Tangy Dutch Oven Baked Beans – From Scratch!

Dutch Oven Baked Beans on Plate

I've finally succumbed!  After being called out about going the easy way out with my Dutch Oven Baked Beans, I've finally taken a stab at making them from scratch, rather than relying on cans of pork of beans.

The result?  Pretty darn good.  Better than using cans of pork and beans?  Probably.

The time committment is more, although the extra time required is in soaking the beans overnight and then simmering them for a 2-3 hours, neither of which take a ton of oversight.   I'll admit that there is a certain appeal in cooking my Dutch oven baked beans from scratch, but there are times when I don't have time or want to deal with doing them from scratch.

Beans Soaking for Dutch Oven Baked BeansIn reality, I usually don't use just cans of pork and beans, like my previous recipe said.  I double the recipe and add extra cans of various kinds of beans, like black beans, northern beans, and chili beans.  It gives some variety and makes the baked beans dish much better, in my opinion.    I need to update that recipe to show exactly what I do now.

Back to making these baked beans from scratch.  Here's what I did: I started with 1 pound of northern beans, put them in a bowl, covered them with water, added some salt, and let them soak overnight.

In the morning, I drained the beans, added them to a pot and covered them with water (4" above the beans).  I brought the beans to a boil, and then simmered them until the beans were tender.  That took me about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  I probably could have cooked them a bit longer.  If the beans start to burst, they are done and you can remove them from the stove and drain.  Note that I could have done this part in my Dutch oven, but didn't--I cheated!  But a Dutch oven would be perfect for this type of thing because it holds heat well.  You would just have to keep feeding it charcoal.

While the beans were cooking, I cooked up some bacon, let it cool, and crumbled it up. I chopped up 1 cup of onions and minced 1 clove of garlic and added them to the pan used to cook the bacon. Cook until the onions are done.  After the beans were cooked and tender, it was time to get the Dutch oven ready to go.  I started some charcoal, poured the beans, onions, and garlic into a bowl, and added the following:

Dutch oven baked beans with seasonings2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne

I mixed all this up and then poured the mixture into my Dutch oven.  I put the Dutch oven on the briquettes that I had prepared, about 10 on the bottom, 14 on the top, and cooked until bubbling, about 1 hour.

Tangy Dutch Oven Baked BeansI had my parents over for dinner and got their thoughts on this recipe. Everyone liked it! They were pretty tasty and I enjoyed making them from scratch. I'm planning on trying some other flavors, but this was a great start. The only thing I'd do differently was to cook the beans a little longer before adding them to the Dutch oven.

I hope you try these. Cooking them from scratch isn't really any harder, just takes a little bit more time. And the results are great.


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    • Craig Randolph on April 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm
    • Reply

    You have my taste buds going crazy now. I make this type of dutch oven beans as well. Only I use the caned variety and just cook low and slow. Whats the rush I am camping when I make them. My variation is with either added hamburger and or Italian sausage. This is the only type of bean dish my wife will eat. lol

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Craig–adding hamburger or Italian sausage sounds great. I’ll try that next time.

    • Poppy on April 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm
    • Reply

    Scott, you rock!
    They look wonderful.
    I cooked mine on a tripod over the fire in a legless dutch oven. I put the beans in a quart jar before I leave home and also soak them in the jar. Works well. Also I usually have the mustard, sugar etc mixed in a container. Apparently once you add the tomato sauce, ketchup or whatever, the beans will not soften, so you want the beans cooked to your liking before that. Can’t wait to do it again.
    (I was one of the naysayers to the canned beans) sorry!

    1. Thanks, Poppy! No problem being a naysayer! I’m always happy to try something new. I want to try again with some different seasonings and see how they turn out again. By the way, I did not know that about the beans and tomato sauce/ketchup. That is good to know!

    • Ted Brendel on May 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    • Reply

    Your recipie looks good, I’ll try that one next. This is my recipie.

    1 lb. bag of dry Navy Beans
    1 lb. Bob Evans Italian Sausage (or favorite Flavor)
    ½ cup brown sugar
    ¼ cup molasses
    ½ cup catsup
    ½ CAP liquid smoke
    1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz.
    1 can tomato sauce 15 oz.
    1 medium onion
    3 ½ cups water

    Soak beans overnight or use quick soak method. Rinse beans. Brown sausage and drain drippings if desired. Add beans, and remaining ingredients. Cook for four hours using charcoal on top and bottom of Dutch oven. Use twice as much charcoal on top as on bottom (10 on bottom, 20 on top. About 350 degrees). Stir every 15 min, rotate bottom pot ¼ turn one way, the lid ¼ turn the other way.

    1. Ted,
      Thanks for the recipe! I’ll try yours also!

    • Kit Cummings on July 13, 2012 at 10:27 pm
    • Reply

    Scott, my Grandmother, I’m 63, taught me to never add salt not tomatoes (or anything acidic) to beans as they soak or cook. She claimed it made them take longer to cook and caused them to to be hard in spots. Also, that dried beans over two years old required longer soaking. One other thing, she advised me was to change the water three times to reduce the gas commonly associated with beans. I’ve also been told dry mustard powder helps to prevent the associated gas. Her advise has proven true for me.

    1. Those are good things to try—I’ll do that next time and see what happens. Thanks for the tips!

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