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Head Country Baked Beans

Finished Head Country Baked Beans - Beans and parsley
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If you’re like me, beans are a staple for any BBQ meal you plan. They make the perfect side for ribs, pulled pork, brisket, you name it; if it’s coming off the pit, beans are a nice accompaniment.  As an aside, I have done this recipe with both dried beans that I have soaked over night as well as with precooked plain Great Northern beans from a can. I find no difference in flavor but the precooked beans in a can are much easier, though slightly more expensive.

Step-by-step with photos | Download recipe (PDF – 1MB)

Head Country Baked Beans

Serves: 8-10 | Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients

Meat:
1 pack thick-cut bacon, sliced into 1” pieces

Dry Ingredients:
96 ounces dried Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight (can substitute canned beans)
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wet Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups Hot & Spicy Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce

Equipment

Charcoal grill or smoker
Thermometer (to monitor grill temperature)
Hardwood charcoal
Wood chunks (hickory is recommended)

Directions

  1. Start with your grill set up for two-zone heating and place a cast-iron Dutch oven directly over white hot charcoal.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to the pan and, once hot, add in the bacon and cook for about three minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, onions, and jalapeño and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so nothing burns or sticks.
  4. Next, add the beans and the rest of your wet ingredients and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add the brown sugar along with salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.
  6. Move the Dutch oven over indirect heat, as far from the coals as possible. Add hickory chunks ontl the coals and cover the grill, adjusting vents to maintain temperature at 225 degrees for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. After 2 hours, pull the beans off of the grill, garnish, and serve

Step-by-Step

white hot charcoal

Step 1: Start with your grill set up for two-zone heating and place a cast-iron Dutch oven over white hot charcoal. You’ll know the charcoal is ready when it’s got a beautiful glow like the photo above.

baked beans mis en place

Especially with ingredient-heavy recipes like this one, I like to have all of my ingredients prepared and ready before I start cooking. You don’t have to but I find it helps keep things in the kitchen and on the pit running smoothly.

Step 2: Add the vegetable oil to the pan and, once hot, add in the bacon and cook for about three minutes. You don’t want the bacon to crisp up or brown during this process. You’re just looking to render some of the fat out of the bacon and get the slightest char on the edges of the pieces. You’ll use this rendered bacon fat to cook down the vegetables.

bacon and vegetables cooking

Step 3: Add the garlic, onions, and jalapeño and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so nothing burns or sticks. Once your onions become translucent, move the pot over to the indirect heat zone of your grill.

Step 4: Next, add the beans and the rest of your wet ingredients, stirring to incorporate. If you like less heat in your beans, you can substitute the jalapeños for green peppers and the Hot & Spicy Bar-B-Q sauce for The Original flavor.

baked beans in pot on grill

Step 5: Add the brown sugar along with salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.

Step 6: Move the Dutch oven over indirect heat, as far from the coals as possible. Add hickory chunks onto the coals and cover the grill, adjusting vents to maintain temperature at 225 degrees for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Step 6: After 2 hours, pull the beans off of the grill and garnish. They’re ready to serve and are always a crowd pleaser!

Printable Recipe

Download this recipe as a PDF