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.

Ingre­di­ents:

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

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V#Grill­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
That mahogany col­or is so.…. Wait, what is that gloved hand going to do?!?! Oh, that was… https://t.co/bpqKk30DaO https://t.co/R0MxeAqiys — 1 hour ago
Scott Thomas

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10 comments

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.

Reply

What is a fat­ty?

Greg,

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

.……Scott

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

Reply

Jake,

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…

.….…Scott

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.

Reply

Ani­ta,

Glad you enjoyed them…

.……Scott

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

Reply

Rail­road Rick,

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

.……Scott

that sounds freak­ing deli­cious

Reply

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