These smoked baked beans are the best ones I’ve ever tastes and that is all thanks to the sauce and the addition of bacon and vegetables. The BBQ sauce is sweet, tangy, and a little spicy with rich notes of molasses and bourbon. Sautéed bacon and vegetables add another special level of flavor to lift the whole experience to another level. Don’t forget the smoke infused to the whole side dish as a perfect finishing touch.
SMOKED BAKED BEANS
Baked beans is one of those staple side dishes that you can make for any gathering and everyone will want some. It’s even better when the side dish is so delicious that it outshines everything else.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten complimented on this smoked beans recipe. It’s all about the amazing sauce the beans are smoked in and the addition of sautéed bacon and vegetables.
This bbq sauce is the one I use in many dishes, not just the beans. I use it on smoked meatballs, on smoked chicken wings, smoked ribs, and so much more. The deep and rich flavors of molasses and bourbon are incredibly flavorful and go very well with many dishes.
Another layer of flavor comes from sautéed bacon and vegetables. The goal is to get bacon, peppers, and onions to get a nice, deep golden brown sear so those flavors get infused into the the whole dish.
QUICK SMOKING TIPS
What temperature for smoked baked beans?
Stick to the magic 225°. If you’re using a charcoal or wood smoker, maintain the temperature no lower than 225° and no higher than 240°.
What wood should I use for smoking beans?
My personal favorites are cherry and apple because it’s mild and goes so well with notes of bacon, bourbon, and molasses without overwhelming them.
How long to smoke beans?
Plan to smoke the beans for 2-3 hours. I usually throw them on along with meats that take about that long as well so it’s all done around the same time.
How much baked beans per person?
Depending on how many other side dishes and main dishes you are cooking, estimate about 1/2 cup to 1 cup per person. If there are several other option to eat, lean towards 1/2 cup per person, but if this is the main side dish, lean towards 1 cup per person.
Dark brown sugar – use dark brown sugar because it contains more molasses.
Apple cider vinegar
I use a combination of pinto beans, navy beans, and black beans. You can use your favorite combination of beans of substitute one to two for your favorite ones.
Jalapenos – you can adjust how spicy this side dish will be by choosing different jalapenos and discarding or leaving in the seeds. Older jalapenos are much spicier than younger ones. Older jalapenos will have dark, dry veins running along the skin. Younger jalapenos have smooth skin without any veins.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED BAKED BEANS
Sauté bacon and vegetables.
Dice bacon and vegetables and start to cook bacon first. Sauté bacon until it’s almost done and fat is rendered. Add diced vegetables and sauté until completely done. Don’t mix them too often so they get a nice sear.
Make sure to drain the beans completely and then add it to the vegetables.
Mix and add the sauce.
Whisk all the ingredients for the sauce in a mixing bowl and pour it into the skillet. Mix everything well and it’s ready to go on the smoker.
Prepare the smoker
Set up your smoker and get it to a steady 225°. Place a water pan either on the grate below or next to it, depending on your smoker and your smoker set-up. If you’re using a charcoal or wood smoker, maintain the temperature no lower than 225° and no higher than 240°.
Smoke the beans
Place the skillet with the beans onto the smoker and let it cook for 2-3 hours.
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Smoked Baked Beans
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 lb uncooked bacon
- 1 red onion
- 2 medium red bell peppers
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 16 oz pinto beans drained
- 16 oz black beans drained
- 16 oz navy beans
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp bourbon whiskey
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pour the beans into a fine mash strainer and let them drain off while preparing bacon and vegetables.
- Dice cold bacon and vegetables into small pieces. (It's easier to dice raw bacon when it's cold.)
Prepare the beans:
- Preheat a cast iron skillet (or another pan that can go from stove-top to the smoker) over medium-high heat.
- Add canola oil and bacon and sauté it until most of the fat is rendered.
- Add diced onion, bell peppers, and jalapenos and cook until completely done. Don't' stir it too often to give the bottom a chance to get browned. That's where the flavor is!
- Once vegetables are done, add drained beans and mix well.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and pour it into the skillet with the beans. Mix well.
Prepare the smoker:
- Set up your smoker and get it to a steady 225°. Place a water pan either on the grate below or next to it, depending on your smoker and your smoker set-up. If you’re using a charcoal or wood smoker, maintain the temperature no lower than 225° and no higher than 240°.
Smoke the beans:
- Place the skillet with the beans onto the smoker and let it cook for 2-3 hours.
- Stir the beans once smoked and serve.