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June 20, 2010
Alton Brown's Baked Beans

The classic barbecue side dish is baked beans and in my opinion this is one of the best recipes available. Its from Alton Brown's show on Food Network called "Good Eats." This recipe requires soaking your beans overnight and then baking them for about 6 hours. Its well worth it.

baked bean recipe

Here are the ingredients:
1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

The first step is to soak the beans overnight. I make sure to fill the bowl with enough water to allow for the beans to expand. This turns out to be about 1 inch of water over the beans.

alton browns baked beans

The next day you chop the bacon, dice the jalapenos and onions and add them to your pan. Alton Brown recommends a cast iron dutch oven. I don't have a cast iron dutch oven but I do have a 4 qt cast iron skillet. I used this and it turned out just fine. I would imagine this baked bean recipe would also work well in a crock pot. Over medium heat sautee the onions and jalapenos along with the bacon until the onions are soft (about 5-8 min).

alton browns baked beans

After the onions are soft, add in the tomato paste, brown sugar and molassess to the skillet.

baked beans

Stir this around for a little bit and then strain the beans and add them to the skillet. Reserve the water the beans were soaking in and then add 4 cups of this water to the skillet. It may seem like a lot of liquid but all this liquid will reduce by quite a bit. Add the cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper and bring this to a boil over high heat.

baked bean recipe

Once the beans are boiling, cover the skillet and place it in a preheated 250 degree oven for about 6-8 hours. I kept thinking to myself that I bet this would work well on the bottom grate of my smoker while a pork shoulder was cooking!

After 6 and a half hours my ribs were ready and so were my beans.

baked beans in a cast iron skillet

This is a really nice bean recipe to accompany your BBQ. Just look how nice it goes along with my ribs!

baked beans in a cast iron skillet

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By John Thomas
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