Cooking pinto beans in a slow cooker yields a tender, final product. One recipe for slow cooker pinto beans from Paula Deen includes 1 pound dry pinto beans, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 pound ham hocks and 1 chopped onion.
Allow the pinto beans to soak in cold water the night before cooking. Drain the beans, and then dump them into the slow cooker with the chili powder and oregano. Soak a ham hock in water for two hours, and then place it in the slow cooker with its juices and the onion. Cover the pot, and cook the pinto beans for about five hours.