Dried beans need soaking before cooking. Use 3 cups water for 1 cup of pinto beans. (Same recipe for kidney beans or navy beans.) To soak them quickly, boil beans 2 minutes; remove from heat and let stand one hour. Or if you prefer, boil beans 2 minutes and let them stand overnight.
Drain beans, add fresh water (same amount as before) plus 1 tsp salt to every cup of beans and 1 tsp olive oil. Adding 1/8 tsp soda to the water for every cup of beans reduces cooking time by one-fourth. Measure soda exactly, too much soda affects flavor and nutritive value of the beans.
Boil beans gently for 2 hours or until tender. One cup of uncooked beans yields about 2 1/2 cups uncooked beans.
Save leftover beans for next weeks chili.