Don’t tell Nana, but we’re about to spill the beans on Grandma Brown’s baked beans recipe!
Once upon a time, you could snag a can of these legendary beans at the supermarket.
But those days are behind us.
The good news? You can easily replicate this beloved recipe right in your kitchen.
They’re smoky, sweet, salty, and well worth the hype. Trust me.
It’s a low-and-slow recipe that demands a little patience. But, like all good things, it’s worth the wait.
So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into the not-so-secret recipe for Grandma Brown’s baked beans.
Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans
Grandma Brown’s baked beans ceased production in 2021, and getting your hands on a can isn’t easy.
A single can sells on eBay for over $150!
Luckily, this recipe captures the magic of Grandma Brown’s original Depression-Era recipe.
These beans are the perfect balance of sweet and savory with a smoky kick.
But consider yourself warned: they’re highly addictive. And they’re so thick and meaty, you could make an entire meal out of them.
But they also make an excellent sidekick to savory BBQ foods at your next summer potluck.
Grandma Brown’s baked beans use simple, affordable ingredients like any good Depression-Era recipe.
- Navy beans – Navy beans cook up incredibly tender and have a slightly nutty flavor. They’re the perfect pairing with smoky meats and melt in your mouth.
- Baking soda – A dash of baking soda will help your beans cook faster. It will ensure that your beans will be perfectly fork-tender.
- Salt – The ham and bacon are pretty salty, so you only need a little dash of salt to draw out all those amazing flavors.
- Ham or cooked bacon – Using ham or cooked bacon delivers that classic punch of rich, salty, and smoky flavors. It takes these baked beans over the top.
- Dark brown sugar – Dark brown sugar is a must! It gives these beans the rich, sweet flavors that pair so well with smoked meats.
- Onion – Adding an onion is entirely optional. I always do because it adds a burst of acidity and a little extra crunch. But if you don’t have one, the beans are delicious without it.
- Bay leaf – Throwing a bay leaf into the pot is also optional. But it adds a depth of earthy flavors and a little something extra you don’t get anywhere else.
How to Make Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans
Whipping up these baked beans requires a little bit of patience, but it’s worth the effort.
Check out these simple steps to recreate this classic.
1. Prepare the dry beans. Boil the beans for 10 minutes in a large pot with water and baking soda. Then, cool and leave in the fridge to soak overnight.
2. Mix the beans with the other ingredients. Rinse them first, mix everything together, then pour them into an oven-safe dish.
3. Bake. Cover the dish and bake it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 6 hours. Be sure to stir the beans once every hour.
4. Cool. Remove the beans from the oven and leave them to cool in the pot on a wire rack.
Tips for the Best Baked Beans
Here are some quick and easy tips to ensure your beans are Grandma Brown-approved.
- Give ’em a good soak. When working with dry beans, it’s essential to allow them to soak overnight. If you don’t, they won’t cook evenly. It’s an exercise in patience, but it’s worth it in the end!
- Taste as you go. After you combine your ingredients, taste them before they hit the oven. If they need a little more salt or a hint of spice, add it before popping it into the oven.
- Keep a close eye. As they bake, the beans will absorb a lot of liquid. If your beans look a little dried out, add more water. Check them at least once an hour.
Grandma Brown’s baked beans are a great side dish for any occasion.
Serve them over the summer, Thanksgiving, or a Tuesday when you need a comfort food pick-me-up.
And if you need some inspiration, check out these fantastic pairings:
Burgers and beans go together like peanut butter and jelly. And this isn’t your typical burger.
Adding Lipton Onion Soup takes a classic burger to new heights. Serve it on a hearty brioche bun, and don’t forget the beans.
Just picture it: a warm, buttery biscuit cut in half and topped with Grandma Brown’s baked beans.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
And these mayonnaise biscuits are so quick and easy. They soak up all that delicious baked bean sauce.
Melty, gooey grilled cheese and a side of smoky baked beans are a match made in heaven.
This pairing is the ultimate combination of flavors and textures.
It’s the perfect meal for a cold, blustery winter’s night.
Is there anything more classic than ribs and baked beans?
This recipe for ultra-tender bone ribs is the perfect accent to Grandma’s beans.
These ribs are rich, smoky, and melt in your mouth.
How to Store & Reheat
If you have leftover beans, they keep well in the fridge. So you can make a big batch and enjoy them all week!
To Store: Be sure your beans cool completely, and transfer them to a freezer bag or an air-tight container. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
To Reheat: When you’re ready to enjoy a serving, heat them in the microwave or the oven.
- Microwave: Add a little extra water or broth to the container when reheating them in the microwave. If you don’t, they’ll dry out. Microwave them in short intervals until warmed through.
- Oven: – Place them in an oven-safe dish and gently reheat them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. If they seem dried out, stir in extra water or stock to the pan.
More BBQ Side Dishes To Try
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?