Rinse pinto beans under cold running water and pick out any stones or non-bean material.
Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure it is sealed.
Set the timer on high for 50 minutes, or the bean cycle. It will take about 10 minutes to reach full pressure.
When the timer is done, let it natural release for 20 minutes. Release any remaining pressure with a quick release and check the beans for doneness (see note).
With a ladle or measuring cup, remove a cup of the excess liquid. Set it aside. You may need to add it back in while mashing to get the desired consistency.
When the beans are fully cooked, if desired, use a masher and mash till the consistency you like. You can place the beans in the blender and pulse for a few seconds till blended, or use an immersion blender right in the Instant Pot.
Serve beans with your choice of garnishes.
This makes a large pot of beans (about 8 cups). They can be eaten mashed for refried beans or reserve some of the beans before mashing to use in other recipes.
To make a Frito Lays copycat refried bean dip, add 2 teaspoons of sugar when mashing.
When cooking has finished, test a bean or two to see if they are tender. Sometimes beans that have been in storage a long time will take a little longer to cook. If you feel that they aren't tender yet, set your pressure cooker for Sauté and just simmer the beans a bit more.
To reduce cooking time: Soak the beans overnight, then drain. Reduce cooking time to 15 minutes, with 20 minutes natural release. Continue with recipe as directed.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze in small portions in freezer containers or zip lock bags up to 3 months. Tip: Spray containers that you will be using for freezing (even ziplock bags) with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray so the beans slide right out of the container when you're ready to heat them up.