Saturday, June 26, 2010

Best Baked Beans

It's funny how we can grow up loving a food & then one day decide we want to fix that food & have no recipe for it.  That's where I was with baked beans.  I LOVE baked beans (well any bean really) and a year or so ago I thought I'd make some for a BBQ we were having.  I went to digging through my recipes only to realize I didn't have a baked bean recipe.  Enter the internet (which has been this cook's saving grace more than once).  I started searching for a recipe that wasn't fancy, was easy to make, but tasted like the homemade baked beans I remembered eating.

I found this recipe on  As with most recipes I find, I did a little tweeking.  The result was some awesome baked beans.  I always get compliments on this recipe & even Toby (who despises all things bean) really likes these.  

Best Baked Beans

1 (28 oz) can of baked beans - I always use Bush's original baked beans for this recipe

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small pieces

8 oz. brown sugar

chopped onion to suit your family's taste (can be completely omitted if you want)

Preheat oven to 400

Pour beans into a 2 qt casserole dish

Place bacon in a skillet, completely covering bottom of pan. Spread brown sugar over bacon & cook over medium heat. Add onions to this mixture if you are using them. When bacon grease starts bubbling up through the sugar, transfer to the casserole dish & mix with beans.

Bake for 45 min.

Serves 5.

Did you see that?

"Serves 5".  
How many of you have a big BBQ for 5 or less people at a time?  Around here the answer is VERY seldom.  Unfortunately, this recipe doesn't multiple well by just taking the ingredients times the number of batches you want to make. (Yes, that's the voice of experience talking :) The bacon becomes an issue.  You end up with WAY too much bacon & WAY too much grease.  

So for a triple or quadruple batch (which will easily feed 20-25 people), here's what I do:

I use 4 or 5 cans of Bush's Original Baked Beans (28 oz).
12-16 oz of bacon (I use Oscar Meyer Center Cut because it has less fat which means less grease)
32 oz. of brown sugar (Yeah, you read that right.  I never said they were healthy baked beans :)
3/4- 1 cup of chopped onion

I prepare it as instructed above, but rather than heating up the kitchen to bake them, I throw it all in the crock pot and cook on low-med. for 4 or 5 hours. Of course, if you're in a time crunch you can always bake them as instructed above. 

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