Baked Beans

Baked Beans

Baked Beans at home is so much cheaper and you get way more. Customize it to suit your taste. Serve it with Pulled Pork, Sausage & Sauerkraut, Eggs & Beans, Smoked/Grilled Meats & Beans, and more. It is an excellent way to get some extra fiber into your diet.

Beans

I always store Pinto, Navy, Kidney, and Black Beans in my Kitchen. They last a very long time in their dry state and look nice in the kitchen too.

The Pinto, Haricot, and Navy Beans, I use for Baked Beans and sometimes Re-fried Beans.
The Black Beans I use for re-fried Beans.
Kidney Beans I use for Chili.

A Pressure Cooker can really cut down your time on softening the Beans. But you can also soak them overnight which works just as well. Then a slow cooker to fully develop the taste and soften the Beans. An Instant Pot is exceptionally well at this. It can pressure cook and slow cook the Beans along with some other useful features.

Getting Good Baked Beans

Baked Beans can get quite tricky with a lot of variables to consider. Such as Bean density, Absorption rate, the rate at which Liquid loss occurs. Which directly affects the thickness of the sauce. Causing longer or shorter cook times and whether you mix or not allowing the Beans closer to the heat source to cook faster. Also how long they cook in the sauce for the correct color.

All of these can be played around with to find out what works for you. For example, if you like darker Beans, add a tad more Molasses. For lighter a little less. When you change the Molasses you also change the sugar so adjust that as well.

The best way by far is to soak the beans overnight. This allows the Beans to get a head start and soften a bit with plenty of time to absorb the water with no heat. Then to slow cook. The slow cooker offers a slow, long, minimal heat to cook the Beans. Then to reduce the sauce and concentrate the flavors.

But if you find yourself pressed for time or forgot to soak the Beans. Use the Pressure cooker to get a head start. Then Slow cook.

I am still trying to pinpoint this and improve. But the below recipe is my own and how I make them. I haven’t played around with an Instant Pot yet. But am always looking for ways to improve a dish and the Instant Pot seems promising.

Make sure you check back once in a while. The cooking method may change. I update my post regularly.

Presoak

If you are going to use the pressure cooker then you really don’t need to soak as the pressure cooker will soften up the beans prior to cooking.

If you are not using a Pressure Cooker. You can get a head start by soaking your Beans the night before. Use 2 Cups Beans and 8 Cups Water. Let sit overnight.

You can still Pressure Cook the soaked Beans but cut your time more than half with a quick release or else your beans will be way too soft for cooking. The timing of this can vary depending on how long the Beans were soaked.

Pressure Cook

Pressure cook Raw Beans for 11 minutes from the first whistle on high heat. After the first whistle. Drop the heat to medium-high. This will allow us a head start on softening the Beans. Strain and add to Slow Cooker or Roasting Pan.

If your Beans are soaked the night before, you don’t have to Pressure Cook. If you decide to anyways, to further speed up the process. Only Pressure Cook for 3-5 minutes. Or else they will be too soft and not given enough time to absorb the liquid and come to the correct color.

Slow Cook

Slow Cook the Beans giving them enough time to absorb the liquid and cook thoroughly. They will start to turn brown after some time soaking up the liquid. This is the other reason we wanted to pressure cook at first unless you soaked the Beans. If we didn’t the Beans would take a lot longer to cook and due to that, turn dark brown – which we don’t want.

Thickening

The Thickening comes from placing the Beans into a saucepot and cooking it on medium heat until the Beans are done at the same time reducing the sauce and concentrating the flavors.

If you find yourself in a situation where your Beans are already cooked and any further cooking will make them too soft. Then mix Arrowroot with Cold water. About 1-2 Tbl Arrowroot with water just to mix and add it to the Baked Beans little by little on boil just to thicken the sauce.

If you find yourself losing too much liquid you can just add more.

Fat Content

Beans naturally cry out for fat. Mix a good fat with Beans and immediately it will taste better. From Hummus, Re-fried Beans, and including Baked Beans. Pork Fat is commonly used for Baked Beans so if you have any trimmings from Pork and froze them for later use. Here is where we can use it. Chop it up and add to the Beans.
If you don’t have Pork fat. You can use Lard or Bacon Grease.

Add Ins

  • Ketchup
  • Tomato Juice / V8 Juice
  • BBQ Sauce
  • HP Sauce
  • Worcestershire
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Sausage / Hot Dogs
  • Onions
  • Broth/Stock

Summary

  1. Soak the beans overnight or pressure cook to soften
  2. Cook the beans low and slow to absorb the sauce and correct color change.
  3. Add Pork Fat, Lard or Bacon Grease for added flavor and to give the sauce a sheen
  4. When the Beans are done, Cook in a sauce pot to reduce and concentrate the sauce.
  5. Add more water if necessary or cook on high to evaporate the water more quickly. If stuck thicken with Arrowroot.

Colonel Sanders Baked Beans

Or at least it is said to be. I haven’t tried this yet. As well as Canning Beans. When I do. I will update the post.

  • 1 1/2 Gallons of Colonel BBQ Sauce or Kraft’s BBQ Sauce
  • 10 lbs Onions
  • 6 lbs Ham
  • 3 #10 Cans of Ketchup
  • 7 1/2 lbs Brown Sugar
  1. Chop Onions & Ham fine Confetti Size
  2. Place all ingredients in a Pot and mix thoroughly
  3. Bring to boil constantly stirring. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

To Serve

1 Gallon of the above sauce with 4 #10 Cans of Beans. Mix Thoroughly.

Baked Beans

Homemade slow-cooked Molasses Baked Beans with a slight smokey flavor.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 1 portions

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 5 C Water
  • 2 C Beans - – Soaked over night and strained
  • 1/2 C Ketchup
  • 1/2 C White Sugar
  • 1/4 C Molasses
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek ground
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Pods Black Cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Mace
  • 1/8 tsp Clove

Instructions

  • Add the beans to a slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and slow cook until tender.
  • Drain the beans into a saucepot. Bring the beans to a boil reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced.
    Add more water if you're losing too much liquid or Raise the heat to evaporate the Liquid faster if the beans are already soft enough.
  • Adjust Seasoning & Remove from heat. Let cool.

Notes

Soaking and Slow Cooking is by far the easiest method. But you will still need to thicken the sauce due to the slow cooker having a lid minimizing liquid loss. You can do this by reducing the sauce with the beans on high heat to evaporate the liquid faster.
If you find yourself stuck where you have too much liquid and the Beans are already soft enough. Then add Arrowroot with some cold water, mix and add to the Beans and Sauce. Bring to boil just to thicken it.
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Baked Beans
Author: JAH
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