This homemade baked beans recipe is easy, and tasty. have always been a favorite at our house! Although we made our baked beans over the years with canned beans, recently we started making our baked beans with dry beans. We soak the beans overnight. The next day, we do a quick cook, and then add in all the seasonings for the baked beans. We cook these BBQ baked beans for 5 hours in a 300 degree oven.
Why homeade baked beans are better than canned:
Made-from-scratch homemade baked beans offer a level of flavor and texture that surpasses canned varieties. By starting with dried beans, you have complete control over the cooking process, allowing you to infuse them with aromatic herbs, spices, and other seasonings. The slow, gentle cooking method ensures that the beans become tender yet retain their shape, resulting in a satisfying bite. Additionally, homemade baked beans allow you to customize the recipe to your preferences, creating a truly unique and delicious dish.
What kind of dry beans should I use for baked beans?
When it comes to choosing the best dry beans for baked beans, there are a few varieties that are commonly used and highly recommended:
- Navy Beans: Navy beans are the traditional choice for baked beans. They have a mild flavor, creamy texture, and are known for their ability to absorb flavors from the other ingredients in the dish.
- Great Northern Beans: Great Northern beans are another popular choice. They are similar to navy beans but slightly larger in size. They have a delicate, nutty flavor and hold their shape well during cooking.
- Pinto Beans: While pinto beans are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, they can also be a delicious option for baked beans. They have a creamy texture and a slightly earthy flavor that pairs well with the sweet and savory flavors of baked bean recipes.
- Cannellini Beans: Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are often used in Italian cooking. They have a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. They work well in baked beans and can add a unique twist to the dish.
Ultimately, the choice of beans comes down to personal preference. You can experiment with different varieties or even mix them to create your own custom blend of flavors and textures for your homemade baked beans.
Ingredients for BBQ Baked Beans:
- 1 lb. package dry great northern or navy beans
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons Dijon or brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons mesquite powder or liquid smoke
- 12 grinds fresh black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ lb. thick-sliced bacon chopped and cooked
Instructions for Baked Beans:
- Place beans in a large pot oven safe pot and pour in enough water to cover by about 2". Cover the pot and let the beans soak for 1 to 2 hours. Enameled cast iron works great.
- Drain the beans and cover with the same amount of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain the beans and save the liquid.
- In a large oven safe pot or Dutch oven, combine soaked beans, 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, onion, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, salt, mustard, mesquite powder, pepper, bay leaf, and bacon. Mix well. It may seem very loose but don’t worry. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 5 hours or until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency. Stir occasionally and add more of the reserved cooking liquid if needed during cooking time.
- At end of cooking time remove and discard bay leaves. Taste beans and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.