OK - When I think of baked beans, this is what I think of. I'll admit, I've changed the recipe just a bit (and, I think, for the better). These are killer beans to go with any type of BBQ. They take a bit to cook down, but they are serious beans and with a real depth of flavor. Let me know what you think!
Co-Founder, Grill Sergeant
Recipe - Mema's Baked Beans:
3 - 28 oz cans Bush's original or vegetarian Baked Beans (or your favorite canned baked beans)
2 Medium Yellow Onion, Cut into a very large chop (1/4"-1/2" pieces)
12 to 14 oz brown sugar (She would have done 24 ounces, so let your tastebuds guide you)
2 14oz can stewed (or diced) tomatoes
24 oz bacon cut into large pieces (cut a standard piece of bacon into 3 or 4 pieces). I prefer a good applewood or hickory-smoked bacon as it adds a richness to the dish. Hemplers bacon ends and pieces are a great choice as well!
1 T fresh Black pepper
2 t cinnamon
2t Liquid Smoke (Hickory)
- Pre-heat oven (or grill or smoker) to 400°F (convection, 425°F standard)
- Cook bacon (in the appropriate size oven-safe pot you can put in the oven with all other ingredients, I use a 6Q Dutch Oven) on the stove over medium-low heat until still soft (just to remove some of the grease/fat). Drain Grease and leave bacon in the pot.
- Add pepper, cinnamon, molasses, and liquid smoke
- Stir with bacon for 2-3 minutes
- Combine all other ingredients with bacon mixture and stir.
- Bring to a low boil/simmer with the lid off
- Cover pot and put into pre-heated oven until the contents come to a full boil (15-20 minutes). Once they do, stir every 20-30 minutes (scraping sides each time) until the onions go translucent, bacon is done, beans have started to thicken, smell awesome, and are starting to turn a rich mahogany color (about 1-1.5 hours, if you are doubling or tripling the recipe it will be closer to 2 hours).
- Reduce heat to 225° convection (250° standard), and continue to cook until beans are thick, rich, and a deep rich mahogany color (2-3 hours). Stir every hour or so.
- Reduce heat to 175, leave covered, and hold until you are ready to serve. They will hold this way for a few hours easily, and will just get better. If you are serving the next day let them hold at 175 for 1-2 hours then refrigerate. Re-heat on the stove-top.
1) You want a pot with a lid that doesn't seal perfectly tight. You want a small amount of steam to escape, so the beans can thicken and the flavors develop. If your lid seals tight, simply leave a small gap.
2) These will be much thicker than your standard baked beans. For thinner beans, simply cook for less time.