This grilled baked beans recipe takes a traditional pot of beans to the next level by infusing them with the wonderful flavor of charcoal, making this the perfect side dish to serve at any backyard picnic.
What are they?
Grilled baked beans are a hearty side dish loaded with tender beans and sweet and smoky barbecue flavors. Grilling baked beans infuses this classic side with a much deeper flavor than simply using your oven.
The other reason to make baked beans on the grill, rather than smoking them, is because charcoal gives you the high heat you need to saute the onions, peppers, and bacon in the pot prior to simmering all of the ingredients together. You simply can't do that in a smoker, and if the family is gathered outside to enjoy the cookout, who wants to seclude themselves to the kitchen to work on half the recipe?
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Canned great northern beans - You can also use a combination of navy beans, pinto beans, or most different types of beans. I don't recommend using dry beans, because we are also using the liquid in the can as a thickening agent.
- Thick sliced bacon - I recommend cutting the bacon into 1" pieces prior to cooking. Chopped bits of smoked meat can be substituted.
- Sweet onion - A yellow onion is great too, otherwise a red onion can be substituted for a stronger flavor.
- Fresh jalapenos - Green bell pepper can be used for less heat. Otherwise, hot sauce and crushed red pepper flakes can be added for additional spicy flavors.
- Molasses - Barbecue sauce can be substituted.
- Brown sugar - Maple syrup can be substituted.
- Ketchup - Tomato sauce can be substituted.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Yellow mustard - You can substitute ½ teaspoon of dry mustard.
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Charcoal - Kingsford Orignal works great for this recipe, but for added flavor, I really like Kingford Charcoal with Mequite.
How to grill them
To start, you need to get those briquettes roaring hot on your charcoal grill. My favorite way to do that is by using a charcoal chimney starter. Not only does this lite the charcoal quickly and evenly, I like how easy it is to pour the hot coals exactly where I need them in the grill.
For this bbq baked beans recipe on the grill, you want the charcoal piled up on one side of the grill giving you a high heat source for sauteing, and then you can move the pot away from the coals to get a indirect heat for simmering. This is your temperature control.
Add chopped bacon pieces to a pot (I like using a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven) and set the pot on the grill grate directly over the pile of coals. Let cook until the bacon is almost crispy, then add diced onion and green pepper, and continue cooking until they are tender.
At this point, all of the remaining ingredients can be added and stirred together. The pot should be slid to the far side of the grill, away from the coals, and cover the grill with the lid. Let the pot simmer for an hour.
After an hour the beans are ready to enjoy. If the liquid is a little too thin yet, mash a few beans with a fork and stir everything again. Mashed beans are a wonderful thickener!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Leftover baked beans can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Leftovers are easily reheated in a microwave, just be sure to cover them with a paper towel to prevent splattering.
This is a great recipe to make in advance because it is so easy to reheat and the flavors are even better the next day.
Grilled Baked Beans
- Charcoal grill
- Cast iron pot
- 56 oz canned great northern beans (with liquid)
- 8 oz thick sliced bacon (cut into 1" pieces prior to cooking)
- 1 sweet onion (chopped)
- 3 jalapenos (chopped)
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Add charcoal to a charcoal chiney starter and lite, allowing ten minutes to get roaring hot.
- Pour hot charcoals in a pile on one side of the grill and add grill grate.
- Place the bacon in a grill safe pot, and set on the grill directly over the hot coals. Cook the bacon until alomst crispy, stirring as needed.
- Once the bacon is almost crisp, add onion and peppers into the rendered bacon grease. Continue cooking until the onions and peppers are tender.
- Move the pot to the opposite side of the grill, away from the coals, and add all remaining ingredients to the pot and stir together.
- Add place the cover on the grill and let the bean mixture simmer for one hour.
- After an hour, remove the pot from the grill. If the liquid needs thickening, mash a few beans with a fork and stir again.
This was originally published on October 12, 2020.
Can you do me a favor? If you enjoyed my post would you mind sharing it with your friends? You can see more of my recipes by liking me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. Otherwise, stay up to date by getting each new post sent directly to your inbox by subscribing today.