entire article. 

What Color Are Perfectly Cooked Pinto Beans?

Be it Northern beans, fresh red kidney beans, or even some pinto beans, the process of cooking it all is the same. However, if you follow some essential tips, you can quickly achieve the perfect pink color of pinto beans. 

Pinto beans are widely available in the United States. It is a different kind of bean, both taste-wise and as per appearance. Now, people also cultivate pinto beans in China and India. So, it is not unfamiliar to Asian people as well!

Pinto beans are a good source of nutrition. They contain a good deal of fiber and protein. Besides, they are considered low in fat, which makes them a healthy choice of food. These beans are tasty, creamy, and beautiful in appearance!

So, pinto beans are more like textured beans. They have a very faded beige color. When you cook them, the brown spots or marks on them vanish. Then they take an elementary pink color. The word Pinto comes from a Spanish term that means “painted.” In fact, the beans look like someone just painted them with some splashes of colors!

The color of the dish mostly depends on what spices you are adding. For example, if you are adding turmeric, it’s going to have a yellow hue. However, with the traditional spices used, perfectly cooked pinto beans will exhibit a pink color originally. It has a pleasant and sweet aroma. You can cook it with any kind of meat you like. Have it with a side of bread!

Actually, a regular dish of beans is very easy to prepare. However, if you are worried that you are not cooking your pinto beans perfectly, I would like to provide you with a guide. Collect a fresh batch of some good-quality pinto beans. It’s more like you have to handpick them. Just make sure you don’t get a lot of stale or rotten beans.

After that, wash them and soak them in water for a reasonable amount of time. This way, you will be able to get the perfect color after cooking. Also, this step is vital for degassing your beans because you don’t want to end up with a bad stomach ache! Now, pinto beans don’t take much time to cook. Mostly, it depends on what sort of dish you are planning to make. 

Moreover, If you are making a regular bean dish, just heat them in the sauce for a good amount of time, add in your desired spices, and your beans will be ready. Here is a detailed recipe for how you should cook pinto beans. 

Do not overcook or undercook your pinto beans. Or you won’t achieve the desired color. Just cook it at optimum temperatures. You can get the hang of it after trying a few times!

Are Your Pinto Beans Undercooked?

Undercooked beans are very unhealthy and can cause gastrointestinal problems. Even so, pinto beans are no exception. You must know how to understand whether you have undercooked or overcooked your pinto beans.

Actually, undercooked beans are stiff and don’t break easily. To understand whether you have reached optimum levels of doneness, you can take some beans on a spoon and check with a knife. Or you can just take a bean between your fingers and try to smash it. Undercooked beans don’t crush between your fingers. Actually, they are not very hard to distinguish.

Usually, when you cut with a knife, it will feel hard and won’t cut easily. Sometimes, it can instead have a hard outside and a soft inside. Even so, these beans are also undercooked. The common mistake which leads to this is not soaking your beans properly. 

For this purpose, you must soak the beans in a pot of cold water overnight. You can soak it for as little as 8 hours, up to a maximum of 24 hours. It will help the water to imbibe inside the seeds softening the fibers. So, when you cook them, it won’t take much time to denature the protein. 

Also, change the water once when you are soaking the beans. Otherwise, you may end up with gas problems. It can create havoc for you!

Besides, you can try cooking the beans on a pressure cooker if you are in a hurry. Undercooked beans are so unhealthy that eating undercooked beans can affect your gut motility. You can end up with an awful tummy ache. Indigestion, bloating, acidity, constipation, etc., are the common gastrointestinal problems associated with eating undercooked pinto beans. So, cook it satisfactorily.

However, sometimes your beans can turn black or become overcooked. Actually, the pinto beans color the water they are cooked in. That is to say; if you choose beige ones, the dish will be pinkish in color. But if you choose black beans, the dish can turn darker.

In that case, make sure you didn’t choose black beans to cook in the first place. Choose some fresh beige-colored pinto beans for the best results!

Do Old Pinto Beans Change Color? 

This is the thing with old and stale pinto beans that won’t change color no matter how much you cook them. It is a way to know how old the Pinto beans that you have chosen to cook are.

Generally, old pinto beans have a faded and dusty appearance. In the worst cases, they can have a layer of mold on top. These are fungi that start to grow on the beans. So, when you choose pinto beans, always make sure you are getting rid of the ones with mold layers. 

Besides, the stale pinto beans have a sour taste. You can try eating a raw one to confirm whether it is old or fresh. Stale beans are not hard to identify by their taste. Also, before you choose the beans, grossly inspect them and smell them. The smell is often a good indicator of their freshness. 

Old and stale pinto beans make the dish very distasteful and gross and also produce a very bad odor. The smell is sufficient to know that the beans were old. However, the most important trick is that the old pinto beans do not change color when you cook them. Even if you soak them for the longest time, it is not going to change.

Sometimes, it is hard to identify the mold layer on top of the beans. Usually, molds have a greenish or greyish, or brownish type of appearance. These kinds of build-ups on the beans are not normal. 

So, make sure you are choosing some good-quality pinto beans. Eating moldy beans can be dangerous for your health. It can bring about deadly diseases, even liver cancers.

Nevertheless, it depends on how old the beans are. If you are cooking year-old beans, chances are you will end up with a gross dish. Again, if they are not very old but stale, you can yet manage to make an edible dish. But it is always best to choose fresh pinto beans for your dish. It is healthy and delicious and a treat for your taste buds!

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