Slow Cooked Baked Beans

Make your summer gathering special and memorable with these delicious baked beans.

Mmmmm.....baked beans!  Where do I begin with this story? 

Well, growing up, we had my Meme's (grandma's) baked beans at just about EVERY family gathering we had.  It was one of things I looked forward to and went back for seconds (and usually thirds) of!  I've tried a lot of baked beans over the years, and nothing compared to those my Meme made.  As I grew older, my Meme stopped making them quite as frequently.  Eventually, she stopped all together when she could longer carry her bean pot with the contents in it, or muster up the strength to scrub the pot when her beans were done.  For the past 5 years or so, she's been "doctoring" up canned baked beans instead to make things easier on herself, but they are just not the same.

Last summer, I asked Meme for her recipe so I could make them for my son's baptismal party. She was ecstatic that I would want to carry on the family tradition by making them!  She gladly gave me the recipe, and that's when I told her I was going to make them in the slow cooker.  She said, "you can do that?!"  Well, I do everything in the slow cooker, so of course I told her,"yup!"  They turned out excellent!  She gladly taste tested them at our family gathering and gave me her seal of approval!  I love that I can now keep our family tradition going!

The key to these dark, sweet and delicious baked beans is to let it cook for a long time!  12+ hours for these!  They are SO worth the wait and your guests will love them!  This makes a very large batch and you will need a 6 quart or larger slow cooker for this recipe.  If you have a smalller crock, just cut the recipe in half.

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

12 or 13 oz. Salt Pork, chopped into small strips 
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. Michigan Navy Beans (if you can't find Michigan, just use Navy Beans!)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup Ketchup
3 Tbsp. Mustard
7 cups Water 

Sort your beans to make sure there are no rocks/bad beans. Soak them in water overnight, with at least enough water to cover them plus 4".  In the morning, drain and rinse your beans.

Spray your crock with non-stick spray. Place half of your salt pork at the bottom. Add half the beans and half of the onions.  Mix together the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard and pour half of this over the onion layer/salt pork layer.  Repeat this process with the remaining salt pork, beans, onions and sauce. Pour in your 7 cups of water.

Cover and cook on LOW for 12+ hours.  You will know these are done when your mixture has turned nice and brown and has thickened.  If you want them thicker, turn the Slow Cooker to HIGH and leave the lid off for an hour or more.

For the original post, with step-by-step pictures, please click here. For more great slow-cooker recipes, please visit www.slowcookeradventures.com.

Happy Slow-Cooking!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mary Jo June 04, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Anyone have any ideas as to a vegetarian friendly alternative to the salt pork? I'm sure it adds a TON of yummy flavor, but more than a few of my friends are veggie, and I want to share with them, too. Thanks!
Jenn Johnson June 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Use Boca and/or Morning Star Farms crumbles as an alternative to pork, beef etc. Season the crumbles first then use the recipe above. I've been making a vegetarian variation of this dish for years. Good Luck! :-)
Nancy Besser June 05, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Any other meat to use instead of salt pork or any pork? What about a non slow cooker receipe for these baked beans please?
Hope Comerford June 05, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I like Jenn's idea, but I would probably use a bit of liquid smoke as well for more of that bacon flavor.
Hope Comerford June 05, 2012 at 02:07 AM
I've never made them with another kind of meat, but I imagine bacon of any kind would be good. I've never made them on the stove top either, so I wouldn't begin to know what the cook time would be. Sorry!


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