Barbecued Boston baked beans

My lovely wife Katherine …

Beans beans they ‘re good for the heart

My betrothed balked at the idea of making Boston Baked beans. “Do you know how long that takes?” This from the man who takes few shortcuts in the kitchen. So I took matters into my hands and we’ll never buy canned again. (We stopped ages ago, too pricey and salty, but still!)

Barbecued Boston Baked Beans

  • 1 pound dried great Northern beans
  • 8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey (or molasses if you’re using a light BBQ sauce)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

Soak beans overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside. Preheat oven to 350. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp, remove bacon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel reserving enough bacon fat to brown onions. Saute onions in reserved drippings until tender. Add beans and remaining ingredients to pot, stirring to incorporate. Bring to a boil. Move pot to oven and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, the sauce is nice and thick, about four hours. Can be made the day before. Bring back to a simmer before serving.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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65 Responses to Barbecued Boston baked beans

  1. JamieAnne says:

    Going to try this tomorrow. (Eek! Today) I’m going to put my beans in water to soak… ermmm ….Right now!

    • It’s great if you’re cooking other things. You can just stick them in the oven with the occasional stir and when the rest of your stuff is done… viola.

      • JamieAnne says:

        I had a total fail at my first attempt of this recipe last weekend. I’m blaming it on my beans, they never got soft (even though I soaked them overnight and followed all the directions) they remained crisp…grrrr. I’m not sure how old the beans were. I am trying the recipe again this weekend, hopefully my results will be better.
        I’ll let you know.

      • Oh, no! What kind did you use?

  2. This is the one I´ve been waiting for! I love all pulses, I especially love beans and you just can´t beat a good baked bean. I´ll have to get hold of some smaller ones first as we mainly have cannellini type beans here, but if I can´t find them will just have extra large Boston Baked Beans. Mind you, that could be asking for trouble….! Your recipe looks and sounds mouthwatering, really looking forward to trying this one out.

  3. So I love the taste of baked beans but never had the patience to make them myself. But yours look delicious! Maybe with the long weekend I can give these a whirl.

  4. I bet it tastes like a whole other food! These look incredible and well worth the time! Have a nice weekend!

  5. I love baked beans but have never made my own and reading your recipe, think there is no excuse going forward. Fabulous recipe.
    🙂 Mandy

  6. Charles says:

    These look totally awesome. I love baked beans – alas they’re not very common in France so when I’m up for some I can usually create a similar kind of effect with a tin of haricot beans, some ketchup, bit of water, boil them up for a few minutes – surprisingly good, but you don’t get that delicious “infused” flavour. Now I’m going to have to try this myself, to make the “real thing”.

  7. made the barbeque sauce last night with a few alterations as I didn’t have it all in the cupboard. It smells delicious. It is raining here ,but I am looking forward to our chicken on the grill anyway. I have marinated the chicken legs, and I thought I would paint on some of the barbeque sauce as it cooks.
    These beans look great, I wonder what equivalent I could get to Northern beans here. Pinto beans?

  8. Colline says:

    Not too sure what northern beans are. What do they look like?

  9. ChefMom says:

    So glad you posted this one. I was thinking that we needed baked beans with our cookout, but I didn’t want to buy the canned variety and didn’t have a clue where to begin making them from scratch. This looks like a recipe I can handle though! Thanks!

  10. Lemon&Lime says:

    These look great! I will have to try them out!

    Happy long weekend!

    : )

  11. Those beans look very good. I’ve never made Boston baked beans. You inspire me.

  12. Bethea says:

    These look amazing! I love the recipe it sounds amazing.

  13. Okay…y’all are killing me here!…first the chicken, then the beans…amazing… 🙂

  14. myblogject says:

    If I could ever be bothered to commit the time this sounds amazing. I’m a baked bean fan.

  15. Caroline says:

    You’re killin’ me with all of these fantastic recipes for the weekend. I love barbecue baked beans. My mom always makes a similar dish for 4th of July, and they’re the perfect side dish to my dad’s famous ribs! Great post, Greg. 🙂

  16. SimpleP says:

    I’ve made so many things in the kitchen, but I’ve never started a recipe with dried beans. Looks like a great recipe to start with.

  17. This is a totally new recipe to me but I really love is definitely going on my must try list

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    Finally a recipe for baked beans that doesn’t start with “Take 2 cans of Brand X Beans and …” Can’t wait to give these a try.

  19. Yum! I’m not a bacon eater, but I imagine this could work with turkey bacon?
    Thanks for the comment on my blog, which led me here. Hurray for new inspiration! I am loving the pictures and the recipes.

    • Thanks, if you don’t eat bacon. Turkey bacon or skipping the bacon altogether would be fine. Glad you stopped by.

      • changingmoods says:

        If I weren’t a bacon eater, I’d definitely go with the turkey bacon, because this is one of those recipes that has to have some kind of meat in my opinion. And with me being a meat eater, the bacon definitely stays!

        I can’t wait to try this one day.

  20. Liz says:

    Being from New England, we had Boston Baked Beans every Saturday during the colder months. Seems most every family had a bean pot and a pot of beans baking every Saturday. Boy! That brings back memories. Your recipe looks and sound delicious.

    • Thanks, that will make Katherine happy. She had trouble finding what she felt was an authentic recipe and she knew she wanted BBQ sauce not ketchup. So she created her own. So many of the recipes started with canned beans.

  21. Okay, I haven’t been on my computer much the last few days and I can’t believe I’ve missed all of your posts that would be perfect for a cookout. I’m bookmarking this recipe for the next cookout. I love baked beans! Have a wonderful weekend!

  22. nrhatch says:

    Just in time for Memorial Day cookouts! 😀

    Thanks for visiting SLTW.

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  24. Carolyn Chan says:

    I looooove home made baked beans and this looks amazing!! How long do you think it will keep in the fridge? I’d love to make a big pot on Sunday to have on toast for breakfast during the week. Or do you think it would freeze well?

  25. JamieAnne says:

    They were great northern (store brand), I don’t know how long I’d had them. I bought new beans and am going to try again. I’m quite sure the beans were just too old or something. 🙂 the pot smelled great.

  26. JamieAnne says:

    That’s why I assume it must have been old/bad beans. I had a good recipe and I soaked my beans. Freaky things happen.

  27. Ha ha, good to see someone else use the rhyme my Mum taught me!

    How does this go in a slow cooker, do you know?

    • This should work in a crock pot as we yanks like to call it. That said, I think oven baking is the true way to go. Not just for cooking the beans but to get the bacon right. Although using a slow cooker would make the job easier.

      • JamieAnne says:

        I’m trying it in the slow cooker as we speak. I’ll let you know how long it takes. I browned the bacon and onions on the stove top and then transferred everything to the slow cooker. 6 hours on high and the beans are finally soft. I’m setting it on low to simmer overnight.
        I agree with Greg. The slow cooker does not seem to be the right way to go. I’ll let you know how it looks in the morning, but at that point I will have cooked the beans for 16 hours.

      • I had a go at this today – baked in the oven. My wife & I loved it, eldest not so keen.

      • Oh yes, I can’t guarantee any recipe to be kid-proof. Even pizza!

      • JamieAnne says:

        This morning (16 hours in), the beans are soft and flavorful, but the sauce is not very thick. I think this recipe is not an easy one to convert to a slow cooker recipe. I recommend sticking to the directions on the recipe (aka use the oven)…you could use a slow cooker to keep it warm after you bake it in the oven 😉

      • Oh, I feel so bad now. We don’t have a slow cooker, unless you count me. Maybe the next time you know you’ll be stuck in the house four hours, you can try again.

  28. JamieAnne says:

    Don’t feel bad. I only passed on that info because someone asked about slow cookers and I know you don’t own one.
    My oven was busy making granola, so I took a chance. It’s good info to know. This recipe is best done in the oven. 🙂

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  30. Cynthia says:

    Can you use KC Masterpiece-original sauce in this???

    • I prefer homemade, but just use your favorite.

      • Cynthia says:

        thanks for responding! I would make the bbq sauce that you have listed but my local mkt is out of habanera’s. Can I substitute a chipotle pepper or would that be too off on the flavor? Or what do you suggest? Oh, what are blended tomatoes?

      • Puree the tomatoes. Chipotle is fine. Also, homemade BBQ is great, but it is time consuming so if you’re just using it for this, by all means buy a bottle you like. Once you start making your own you won’t forget.

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  34. A_Boleyn says:

    I’m curious what the apple cider vinegar adds flavour wise to the baked beans as I have reduced my pantry to red wine, rice wine and regular white vinegars and would prefer not to add another one unless absolutely necessary. 🙂

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