As you can see I am prepping this week for barbecue.  Yesterday was some awesome potato salad.  Today we are making cowboy baked beans.  I wanted to make beans from scratch.  Just a word of warning.  Making beans from scratch takes longer than barbecueing a whole hog.  The end result, was totally worth it.  And to my frequent reader Bond, yes, there is bacon and beer in this recipe.

Delicious Cowboy Baked Beans

The baked beans were soft, tender and delicious.  As you can see from the picture above the beans are laced with smokey bacon and some of the trimmings from my pulled pork.  Pork and beans is the best combination in the world.

Ingredients: (adapted from the boston baked beans recipe from

  • 2 cups navy beans or pinto beans or any other bean you have in the house 
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/2 pound burnt ends from brisket or trimming from pork butt
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup favorite barbeque sauce
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can of only the finest american beer.

If you know that you want to make these beans it is preferred that you soak them overnight the night before.  If you are short on time let them sit at least 6 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 325.  This works in ovens from 325-375.  So if you have other dishes that need to bake, it is alright to turn the heat up a bit.  I would not go over 400 as that will cause all of the sugars to burn.

Next dump the beans and soaking water into a large pot and place on the stove.  If the beans have swelled you may need to add a bit more water.  Make sure that the beans are fully submerged.  Turn the heat to high and once it starts to boil turn down the heat and let the beans simmer until soft.  This usually takes between 2-4 hours.  Depends on soak time. 

Now drain the beans and reserve the liquid.

In a sauce pan, combine the beer, molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil.  While the mixture is heating up, dice the onion and cut the bacon into managable sizes.  Then in a large baking dish or caserole dish, add the beans, bacon and onion.  Once the sauce pan mixture is boiling, remove from heat and pour over the bean mixture in the baking dish.  If the mixture does not fully cover the beans add some of the reserved bean liquid until the beans are fully covered.  Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours. 

At the 2 hour period, remove the lid, add either the burnt ends or some scraps from the brisket or pulled pork.  Mix well and return to the oven.  This time bake for 2 hours uncovered or until the beans are super soft and tender.

baked beans up close and personal

These beans definately took a lot of time.  They were worth it.  A little tip, make sure you boil beans till tender.  I was once again in a rush and I took them out after about an hour.  They were not soft and or tender in the four hours that I baked them.  I actually had to add water again and bake for another two hours.  Otherwise the recipe and the beans are amazing.  I hope you enjoy.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. ohh. i have been wanting to try my own baked beans for quite awhile. these sound delicious! anything with bacon and beer can't be bad!

  2. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go
    over the same subjects? Appreciate it!

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