What kind of beans did cowboys cook on the trail?

 

What kind of beans did cowboys cook on the trail?

Donna Rios
Wellman, Iowa

Beans were a staple on the frontier. They’re high in protein, and they stick to your ribs. They were easy to pack and store, until you were ready to cook up a batch. Pinto beans were the choice of the cowboys, and they were even better if the cocinero had some chili peppers to add spice.

Out on the trail, the chuckwagon cook soaked beans in a pot during the day. He’d set up camp and cook up a batch, but the beans would have to be eaten right away. Cooked beans spoil or sour quickly, so cowhands didn’t eat them on the trail unless they were traveling with the chuckwagon.

Cowboys in a line shack or at the ranch without an icebox would have had the same problem. They had to eat the beans right away.

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