Any time you want a delicious, easy side, don’t reach for a package of canned beans — make Grandma Browns Baked Beans yourself!
With just a few ingredients, you can quickly produce a filling side dish fit for a cookout or the holidays.
Lulu Brown started Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans in her Mexico kitchen when she was 63. After selling them in churches and grocery stores during the Great Depression, Lulu turned these beans into a New York staple.
This recipe is great for beginners because it’s straightforward and oven-baked, so you don’t have to watch the stove. Also, it produces a large amount, so you can freeze the extra.
While it’s a very simple recipe, it does take a bit of time. So, plan ahead to let your beans soak and cook properly.
You can experiment with different flavorings including adding bacon or chipotle. Or just enjoy these delicious beans as is.
Grandma Browns Baked Beans Recipe
- Prep Time20 min
- Cook Time5 hours
- Total Time5 hr 20 min (plus overnight soak)
- Yield10 cups
Bean Soak Time: Overnight
How To Make It
On the stove, boil water and baking soda for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sort and rinse the navy beans, removing any debris.
Then, put the beans in the pot and boil them for 10 minutes. Finally, turn off the stove, put a lid on the pot, and let the beans soak overnight.
In the morning, strain the beans and rinse them well.
When you’re ready to start baking, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
Next, put your rinsed beans in the oven-poof pot. As well, add all of the seasoning ingredients.
If using the bacon, fry it in the skillet until it’s cooked through. Then, chop it finely, and put the pieces and remaining grease into the pot, as well.
Stir everything together, and finally, pour enough water into the pot to just cover the beans.
Put the lid on the pot and place everything in the oven. Cook the baked beans for about 4-5 hours, stirring them every hour. If they look dry, add more water.
When the beans are close to done, check them occasionally with the fork. If they crush easily, they’re cooked!
Also, you want the sauce to have a thick texture. So, if it looks too watery, cook it with the lid off for a little while.
Serve your baked beans hot out of the oven, or let them cool and put them away to enjoy later.
Tips and Tricks
- Always save your bacon grease. If you’re adding bacon to this recipe, don’t throw away the drippings. Instead, stir the grease into your beans. That will add richness and even more bacon flavor.
- Cover Beans Fully. As your beans boil, make sure they’re always covered with water. If you don’t, some beans will soften before the others. Keep checking to make sure the water level doesn’t sink too low as the beans cook.
- Check Beans Frequently. When you bake the beans, stir them at least every hour. If they seem like they’re sticking to the bottom or look dry, add a little water. While you want the mixture to be thick, you don’t want it to burn on the bottom.
What to Serve With Baked Beans