Cook pinto beans using a slow cooker by first washing and rinsing the beans well before soaking them in water overnight to soften them up. Drain out the water, and spoon the beans into the slow cooker along with 4 cups of water. Cook them on high for five hours.
To make flavored pinto beans, soak a 1/2-pound ham hock overnight with the beans, and add it to the slow cooker along with the ham-soaking liquid instead of 4 cups of water. Stir in 1 chopped onion, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano and house seasoning to taste, the latter of which is made by combining 1/4 cup of black pepper and 1/4 cup of garlic powder with 1 cup of salt. Cook the beans on high for five hours.
Make zesty pinto beans by bringing 10 cups of water and 1 16-ounce package of pinto beans to a boil before simmering them on medium-low heat for 60 to 90 minutes. After draining, add the beans, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup of finely chopped cooked ham and 2 minced garlic cloves to the slow cooker. Season the mixture with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook the beans on low for eight hours before adding 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles and then cooking them for another one to two hours.