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Sort the pinto beans, removing any broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Put the beans in a strainer and rinse under running water.
Pressure cook the beans for 40 minutes with a quick pressure release: Put the rinsed beans in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker pot. Pour in the 6 cups of water, then stir in the teaspoon of salt and add the onion and bay leaves. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric pressure cooker or 35 minutes in a stovetop PC. (In an Instant Pot, use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode set for 40 minutes). Quick release the pressure in the pot.
Serve: Remove the pressure cooker lid – open it away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Discard the onion and bay leaves. Ladle the beans into bowls, and serve.