These delicious homemade baked beans start with dry beans – but don’t worry, we have a shortcut to soften them. They are slowly cooked in the crockpot, putting all that moisture to good use so they come out soft, tender and full of that sweet tangy flavor you’re used to.
One reason slow cooker baked beans have become so popular is because they are incredibly versatile. The moisture from the slow cooker ensures the beans stay nice and moist vs. cooking them in the oven where the dry heat can result in overcooked dry beans.
The slow cooker ensures that the beans cook evenly and develop a rich, deep flavor. Plus, it allows the beans to become tender and creamy without becoming mushy.
Do I need to soak my beans overnight?
No. As a matter of fact, I have soaked them overnight and found them cracked and shriveled up the next day, almost mushy and not very attractive.
Now I follow these steps and my baked beans have come out much better:
- Begin by placing the dry beans in a colander and rinsing and sorting through them. Remove any debris, discolored or cracked beans.
- Put the beans in a pot of cold water covering the beans by 2 or 3″. Bring them to a full rolling boil. Cover them and take them off the heat. Let them sit for 1 hour.
What Kind of Beans Do I Use?
Traditionally, navy beans are used. However, I use a combination of half navy beans and half red kidney beans. One type of bean tends to be one dimensional to me, so I like to add second type of bean for variety.
How to Make homemade Baked Beans:
- Once the beans are softened you’ll want to drain them in a colander over a bowl reserving the liquid. This liquid is is commonly referred to as aquafab. Aqua (is Latin for water) and fab (means beans). This liquid is full of starch as flavor and can be used as a substitute for water or broth.
- The bacon, bell pepper and onion is sauteed in a pan over medium heat to render some of the fat from the bacon and soften the vegetables. These, the beans, plus the rest of the ingredients are added to the stockpot and combined.
- They can be cooked low and slow or on high, if time is an issue.
The Perfect Pairing:
- You can never go wrong with a classic – baked beans and burgers were meant to go together.
- Another classic that can’t be served without baked beans would be a pulled pork sandwich.
- If it’s sides you are looking for, simple creamy coleslaw, macaroni salad and potato salad are the way to go.
HOMEMADE BAKED BEAN RECIPE
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Homemade Slow Cooker Baked Beans made from dried beans, not canned, with a perfect blend of spices and a quick soak technique resulting in the perfect textured bean.
- 2 Cups Dry Beans (I used half red and half navy)
- ½ lb. No Nitrate Bacon (or 6 slices), cut in 1″ pieces
- 1 Onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced (1 cup)
- ½ Cup Tomato Puree
- 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Dark Molasses
- 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ Cup Ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Place the beans in a large stock pot and cover the beans with 2″ of water. Put them over high heat and bring to a full rolling boil. Take the beans off the heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a stockpot add the chopped bacon and cook it for a minute or two to let some of the fat come out. Add the onions and green pepper and cook for another 4 min or so but don’t let the bacon crisp.
- Add the tomato puree, garlic and onion powder, sugar, molasses, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper and chipotle chili if using.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, immediately reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain the beans RESERVING THE LIQUID and place them in the slow cooker.
- Pour the reserved liquid in a large glass measuring cup and add enough water to equal 4 cups. Add this to the beans. Add the sauce and stir.
- Cook on high for approximately 3-4 hours or low for approximately 7-8 hours adding regular water (or broth) when needed and stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the vinegar once the beans are soft and done cooking.
It’s important not to add vinegar until the end of the cooking process. There is tomato puree in the recipe, which is acidic, and adding the vinegar as the beans are cooking would lower the pH. So please be sure to add it at the end.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 7-8 hours
- Category: side dish
- Serving Size: 6 (½ cup) servings
- Calories: 227
- Sugar: 21.6 gr
- Sodium: 640 mg
- Fat: 8.2 gr
- Saturated Fat: 2.7 gr
- Carbohydrates: 31 gr
- Fiber: 2.7 gr
- Protein: 9.0 gr
- Cholesterol: 21 gr