BBQ Baked Beans

This is another recipe I’ve been meaning to post for a very long time–like since last July. But I have a good reason why. She’s almost 9 months old. :)

Baked beans are one of my favorite BBQ foods. There are a lot of people in my family who know how to make good baked beans, but I like this recipe from The Best Recipe: American Classics. It will knock your socks off. I’ve adapted it for use in a slow cooker. (Oven directions can be found at the bottom of this post.)

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for one cup of strong coffee.

I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t usually buy it either. All I had on hand was a small bottle of Sanka. (I know, I know.) I used it and it was fine. I do think real coffee is going to give you a better tasting baked bean. So use it if you have it. If you want to leave it out, just use more water.

The other thing to notice is that the recipe uses dry beans rather than canned.

Might I plead with you to try this? I always try to use dry beans when I can. I think it makes a huge difference. And if you use a slow cooker, it takes all the guess work out of it. And it’s easy.

BBQ Baked Beans
adapted from The Best Recipe: American Classics
Note: They suggest Bulls-Eye BBQ sauce, if you use a different brand, you will have to adjust the level of sugar and hot sauce.

Ingredients:
1/4 pound bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. dried navy beans, washed and picked over to remove debris or dark-colored beans
1 cup strong black coffee
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared brown mustard (they suggest Gulden’s and so do I)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, preferably Bulls-Eye
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
Salt
Ground black pepper

Instructions:
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned and most of the fat has rendered. Stir in the onion. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together the coffee, dark brown sugar, molasses, mustard, barbecue sauce, and Tabasco sauce. Add the onions, bacon and garlic.

Place the rinsed beans and the other ingredients in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover by about two inches. (This is about 5-6 cups, more or less. You may need to add more later.) Turn slow cooker on to low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.

*Check periodically to make sure there is enough water–especially if you cook it on high. Be advised that removing the lid adds cooking time, so don’t do it unless you need to add more water. The beans shouldn’t be too soupy near the end of the cooking time, but you don’t want the slow cooker to go dry either.

Add the last tablespoon of barbecue sauce and season with salt and pepper before serving.

______________________________________________

Oven Directions:

If you don’t want to make these in a slow cooker, you can do it in a Dutch oven on the stove and move it to the oven.

Use 8 cups of water.

Bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees with the lid on. Remove lid and bake for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add the BBQ sauce and salt and pepper.

14 Responses to “BBQ Baked Beans”

  1. Ingrid April 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    Thanks for passing along the recipe. Best part? Slow cooker.
    ~ingrid

  2. PheMom April 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    I am going to have to try this one! I LOVE baked beans too!

  3. Sarah April 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Now I am willing to try dried beans. Thanks for the tip. I just thought it was the same old same old – and its cheaper!

  4. emilio April 28, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    yummmmmmmmmmm!!!

  5. Norah April 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    I love baked beans so I’m always looking for new recipes. I can’t wait to give these a try.

  6. Marie April 29, 2009 at 6:20 am #

    Baked Beans have long been a favourite of mine as well. Nobody can beat my mom’s and that’s always the first thing we look forward to having each time we go home. Somehow the ones we make ourselves never quite come up to the memories of how hers taste! Yours look delicious.

  7. nano*ink April 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    I have substitued strong Pero for coffee in a recipe I have…it works fine, but the flavor is different, of course.

  8. Cafe Johnsonia April 30, 2009 at 3:47 am #

    Yes–just add it in along with the water and the sauce ingredients.

  9. Cafe Johnsonia April 30, 2009 at 3:48 am #

    BTW–Welcome new readers or delurkers. :)

  10. Lindsey Johnson April 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Julianna, I would probably make a double batch. This is great for a party because you can make it a few days in advance and it gets better as it sits. I really like these beans, so I make a lot so there’s plenty to go around.

  11. Bridget August 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    I see most of these comments were long ago but I just came across this recipe in a search so I’m hoping someone can answer this question~~~~ Do I need to soak the beans overnight before slow cooking them?

  12. Susan James January 16, 2014 at 4:44 am #

    This is the BEST recipe for BBQ Baked Beans. I have used it so many times. NEVER fails! I almost had a heart attack when I couldn’t find my bookmark link on my new computer. Phew!! A real crowd pleaser, AND so EASY!!

  13. Lindsey Johnson January 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Hi Susan! Aren’t they the best? You can’t go wrong with America’s Test Kitchen recipes! Glad you found the recipe again. :)

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