The Best Baked Beans Recipe with Bacon
The Best Baked Beans slow-cooked in a naturally thick brown sugar molasses sauce with a tangy and sweet smoky hickory barbecue flavor. A classic barbecue side dish to serve at picnics using dried navy beans, molasses, brown sugar, hickory smoke flavor, apple cider vinegar, water, and bacon.
Servings 14 servings
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 7 cups water
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ tbsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder or ½ onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tbsp hickory liquid smoke found near the BBQ sauces
- 6 tbsp unsulphured molasses ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2¾ cup water
- 8 strips thick bacon
- 3 tbsp bacon grease
- ½ cup reserved cooked bean water
Fill a large pot with water. Pour in navy beans, cover top, and soak for 8-12 hours. I soak mine overnight.
Drain beans, rinse to remove excess starch, discard water. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups water and beans to a boil. Reduce heat to slow boil; cook 1½ hours uncovered. More water may be added if needed.
Drain beans over bowl; save cooked bean water. Return beans to an oven-safe stockpot or a large oven-safe casserole dish.
Stir in brown sugar, mustard powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and minced garlic. If using a raw onion instead, save to cook with bacon.
Stir in hickory smoke, molasses, maple syrup, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and water.
Bake in 300°F oven for 2 hours, uncovered.
Cook bacon on stovetop until light brown color but not crispy then cut into chunks. Drain bacon grease into bowl. If using a raw onion, cook for 2-3 minutes then add to pot.
Stir ½ cup cooked bean water, 3 tbsp bacon grease, and bacon into pot.
Cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring halfway through baking.
TIP: Add more water for a less thick sauce or bake a little longer to make the sauce thicker.
Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 542mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg