Baked Beans So Delicious You Might Never Buy Canned Beans Again
Baked beans have the classic taste your family loves. Sweet and savory with just enough piquancy to perk up the palate, you can never go wrong serving them alongside chicken, beef, ribs or just about any protein. And if you love canned baked beans, wait till you try them from scratch.
Canned baked beans aren't necessarily bad, but you can do better; homemade baked beans have far less sodium and none of the tinny, alkaline taste from bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used to prevent the interior of the can from corroding. And the best part about homemade baked beans? They take about 30 minutes to prep, and you can cook them unattended in a slow cooker – a busy mom's dream, realized.
Total Time: 6 to 8 hours | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8
- 8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (optional)
- 1 large Spanish onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (optional)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- Kosher salt, to taste
1 pound dried white navy beans, rinsed and cleaned
1 ½ cups ketchup
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until all the fat renders, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate, leaving the fat.
- Saute the onions and garlic in the rendered bacon fat until caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the bacon fat if needed. Transfer the cooked onions and garlic to the slow cooker along with the chicken stock and water.
- Season the stock and water to taste with kosher salt. Add the bacon, navy beans, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, molasses and mustard to the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker to low, and cover. If possible, check the beans' doneness after 5 hours. Continue cooking the beans up to 8 hours, checking every 30 to 45 minutes until they finish. Stir in the vinegar, and season to taste with kosher salt before serving.
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A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.