Place cleaned pinto beans in your crock pot and cover the beans with the water. If your beans are 1 inch deep, you need two inches of water above the beans. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 1/2 hours. Occasionally check the beans and add more water to keep them from drying out on top, if necessary.
After 3 1/2 hours add the salt and garlic powder. Stir, and cover for an additional 30 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
Heat 2 tbsp of corn oil in a large pan over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully add 3 cups of the beans (including the juices) to the hot pan. **CAUTION** this may cause splattering so use a splatter guard if necessary to avoid any burns.
Let the beans fry in the oil until bubbly throughout, then use a potato masher to smash the beans. Place the refried beans into another dish to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and beans until all beans are mashed.
Serve warm. Enjoy!
To reduce crock pot cooking time by half, boil the beans for 20 minutes before placing in the crock pot.UPDATE (09/02/13): Since posting this recipe, I have began frying the beans in leftover bacon grease, which I find gives it even more delicious flavor!