How to Make Baked Beans

Опубликовал Admin
25-09-2016, 13:50
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Traditionally served in a rich sauce with pork or bacon, baked beans are a wholesome, versatile dish that's great as a snack or as a meal's centerpiece dish. Prepared from a can or from scratch, baked beans are easy to cook and even easier to eat! This recipe shows you how to make a generous baked bean dish that can feed a whole family with leftovers to spare.

Spicing up Canned Beans

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. The best baked beans are cooked slowly at a medium-low heat for a thick, well-cooked consistency - nothing's worse than thin or soupy baked beans. Make sure you have time in your schedule to periodically check on the beans for the several hours they're in the oven.
  2. Add barbecue sauce, molasses, mustard and vinegar to a mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Set aside.
    • If you don't have molasses, you can try substituting 1/2 cup of brown sugar. If you have molasses, but don't have enough, try substituting 1/2 cup of white sugar with a teaspoon of molasses.
  3. Cut bacon strips in half. Fry bacon in a steep-edged frying pan until done but soft. Don't cook "crispy" bacon - the bacon strips will continue to cook in the oven. Transfer bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel (to absorb grease) and set aside. If there's excess grease in the pan, you may remove some for later use]. However, leave at least enough grease in the pan that you can see it move when you tilt the pan.
    • Resist the urge to clean the pan! The leftover grease will add a smoky, meaty flavor to the final dish.
    • If you're leaving bacon out of this recipe, simply heat a tablespoon of oil (vegetable or olive oil work fine) in your frying pan and use it to fry the ingredients in the following steps.
  4. Add diced onion and bell pepper to the frying pan. Sautee in bacon grease over high heat until tender (usually about 2-4 minutes.)
  5. Add the cans of beans to the frying pan. Maintain heat, stirring the ingredients together until combined. If your frying pan isn't big enough to accommodate the beans without spilling, scrape all ingredients to a larger pan or pot.
  6. Add the barbecue sauce/molasses mixture to the pan. Stir ingredients together to create a thick stew. Bring the stew to a light simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Transfer the entire mixture to a large casserole pan or baking dish. If you're using bacon in your recipe, lay the cooked bacon strips across the top of the baked beans at even intervals. The bacon will continue to cook in the oven, browning to a nice, crisp consistency that compliments the soft, thick texture of the beans.
  8. Cook the beans at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Periodically check on the beans to ensure they don't dry out - you want a thick, but not dry, texture. If you notice your beans drying out, add more liquid. If you have it, extra barbecue sauce mixture or bacon grease works great. If not, water will suffice. When done, remove from the oven. Let beans cool slightly to thicken. Serve and enjoy!
    • Baked beans are a great side dish for barbecued meats - try serving with grilled ribs, beef, or chicken. Cornbread is also a great companion for baked beans.

Preparing Beans from Scratch

  1. Add about 3.5 cups of dry navy beans to a large pot. Submerge the beans in plenty of cold water - about three times the volume of the beans. Let the beans soak in the refrigerator overnight. The beans will absorb water overnight, increasing in volume substantially.
    • If you don't have time to let the beans soak overnight, soften the beans quickly in the oven. Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Add your dry beans, submerged in plenty of water, to a pot with a tight fitting lid. Cook the pot in the oven until your beans are soft - about 90 minutes - 2 hours.
  2. The next day, transfer the beans and water to a stove top and heat to a light simmer. Simmer the beans until soft - about 1 - 2 hours. Optionally, add 2 teaspoons salt. Sufficiently softened beans should be able to be easily crushed in your fingers.
  3. Strain the beans, setting the water aside. The leftover water can be added to the beans during the baked beans while they're cooking to prevent them from drying out. Since the water carries the flavor of the beans, it will taste better than ordinary water when added.
  4. Prepare them the same way you would canned beans. Since canned beans often come packed in a bit of sauce, you may need to add slightly more barbecue sauce, molasses, etc. to compensate for the beans' relative dryness. Use common sense - a long as you check the beans periodically as they're cooking, it's hard to accidentally let your beans dry out.

Recipe Variations

  1. Substitute salt pork for bacon. Baked beans have a long and storied history - Native Americans cooked dishes resembling modern baked beans in New England before the arrival of European colonists. Early baked bean recipes in the United States often used salt pork - then a commonly-used ingredient - instead of bacon. Salt pork, like bacon, is derived from the fatty portions of the pig. To give your baked beans an old-fashioned touch, prepare your salt pork by briefly boiling it to remove some of its salt, then fry in a pan until crispy, like bacon. Then, simply substitute your salt pork for bacon!
    • For a truly authentic Native American baked bean dish, use dear (or even bear) instead of pork products and use maple syrup instead of molasses.
  2. Add extra spice for zest! One great way to give your baked beans a good "kick" is to chop up a jalapeno pepper or two when sauteing your onions and bell peppers. If you're especially adventurous, you can even add dried pepper or a super-spicy hot sauce to the baked beans as they simmer in the frying pan. Be warned - not everyone can handle the extra heat.
  3. Experiment with your liquid ingredients. Modify your "sauce" to suit your tastes. If you don't like barbecue sauce, try substituting ketchup! You can use Worcestershire sauce to modify (or replace) mustard. Also try adding a dash of your favorite spice - a little cinnamon, for instance, can fantastically compliment the sweetness of standard baked beans for a subtle "Autumn" flavor. Your sauce is limited only by your imagination - make your own special recipe and share it with your friends!


  • Three 28-oz storebought cans of pre-cooked navy beans OR about 3.5 cups of dry cannellini or navy beans
  • Optional: 8 slices of bacon (thick-sliced is best)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (Dijon is best)
  • 1/4 cup white or cider vinegar


  • Enjoy with chips, on jacket potato or on toast!
  • Adding cheese is yummy as well
  • You can experiment with different flavours, herbs and spices, chili beans anyone?


  • Don't burn yourself
  • Watch the beans carefully or you may just burn them.

Things You'll Need

  • Large, deep frying pan
  • Casserole dish
  • Oven
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