Baked beans have been a stan­dard sta­ple in terms of a side dish for BBQ seem­ing­ly forever. But why set­tle for baked beans? The grill is already up and run­ning, why not use it to take baked beans to the next lev­el. Why not impart some of that amaz­ing smoky fla­vor that we so desire per­me­at­ing the meat into the beans? There are a mil­lion ways to do grilled beans. This is just one of them. This is the sim­plest side dish. The prep time was all of 10 min­utes and made a great side dish for a group of 20.


3 large cans of Bush’s orig­i­nal baked beans
1/2 cup brown sug­ar
1/2 cup mus­tard (not pic­tured)
2 tbsp hois­in (not pic­tured and option­al)
3 tbsp gar­lic, minced
3 slices of maple bacon, cut in one inch sec­tions
1/2 cup apple pie fill­ing, rough chopped

Here we have three large cans of Bush’s Orig­i­nal Baked Beans. You can use any­thing here. There will be so many more fla­vors added that I don’t both­er buy­ing some­thing oth­er than the orig­i­nal as the added fla­vors could over­pow­er any spe­cial­ized beans. Along with the beans there is gar­lic, olive oil, brown sug­ar, maple bacon and apple pie stuff­ing. That’s right. Apple pie stuff­ing. Bear with me:

If I’m doing the­se for say 4 or 6 I would pick a pot with a met­al han­dle and do all the prep in the pot and trans­fer it straight to the grill. But with 20 peo­ple com­ing over I need­ed some­thing big­ger to go on the grill. What I did in this pot on the stove was trans­ferred to a dou­ble stack of a good size dis­pos­able tin tray.

First things first. Throw in a lit­tle olive oil and gar­lic into a pot and get that gar­lic sweat­ing over medi­um heat:

Add about a half cup of brown sug­ar and more olive oil as the sug­ar just soaked it up:

While the gar­lic is saute­ing, as well as the sug­ar, chop up the apple pie stuff­ing into small­er chunks.

Then add the chunks to the pot to cook them down a bit:

While this is sim­mer­ing I dumped the con­tents of the cans of beans into the dis­pos­able trays. I dou­bled them up to give the beans more sup­port. After the gar­lic, brown sug­ar, apple con­coc­tion had sim­mered for a few min­utes, I added the mus­tard and hois­in and mixed thor­ough­ly before I dumped them into the pan with the beans along with a healthy dose of fresh cracked black and white pep­per and mixed it all through:

At this point I pulled out a few slices of maple bacon and sliced into one inch squares. You won’t need the whole pound. This is a healthy ver­sion of the oth­er things I nor­mal­ly pre­pare with bacon!!

I placed the bacon squares along the top of the beans but left a lit­tle space between each one so they wouldn’t insu­late each oth­er and thus cook more quick­ly:

Depend­ing on how much time you have you can place the­se direct­ly over the heat or off to the side to slow cook. Set up the grill for two zone grilling, with coals on one side and none on the oth­er.  Place the beans over the side with no heat and a cou­ple chunks or chips of smoke wood over the coals. Here are the beans next to the ribs with the Bolog­na Chub in the back­ground:

Here are the beans sim­mer­ing on the grill about 90 min­utes lat­er. The bacon is cook­ing nice­ly and the whole dish could be eat­en at this point. But the longer they stay on the more fla­vors infuse into the beans:

And here are the beans ready to serve. The rea­son I don’t use whole strips of bacon is because when they are ready to serve I stir the bacon into the beans:

Now I will admit that I had nev­er tried the apple pie stuff­ing in beans before. Nor­mal­ly I make this recipe exact­ly the same but with­out the stuff­ing. Some­times I mince up some sweet onion, but this is usu­al­ly my recipe. I had seen the apple pie stuff­ing on a cou­ple of sites and decid­ed to try it.

After the food was served and every­one was well on in tear­ing into their respec­tive plates I asked the crowd for feed­back. After a bit of goad­ing I final­ly got a lit­tle more than, “every­thing is great.” I had to assure them that they would not insult their hosts by giv­ing con­struc­tive feed­back. I was wor­ried that it would be too sweet but I didn’t get much of that. Even had a sug­ges­tion to add molasses next time. A cou­ple peo­ple felt that it need­ed more salt. I fig­ured the salt in the bacon would have tak­en care of that but may­be I need to add a pinch of salt next time. A cou­ple peo­ple thought they were a bit thin. With a short­er cook­ing time the beans did not cook down as much as my usu­al beans do. I could’ve poured off a lit­tle of the sauce pri­or to cook­ing next time if I don’t have as much time like I did here. So plan accord­ing­ly on that front.

What I would do dif­fer­ent­ly next time:

  1. Add a lit­tle salt. With a pan this big a pinch or two would do the trick
  2. If I only have a cou­ple hours of cook­ing time I would open the cans halfway with the can open­er and pour a lit­tle of the sauce off the top using the top of the half-opened can as a sieve so I don’t lose any beans. If I have more than a cou­ple hours then I skip this step and just let it cook down nor­mal­ly

As usu­al, if you have any ques­tions about this recipe, please email me or sim­ply leave a com­ment below.

If you are inter­est­ed in oth­er side dish­es or appe­tiz­ers click here.

Also, you can fol­low the Grillin Fools on Face­book and post your own grillin pic­tures or keep tabs on us with Twit­ter @GrillinFool.

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Orig­i­nal Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to col­lege with a suit­case and a grill where he over­cooked, under­cooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thou­sands of fail­ures, and quite a few suc­cess­es, near­ly two decades lat­er he start­ed a web­site to show step by step, pic­ture by pic­ture, fool­proof instruc­tions on how to make great things out of doors so that oth­ers don’t have to repeat the mis­takes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
From band saw to plate! What a wicked fla­vor crust on this bad boy! . Video shot by @executivechef.cihan . You rea…… — 54 mins ago
Scott Thomas

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May­be the best beans ever made. I made the­se for some friends that I had over last week. I made them in a cast iron skil­let, put the slot­ted pan I use for veg­gies upside down over the top of the skil­let then put fat­ty on that to drip onto the beans while it cooked.

I over cooked the fat­ty a lit­tle (oh well, it was my first fat­ty.) But, the bean end­ed­sup being the high­light of the feast. 

My wife fin­ished the meal off with some boiled mustad/ kale greens, along with lots of adult bev­er­ages the evening was won­der­ful.

I am mak­ing the beans again today for my par­ents.


What is a fat­ty?


Bulk sausage, lay­ered with cheese or oth­er meats, rolled up into a loaf and smoked on the grill…


hey just want­ed to say that i tried your veg­gie oil sear­ing tech­nique and got this plas­ti­cy black coat­ing all over ruin­ing my steak. you may want to spec­i­fy what kind of oil and just how to avoid this tragedy. Thanks



I’m sor­ry to hear that. I gen­er­al­ly use olive oil. Not extra vir­gin, just plain olive oil. Did the oil smol­der at first and not burn right away? I’ve had that hap­pen and the smoke adds that coat­ing. I’ve actu­al­ly moved away from the oil sear. It’s neat, but all it takes is one time for the coals to not be hot enough and that nasty smoke to cov­er a steak. I go with the hottest fire I can get and sear that way, and skip the flames. Besides, now that I have a 3 and 1 year old, I don’t want them to get any ideas about fire being fun…


while i am not a big fan of baked or grilled beans, I tried this recipe any­way. I must say it was a big hit at the house. Tho i didn’t use 3 large cans i used 2 small and cut all the oth­er ingre­di­ents in half. It was very tasty and will be made again. Plus this was the only time all the beans got ate! Thanks for the great recipe.



Glad you enjoyed them…


I made your Ribs and grilled beans and they both turned out great. Thanks I will try oth­er things you put on now.. Hap­py 4th


Rail­road Rick,

Glad you liked both and I hope you try every­thing on the site!


that sounds freak­ing deli­cious


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