The best BBQ Baked Beans I’ve ever tasted – ultra rich, tangy, sweet and smoky. A summer barbecue essential!
I’m cutting right to the chase. These are the BEST. BBQ. BAKED. BEANS. EVER. I’m not one to use the word “best” casually, I only use it when I really mean it. I would be shocked if I met baked beans I liked more than these. You don’t need any other recipe, this is it. Send the others back where they came from.
I first came across this recipe in Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue cookbook. I’m pretty sure I almost fainted after the first spoonful. These beans are so flavorsome and rich. You can practically taste the richness with your eyes just by looking at that dark burgundy color. The barbecue flavor is very concentrated, equally sweet, tangy and smoky.
This must be what real BBQ baked beans are supposed to taste like. You see, growing up we only ever ate Bush’s canned baked beans. I’ve also eaten an alarmingly large amount of Heinz baked beans since making my way across the pond. The contrast between those and these is drastic, to say the least.
Of course, me being me, I can’t let well enough alone. I made a few changes to Adam’s fantastic recipe to make it even more fantastic. For me. Hopefully for you too. I will admit that the original recipe is a bit too sharp and rich for my liking. I’ve made a few changes to correct this, but have in no way shape or form sacrificed that immense barbecue flavor.
I will give you three solid reasons why you will love this recipe as much as I do:
1. Homemade BBQ Sauce. Please see my previous post. Have you tried this yet? If you haven’t, please do. I mean look at it. Luscious. I could eat it with a spoon.
Yes, of course you can use your favorite store-bought sauce if you don’t have time to make a BBQ sauce.
2. Treacle. Treacle is very similar to molasses, but more syrupy and not as sweet. I adore it. You can listen to me rant on about the virtues of treacle in this post about a Dark & Sticky Gingerbread.
The treacle is what gives the BBQ baked beans depth. Please use molasses if you can’t find treacle, but it’s worth giving it a try if you can get it. A little goes a long way and it lasts a very long time. You’ll have plenty leftover to make gingerbread this winter. Go for it.
3. This recipe is easy peasy to prepare. A teeny, tiny bit of chopping in a food processor, mix all the ingredients in one bowl, transfer to a baking dish then load up the bacon. Job done, super simple. All you have to do is put it in the oven and forget about it.
The beans need to cook low and slow for about an hour. They will look like this when they’re done – the sauce will be nice and thick and slighty charred around the edges . The bacon will be cooked through and caramelized.
Hmmm, maybe bacon fat is yet another reason why these taste so good?
Have I done enough to convince you? Are you having a barbecue soon? Can you make these and then please, pretty please invite me over?
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 white onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1¾ cups (400 ml) Homemade BBQ Sauce or your favorite store-bought BBQ Sauce
- ⅓ cup (60 grams) light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) treacle or molasses
- ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 14 ounce (400 grams) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14 ounce (400 grams) can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14 ounce (400 grams) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 rashers of good quality smoked streaky bacon
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees for a fan oven)
- Roughly chop the red pepper, removing the seeds and the bitter white parts. Peel the onion and roughly chop. Remove the peel on the garlic cloves by smashing with the back of a knife (blade facing away from you!). Roughly chop the garlic.
- Add the chopped red pepper, onion and garlic to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse about 8 to 10 times until the vegetables are very finely minced. Set aside while you make the sauce. If you don't have a food processor, the next best option is to grate the vegetables on a box grater using the largest holes.
- In a large bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, light brown sugar, treacle or molasses, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add the minced vegetables and all of the beans. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow, oven proof baking dish. I use a glazed, cast iron round pan measuring 11½ inches in width.
- Chop the bacon into 1 inch pieces and gently place on top of the bean mixture.
- Bake the beans for about an hour. The mixture should be nice and thick and slighty charred around the edges when done. The bacon will be cooked through and caramelized.
- Give the beans a good stir before serving.