The best beans I’ve ever had were served to me by this man:
He is Joe Davidson otherwise known as Oklahoma Joe. He had his own line of offset smokers that he sold to Char-Broil, has won just about everything there is to win in the world of BBQ, and is an all around great guy. According to his website:
Joe has won more than 300 barbecue championships, including the Jack Daniel’s World Championship, the American Royal World Championship, the Great Pork Barbeqlossal, the Head-to-Head World Championship, the World Brisket Open Championship, the Canadian Salmon Grand Championship, the Rib Championship at the San Antonio Rodeo and BBQ Championship, the Memphis in May World BBQ Championship, and numerous state and regional titles.
His burnt ends are the best BBQ I have tasted in my life and these beans were better than any beans I have ever had. So why am I messing with perfection? Why am I changing a recipe that has won the side dish award at Memphis in May three times? Because that’s what I do. Because I couldn’t resist tweaking it a little. Sorry. That’s just who I am.
My Spin on Oklahoma Joe’s Smoked Beans Ingredients:
117 oz of baked beans (#10 can like you get at a warehouse club) — drain about a third of the juice if you can (it’s hard as the sauce is thick — just drain what you can)
30 ounces of black beans — juice drained off
30 ounces of red kidney beans — juice drained off
18–20 oz of BBQ sauce
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper and one red pepper, chopped
1 serano pepper (substitute jalapeno)
2 lbs brown sugar
1 lb of smoked brisket, chopped
1 cup bourbon
Yield: Two aluminum pans of beans
Speaking of aluminum pans, stock up. They are your best friend when cooking for a crowd and saving a TON of clean up time.
If you’re wondering what I did different from Joe, well, you’ll just have to ask him yourself ;-)
***Editor’s Note ~ Lots of folks have asked what a #10 can of baked beans is. That’s the size of the can. It holds approximately 117 ounces of baked beans and can be purchased at just about any warehouse/membership store***
I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of shots of ingredients being chopped. I’ll just give you the method. Use a minimum of four aluminum pans here. Double (or even triple) them up to keep the pans from bending under the weight of the soon to be smoked beans. Drain some of the liquid off of the beans before adding to the pans. I didn’t drain them all, just about half. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and mix together before pouring into two different sets of aluminum pans.
Throw the beans in a smoker at 325. If there’s some sort of succulent meat right above the pans dripping down into the beans, then all the better. Basically, when they start bubbling in the middle (not the edges, the middle) then the smoked beans are done. That’s about an hour at 325. Adjust the time accordingly with a different smoker temperature. If you go much beyond when the middle is bubbling, the beans will turn to mush. They will still be good, but not as good as they can be. So remember, when the middle starts to bubble, they are ready to serve.
I will say this, I made these beans for my annual pig roast on Memorial weekend 2015. I made way more than I needed and still had a couple pans in the fridge. We had the in laws over for some quick burgers the next night for dinner. Everyone was exhausted from setting up and tearing down a party for 70 people. I promised no cooking (other than the burgers) and very little cleaning: paper plates, plasticware, chips as the side, etc. I grilled the burgers for the kids and was about to put the adult burgers on when someone said, “What about the beans?” So no cooking and very little clean up turned into cooking and some clean up because everyone wanted those beans. The same beans they’d all eaten the day before. The same beans they’d gorged on the day before.
I didn’t have time to put them on the smoker so I cooked them in a pot on the stove and they were amazing. Not as good as they could be if smoked, but still fantastic. The fact that five adults, one of which was not a bean eater until that weekend, asked for these beans the day after binging on them says a ton.
If you have any questions or comments about my spin on Oklahoma Joe’s smoked beans, feel free to leave them below or send me an email.
- 1 117 oz can of baked beans (#10 can like you get at a warehouse club) — drain about a third of the juice if you can (it’s hard as the sauce is thick — just drain what you can)
- 30 ounces of black beans — juice drained off
- 30 ounces of red kidney beans — juice drained off
- 18–20 oz of BBQ sauce
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 yellow pepper and one red pepper, chopped
- 1 serano pepper (substitute jalapeno)
- 2 lbs brown sugar
- 1 lb of smoked brisket, chopped
- 1 cup bourbon
- Combine all ingredients in a large aluminum foil tray (I suggest stacking 2 or 3 trays on top of each other for stability)
- Mix together well
- Place on a smoker at 325 for 1 hour
- Remove from the heat and serve