Recipe of the Month: Bourbon Barbecue Baked Beans

Step up your next cookout with this recipe for the ultimate BBQ baked beans featuring a kiss of Bourbon. This will arguably result in the best baked beans you’ve ever had, certain to wow your guests. While there are a lot of ingredients, it’s actually quick and easy to assemble then stew to perfection.

Makes. About 12 serving

Takes. 20 minutes prep, 45 minutes or more to cook


6 strips of thick cut bacon
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, or more or less to your taste, coarsely chopped
3 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed, or 1/4 pound dried white kidney beans
3/4 cup Kansas City style BBQ sauce
4 tablespoons molasses, any grade
1/4 cup Kentucky Bourbon or Tennessee whiskey
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook. Make sure you are using a 2 quart or larger pot or Dutch oven. Cook the bacon over medium heat. When it begins to brown, flip it, brown the other side, but remove it before it renders all its fat and gets hard. We want bacon that we can cut, not crumble. You will probably need to do the bacon in two batches. And what the heck, go ahead and cook an extra slice or two for the cook to eat when nobody is watching. Drain the bacon by putting it on 2 layers of paper towels on top of a section of the local newspaper.
  2. Pour off the bacon fat into a coffee cup leaving behind about 2 tablespoons and most of the brown bits dissolved in the fat.
  3. Add the onions and peppers to the pot and cook them until they wilt. If the bacon bits stuck to the bottom start to get too dark, add an ounce of water and they will dissolve promptly with the help of a wooden spoon.
  4. Add 3 cups of hot water or stock and everything else including the bacon. There are two good ways to cook these beans:
    a. In your oven. Put the pot in your oven uncovered for 2 hours at 225°F. Stir every 30 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
    b. In a slow cooker. Set it to medium, which should be about 250°F, and check them in about 2 hours.
  5. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the flavors as you see fit. If you like it spicier, add hot sauce. Add more molasses if you like it sweeter, or salt if you think it needs it. Cook it longer if you want it thicker, or add water if you want it thinner.
  6. Serve. Serve the baked beans immediately while still hot.


EWM Stan Evans
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