Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First

Everything you need to know to make delicious, moreish smoked baked beans as a side or main dish.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 19, 2023
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Rich, succulent, savory smoked baked beans are the perfect main meal or side dish to make for a date, serve at a dinner party, or keep your family well-nourished and satisfied. Bursting with flavor and packed full of wholesome, nutritious ingredients, you’re sure to keep coming back to this mouth-watering family favorite time and time again.

So, how do you get the very best smoked baked beans? The key is in using the very best recipe to make sure you get the smoky, honeyed luscious legumes that make this recipe so popular. From the best type of beans to use, to the smoking technique and more, you’ll finish up this article excited to get cooking up a storm in your kitchen.

Are you ready to whip up the best memorable smoked baked beans dish? Here’s everything you need to know to make the tastiest smoked baked beans around.

Why Make Smoked Baked Beans?

There are lots of great reasons to cook up delicious smoked baked beans, rather than just opting for a regular old can of beans.

Primarily, baked beans at a barbecue are a traditional side dish, almost as expected as your corn on the cob, coleslaw and potato salad. Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis and Texas style barbecue all have some version of baked beans as a side dish, although the recipes can differ. So if you’re a traditionalist, or you simply want the tastiest barbecue platter, you just have to get a good smoked baked beans recipe under your belt to be able to reign as pitmaster.

Smoked baked beans are actually packed full of nutritious ingredients. They aren’t salad-healthy, but they do have tons of healthy pro’s that make them more than a tasty side.

According to Healthline Trusted Source Baked Beans Nutrition: Are They Healthy? | Healthline Slathered in tasty sauce, baked beans are a popular dish, but you may wonder whether they’re healthy. This article reviews baked beans and whether they’re good for you. www.healthline.com , they contain lots of fiber and protein, keeping you strong, satiated, and regular. They also have lots of thiamine, zinc, and selenium.

Lastly, smoked baked beans are absolutely delicious. They combine sweet and tangy notes from the tomato, hickory, and sugar, whilst also hitting those deep, smoky, savory flavors that make you feel warm and happy inside.

For such an easy-to-make dish, these lovely little legumes really do pack a punch in all departments.

The Key To Making The Best Smoked Baked Beans: Chefs Tips

The key to making the very best smoked baked beans from scratch is to utilize known tips from chefs and experts who make this yummy dish time and time again. Barbecue has a history spanning over 1.8 million years Trusted Source What's the History of the Barbecue? | Live Science A favorite American pastime and a summer tradition for many, Barbecues have a long and surprisingly patriotic history. www.livescience.com ago when our ancient relatives started cooking up meat over fire. That’s a long time for recipes to develop over time and a lot of tips for you to try and test to make the best possible smoked baked beans going!

Here are some of the best chefs tips for making delicious smoked baked beans:

Think Low And Slow

Whilst it might be tempting to throw together your smoked bbq baked beans quickly, any cook or chef worth their salt knows low and slow is always the key to great barbecue food, even the beans! Get them going in the morning for an evening do to ensure the perfect merge of flavors.

Mix Your Beans

Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First
A mixture of different varieties of beans can diversify your dish and make the taste more saturated.

For the best nutrition profile and texture, use a mixture of beans for a great smoked baked beans recipe. You can use standard baked beans in cans, or you can mix them with other kinds of beans. Cannellini, pinto, and black beans tend to work the best with the black beans, in particular, giving some extra bite. You can buy them tinned and ready to use, or soak dried versions overnight.

Adjust Accordingly

Once you have your own perfect easy smoked baked beans recipe perfected you can adjust it according to your taste, or your family’s/guests’ tastes. I Just skip the bacon or try some faux bacon, stocked by many stores these days. You can also switch up your spices, your source of sweetness (some people even use pineapple!), and which method you use to cook the beans. Have fun with it – as long as you have a base recipe that works, you can make smoked baked beans work for you each and every time.

How To Make The Perfect Smoked Baked Beans

There is a difference between good smoked baked beans, and perfect smoked baked beans, and the difference usually comes down to how you’ve cooked your dish. You can cook smoked baked beans in a pan on the stove, in the oven or even in a slow cooker. For the true, deep, smoky flavor that really makes an impact though, you’re going to want to use a grill or a smoker.

Experts recommend that you limit how much acrid smoke you use in the cooking of smoked baked beans to avoid an ashy, bitter taste. This makes the Traeger Timberline 850 Wood Pellet Grill the perfect option, because it’s specifically designed to limit acrid smoke whilst boosting the barbecue flavor of the dish. It does this because it is a best smoker grill combo, giving you tons of cooking options for your bean dish. The cooking method it offers also helps you to cook the beans (and other dishes) evenly too.

True pitmasters though, would certainly recommend you properly smoke your beans with a Horizon Smoker 24 Marshal Backyard Smoker. You can’t get that perfect smoked flavor without using a piece of kit like this, especially if you top your smoked baked beans with bacon, which crisps and sizzles really nicely in a smoker, taking the dish from great, to unforgettable.

Choosing The Best Pan For The Job

Which type of pan you use to cook your smoked baked beans depends on what you’re using to cook them. With smokers and grills, there are lots of best smoker accessories to choose from, although as a general rule cast iron works really well, or if you’re in a rush, disposable foil trays work OK too. If you choose the best smoker for beginners the manufacturer of the product is likely to offer plenty of tips as to which pans work well with your unit.

On the stovetop, stainless steel or an enameled Dutch oven works best because they can withstand the long, slow cooking process needed to make your homemade smoked baked beans taste absolutely delicious.

How To Make Canned Baked Beans Really Tasty

There are a few main ways to make your smoked baked beans from scratch so that they’re really, really tasty.

One way is to add bacon, which is salty, chewy, crispy and the star of the show for most smoked bbq baked beans recipes. If you really want it to be the standout ingredient of your smoked baked beans, simply buy the best bacon you can afford, the way you cook it will then make the most of it.

Another way to take those beautiful beans from zero to hero is by loading them. In the same way, you pack the humble jacket potato with ingredients like various cheeses, sour cream, jalapeños, griddled broccoli, and steak strips to make it taste phenomenal, you can do the same with your yummy bean dish. Load those beans up and add layer upon layer of delicious flavor to make the plate truly memorable.

When it comes to the recipe of the beans, you can adjust one element of the dish to transform its flavor profile. That element is sugar. You can make the dish sweeter and even floral using honey, or stickier and richer with molasses.

Some people even swear by using pineapple or even mango to sweeten their smoked beans, as the fruit melts away during the cooking time and brings an exotic twang that freshens the overall dish without disrupting the indulgence of it.

Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First 2

Smoked Baked Beans - Recipe

The below ideal smoked baked beans recipe is a fantastic base recipe that you can master, and adjust to your taste. 
These guidelines are only rough as you will need to adjust them according to the cooking method you use. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions, and experiment with the length of cooking to suit your preferred results. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 10 people
Calories 270 kcal


  • Smoker
  • Cast iron pan


  • 2 cans baked beans 2x28 oz
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 Salt and pepper


  • Preheat your smoker to 250F with mild wood
  • Preheat your cast iron pan on the stove top heating up your oil well before adding the bacon and cooking it through without crisping it up
    Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First 4
  • Blot the bacon on kitchen towel and leave your pan hot 
    Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First 6
  • In the oil and bacon fat cook up your green pepper or jalapeño, onion and garlic until soft, but not browned
    Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First 8
  • Pour your baked beans, ketchup, mustard, and sugar into the pan, stir, then place your bacon on top
    Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First 10
  • Place the pan in the smoker (as per the model instructions) and allow it to cook for three hours, or until the dish has thickened up nicely
    Want To Try Delicious Smoked Baked Beans? Try This Recipe First 12
  • Season the dish before serving, avoiding adding salt before this point as the salt of a dish increases as it cooks



  • These ingredients will give you a fantastic base recipe when you make smoked baked beans from scratch. Once you get the hang of this recipe, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.
  • The instructions are for cooking this dish in a smoker, so you may need to adjust them to work with grill or stovetop cooking. 


Calories: 270kcal



You can calculate the nutrition of the dish per person using this free calorie counter. Calories can be decreased by removing the bacon, or by using turkey bacon, or center cut bacon types. The sugar and salt can also be reduced by switching the cans of baked beans for two tins of pinto, black, or cannellini beans and two tins of chopped tomatoes.

Recipe Variations

You can mix the recipe up by switching the sugar source for the same amount of sweet fruit, such as pineapple or mango. You may also want to try a vegetarian version removing the meat and instead of creating and adding your own seitan bacon.

We also highly, highly recommend making your easy smoked baked beans recipe and then loading them up with all kinds of yummy toppings, as suggested above.

Final Thoughts

Using our tips and guidelines above you can create a delicious smoked baked bean masterpiece to serve your family at mealtime. With savory and sweet notes, a rich smoky flavor, and just a hint of warmth and spice, it really is the perfect side or main dish for any day of the week.


Baked Beans Nutrition: Are They Healthy? | Healthline
Slathered in tasty sauce, baked beans are a popular dish, but you may wonder whether they’re healthy. This article reviews baked beans and whether they’re good for you.
A favorite American pastime and a summer tradition for many, Barbecues have a long and surprisingly patriotic history.
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