If using dried pinto beans, rinse the beans and place in a 4- or 5- quart Dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches of water and add the salt. Bring the pot to a boil, and let the beans boil for 15 minutes. After this time, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer the pot covered for 1 hour and then remove the lid. Continue to simmer the beans until tender and soft, which can take anywhere from 30 more minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the age of the beans. (If the water gets too low, add a little more to the pot). When the beans are tender and soft, drain the beans.