Things you did this weekend? Tell me.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

Things I did this weekend?

-watched some sort of disgusting insect build a nest/cocoon/filfthy mansion underneath my husband’s garage door and had a complete meltdown about it. I looooooathe bugs.

dropped my iPhone in a vat of buttercream. Not as sweet as it sounds.

-drank a dark chocolate bourbon cherry soda float. I was forced, I tell you. FORCED.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

-watched The Notebook and pretended it was real life. Like… my real life.

met Mario Batali and watched him cook some sauseeeeeege.

-bought a million (more) pieces of neon clothing because I live for the 90s. Even though I have no style, this is one trend that I’ll never let go.

-reminisced about how I used to hairspray the front of my hair into this crazy wave thing while wearing hideous 4-inch raised platform flip flops. WHAT. I hope those stay out of style forever.

-and made baked beans from scratch!

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

I can’t even believe it. Up until like… a year ago maybe? I didn’t even like baked beans. I had a huge mental block against them. No clue why. But then I ate some good ones, and was hooked for life. I ate them everyday with eggs for about six months straight. I put them inside of sandwiches and ate them on top of potatoes. So the first time I made these, I threw a bunch of random ingredients in the pot and said a little prayer. The next time, I made a few tweaks (…more bourbon) and said another.

And I’ve totally decided that beans are one of my favorite foods. I am absolutely horrific at picking favorites of anything – and I do mean anything – I can’t pick a favorite song, TV show or movie to save my life. Except for right now when I tell you The Notebook is the greatest movie in all the land.

So beans it is. Any and all beans. I eat them every single day, sometimes twice a day. This is a monumental moment in my world, because I’m pretty sure the last time I declared a favorite food was at age twelve when I simply would say “potatoes.” And that’s only because I ate my mom’s potato chip potato casserole like it was going out of style (which it totally was, but don’t worry she still makes it), mashed potatoes, and “baked” potatoes – which in my world was the flesh of a baked potato scoop out on to my plate, covered in salt, pepper and butter then mashed with a fork. Anytime I was given a baked potato in a restaurant the proper way, like wrapped in foil or simply baked and sliced down the middle, I was like…. um, no. This is not a baked potato.

But anyway… bacon, avocados and chocolate would round out the list. Those are the top four, until I change my mind tomorrow.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

And now I can easily say I won’t ever grab baked beans in a can again. So much flavor here, so much texture, so much bacon and so much booze. With just a hint of bourbon, these beans are definitely our new go-to recipe. They can be made in advance and with just an hour of prep work you can throw everything in the crockpot and leave them to their own devices.

Summer here we come!

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans

serves at least 6-8

1 pound dry navy beans

10 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups water

3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons molasses

1 cup bourbon

1 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

The night before, add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Drain the next morning.

Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain. While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add in beans, onions (and all of the bacon fat) and bacon to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. These taste even better the next day!

Note: after 10-12 hours the liquid may still seem “liquidy.” It is imperative to let the beans sit for a while on the lower setting (or on the off setting, still covered) so they become thick and syrupy like traditional baked beans.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

And later I’ll tell you about this bread. Because I love your guts.

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247 Responses to “Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans.”

  1. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — May 17, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    These sound pretty fabulous… I know my hubby would absolutely love them!


  2. #
    Levon — May 20, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    Made these overnight last night and they are fabulous! I am having a hard time keeping out of them until our BBQ later this afternoon. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper.


  3. #
    kristycat — May 21, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    Hmm… how terrible would it be, do you think, to leave out the bacon? I LOVE bacon, but one of the three adults in our house is vegetarian – while I don’t make everything veggie, filling my house with the smell of baked beans all day and then telling him he can’t have any sounds excessively cruel. Would the flavor be good without it, do you think? Is there anything that ought to be substituted?


    • Doreen — May 27th, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      Leave it out they are just fine with out the bacon.


      • Mike Kirkham — January 3rd, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

        I could never do w/o the bacon. However, in this case, I would try some Liquid Smoke. While the bacon (and that glorious fat) is wonderful, it also provides a bit of smokey flavor. Give that a shot when you mix in the other liquids and see if it doesn’t help a bit.

    • Hajar Elizabeth — May 19th, 2013 @ 3:01 am

      Being a New Englander we never make any sort of baked be4an without smoked ham hock, bacon, salt pork and more recently smoked turkey wing. I would make these but add some liquid smoke. Begin with a teaspoon and taste sauce over the hours. It truly would be more tasty with that smoky flavor.


      • Hajar Elizabeth — May 19th, 2013 @ 3:05 am

        My apologies. Also add 2-3 tablespoons of vegan butter or flavorless oil to the sauce in the beginning. I guess bean is spelled with a 4 this month! I need to cut my nails and install my Dragon Software. LOL

  4. #
    Kristin — May 21, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

    I made these for my hubby this weekend. He LOVED them! I added slightly less bourbon and subbed with some maple syrup. They smelled so bacon-y, bourbon-y, maple-y delicious! We ate a bit and froze the rest, so I’m hoping they taste just as good defrosted and nuked.

    By the way, I’m a huge fan of your blog! I went to Pitt (class of ’03!) and lived in the ‘burgh for 9 years and miss that city terribly.


  5. #
    Myriah — May 21, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    My god man! I have these in the slow cooker right now, and the smell alone…..! I can’t wait to make cornbread and eat an unlady-like amount of these.


  6. #
    cassie — May 22, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    I’m planning on making these tomorrow, I can’t wait! But I had a quick question. I went to the liquor store for a flask of bourbon, and they didn’t have any. The lady working there told me that Jack Daniels is basically the same. Will it make a difference?


    • Russ — January 26th, 2013 @ 8:21 am

      Not after the first 3 shots


      • Lindalou — April 16th, 2013 @ 4:03 am

        Priceless Russ & absolutely hilarious :) Got me giggling good !!!

  7. #
    Jill P. — May 22, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

    I have them in the crockpot as we “speak”. I’m excited to get home from work and taste them!!


  8. #
    Val — May 22, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    Wow, these are going to go perfectly with this bourbon barbecue chicken I’m making for Memorial Day! A whole bourbon-themed menu! I love that I can just put these in the crock pot and go — super easy.


  9. #
    Becky — May 23, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

    Gotta tell you these were great! I made this weekend as written with the exception of cutting the bourbon down to 3/4 cup. The beans were perfectly tender (not mushy) and letting them sit after they cooked definitely resulted in a thicker sauce. Flavors were fabulous. Because I like the heat I added some sriracha sauce to my serving. All of my other guests liked these as is however. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.


  10. #
    Velvet — May 24, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    Girl… these beans rock. Seriously, the flavor is PERFECT. Who doesn’t love booze and beans? Boozy beans? That sounds dirty.. but the POINT is they killed it at the BBQ I brought them to. The only thing is I ended up reducing them in the crockpot for a while on high after the initial 11 hours to reduce the sauce to what it looked like in your picture. Maybe my air tight “stay and go” slow cooker lid is too intense? Amazing result, though.


  11. #
    Shelley — May 26, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I’m making these for a Memorial Day cookout on Monday, & I had 1 question: since you said they taste better the second day, I was going to soak the beans tonight (Saturday night), cook in the crockpot on Sunday, & then serve them on Monday. I was wondering I need to refrigerate them Sunday night before reheating & eating on Monday, or should I leave them in the crockpot on the lowest heat setting? I was afraid they may dry out if they cook all day tomorrow, then stay in there overnight as well. Thanks so much! :)


    • Jessica — May 26th, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

      I think that is a great idea – it’s not like they taste SO much better the next day, but it’s one of those dishes (like some casseroles) they just tastes more delicious as the days go on and the flavors marry. I would definitely put them in the fridge. You are right – they might dry out (can’t say for sure) but I also am not sure if the warm setting is considered hot enough for that long – I almost feel like they could “spoil” if that’s possible.

      After the fridge, if they seem too stuck together or not liquidy enough, just reheat them with some more liquid: a broth or stock, maybe even some bourbon mixed with water or just water itself. Let me know how they are. :)


      • Shelley — May 29th, 2012 @ 9:20 am

        Jess, thanks so much for getting back to me on Saturday! These turned out great! I soaked them Saturday night, cooked them all day Sunday, then put them in the fridge late Sunday night, after letting them sit on “warm” for 2 hours. I took them out about 2 hours before the cookout & reheated them on low for a bit – I didn’t end up adding any more liquid, as they were perfect as is. They were the highlight of the evening! Everyone loved the bourbon taste, & kept saying they’d never had anything like them. I may have added a tad bit more than the 1 cup of bourbon that it called for. After all, we do live in Kentucky. :)
        Thanks again!

  12. #
    Megan — May 27, 2012 @ 7:35 am

    Very disappointed. I followed the recipe exactly. Let them cook for 12 hours and sit for two hours. They never got syrupy and they’re very boozy.


  13. #
    Sheri — May 27, 2012 @ 7:55 am

    ok, it’s 6:55am and i’m consuming bourbon!! i let these cook all night for our picnic today, and cannot stop tasting them for breakfast. i’m eating spoonfuls of beans with bourbon for brekfast! these actually may be the best beans i’ve ever had. i can’t wait to share them today!


  14. #
    jan — May 27, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    i am laughing so hard cause my husbnad and i are doing the same thing as sherri and i just came to tell you?? we made these overnight and keep eating sponnfuls of them!! we dont think there will be enough left for the big cookout today if we dont stop?? oh well at least we are eating great beans for breakfast! thanks you so much for this recipe god bless


  15. #
    meg — May 27, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Made these yesterday for the family… oh my god, so good. Everyone loved them. Thank you!! Made me look like a star with my mother in law. :)


  16. #
    June — May 27, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

    Made these today, truly amazing. Everyone loved them. Thanks!


  17. #
    Carrie — May 28, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    I’m making these for our Memorial Day BBQ at 6 pm, but I didn’t get to wake up at 5 am to start them so that they could cook all day in the Crockpot. So my question is this: can I cook them in the crockpot on hi for 5-6 hours instead of low for 10-12 hours, before letting them sit for the 1/2-2 hrs?

    Thanks! I really can’t wait to try these!


    • Jessica — May 28th, 2012 @ 11:31 am

      You can try, but I honestly can’t say if that will work. I think they still may need a little longer than that even on the high setting, but it is totally dependent on your crockpot!


  18. #
    Missy — May 29, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    I made the crockpot bacon bourbon baked beans for Sunday. They were a HIT. Great reviews from all family members. I was surprised I even liked them. I’m not a baked bean fan. These were amazing! Thank you for sharing your recipes. I am going to try the feta cheese dip now – you never know I just might find another dish I like.


  19. #
    Malee — May 30, 2012 @ 4:35 am

    Thank you so much! I made these for Memorial Day BBQ and they were an absolute hit! Used Cannellini beans instead of navy (it’s what they had at my local grocery store). I also added a pound of sauteed ground beef and 1 tsp of salt about 10 hours in, and let it cook together on low for an additional 4 hours after that. DELICIOUS! It was the hit of the BBQ :)


  20. #
    Rachel — June 1, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    Can I sub in another liquor instead of bourbon?


    • anna — July 3rd, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

      I subbed Jameson because if I used the only (good) bourbon in the house my BF wouldn’t have been happy! It turned out delicious! And, I used powdered mustard AND navy beans.


  21. #
    Dina K. — June 1, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    Cant wait to try this recipe! I’m totally in love with my crock pot and love homemade baked beans but hate babysitting them in the oven for so long. This fixes that.


  22. #
    Ali — June 6, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    totally making these for my housewarming party this weekend!!! i’ve never made homemade baked beans before, so i’m pretty excited


    • Jessica — June 6th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

      Let me know how they turn out Ali! :)


  23. #
    Sarah — June 10, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Can you use Northern white beans instead of Navy beans?


    • Jessica — June 10th, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

      I think you probably can, but I haven’t tried it personally so I can’t say for sure.


      • Hajar Elizabeth — May 19th, 2013 @ 3:19 am

        Great Northern and Navy Beans are exactly the same bean! ;-)

  24. #
    Ali — June 13, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    HOLY CRAP! So good…best baked beans ever! They totally get better the longer they sit in that crockpot…they were such a big hit, thanks!


  25. #
    sherrie — June 16, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    don’t know how i missed this on your blog. i read daily even if the recipe doesn’t interest me. i love reading all your shananigans. (SP?) anyway, i found an adapted version of steph’s bite by bite. i made her version minus the alcohol and now i’m clicking your version. she only put 5 strips of bacon. wtcrap??? she denied me bacon!!! i already cleaned the kitchen, but i am totally considering cooking up some more bacon to stir in there!!! we will see how they turn out in about 5 more hrs. i’m planned to fridge them overnight and serve them for father’s day tomorrow. can NOT wait! YUMMY!


  26. #
    Kelly — June 27, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    I just made these, and holy cow, they are unbelievable good! I did however spend about 30 minutes and went through 2 steel wool pads trying to clean the slow cooker. Totally worth it!!! Yum!


  27. #
    Carolyn — July 2, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    Ive been looking forward to making this for a while and Im getting my chance on the 4th. I have a question: is ground mustard the same as dry mustard in the spice aisle or is it the ground mustard in a jar with the condiments? Thanks!


  28. #
    Bill — July 3, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    Great recipe. I like green chilies and use them in all my BB batches so I added one 4 ounce can of chopped verity. Personal taste. If you like the flavor of chilies, give it a try.


  29. #
    Joyya — July 3, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

    This looks like a great recipe and I’m making it later tonight for the forth. But I have tons of guests coming and need to make a larger pot! What would the recipe be for 3 pounds of beans?


  30. #
    Joyya — July 3, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    Maybe I’ll just make 2 batches cause I have two crock pots! Thanks and I know (fingers crossed) it will be great!


  31. #
    Jennifer — July 6, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    I don’t have a slow cooker but I do have two large ceramic dutch ovens. If I cook these in the oven – does anyone have an idea as to the temp and length of time?


  32. #
    ann-marie — July 6, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    I just finished putting everything in the crockpot and sat down. I can’t wait to taste these beans in the morning, since they have to cook so long I’m doing it overnight so that I can take them to a cookout tomorrow, followed the directions except I only had a little over 1/2 cup of burbon left in the house, I’m hoping that won’t make to much of a difference, I’m not a burbon fan anyways. I can’t wait to try these out tomorrow, and will let you know how they turned out and if they were a hit at the party :)


  33. #
    Jill K — July 11, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Has anyone tried doubling this recipe? Does it take longer to cook in the crockpot if it’s doubled?


  34. #
    Ann — July 28, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    I started these at 4 yesterday afternoon. We ate them 28 hours later. Amazing. Then I ate three helpings and now I’m too full. It was worth it.


  35. #
    Alison — August 22, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    These look great. I am having a lot of guests though. Wondering should I try to double the recipe, or just make two batches separately and then heat them up together to serve?


    • Jessica — August 22nd, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

      I think doubling would be a lot of liquid and ingredients… I would make 2 batches separately.


  36. #
    Heather — August 27, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    Do you think I can freeze them? I would like to make them now for a party in three weeks…


  37. #
    Amy — September 5, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    Is there a way that I could make these without the bourbon?!


  38. #
    Ashley Wright — September 21, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    I’m sorry to bug you with idiotic questions…haha! But…

    I’m making these this weekend-holla! I’ll be taking them to a toddler’s birthday party with loads of small children. I was thinking about cutting the bourbon in half and only using a half of a cup. I’m worried that it won’t have the same flavor though. :/ I’m also worried that if I use the full cup, it may still have some alcohol left in it and I don’t want to intoxicate 2 year olds. Your thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. :)


    • Cathy — May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

      All of the alcohol burns off during the cooking


  39. #
    Holly — September 21, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    Do you think it would work to just throw everything, excepth the beans of course, raw into the Crock pot to simmer together?


  40. #
    Shelley Strong — October 11, 2012 @ 11:16 am

    Love your recipe. I’m planning to make it for this weekend’s tailgate. Thought I liked you by your writing style. Knew i liked you when you said, “I love your guts.” You are a riot and my kind of gal.


  41. #
    Sue — October 17, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    I made these this weekend… My first ever try at homemade beans… It was a hit! Had a family party and not a drop left. I made it exactly as posted, I would prob decrease the brown sugar a bit next time, But I managed to put plenty away anyway! This is a keeper….


  42. #
    Christopher — November 28, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    Thanks for this recipe; it’s just what I was looking for! I tried it last week with dried beans, but didn’t cook them long enough and though it was very tasty, they were still crunchy. I tried again a few days ago with canned beans. (Because it was so damn good!) Baked for three hours and oh, my are they good! Thanks again!


  43. #
    Aaron — December 25, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

    Thank you for this. I made a a couple of hams slow cooked in a homemade Jim Beam Honey Tea Glaze. I saved the shanks and looking at different recipes for baked beans. This helps alot for basic ingredients!!!


  44. #
    ralph lauren polo sale — June 10, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

    Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this article. It was funny. Keep on posting!


  45. #
    Lauren — July 3, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

    I am making these for the fourth of July. would they be alright if I started them tonight and let them cook all night and left them in the crock pot on warm until about 5pm tomorrow? also I am doubling the recipe so I was thinking if I left them in there that long it couldn’t hurt! please let me know what you think!


    • Jessica — July 3rd, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

      i think it would be okay but since you will be home, make sure to check them every couple hours. they may need a little liquid or even to be turned to warm for a few hours tonight. all crockpots can differ.


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  47. #
    Tish — September 7, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    As a kid, I was forced to eat canned pork and beans. I hated them. With. A. Passion. Then came this recipe. Now, thanks to this recipe, I eat beans like a fat kid eating cake, I can’t stop. Best bean recipe ever. EVER. No really, I mean it! That is all. My name is Tish, and I approve this message.


  48. #
    Justina — September 17, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    I came all the way here through like 3 different links for the bread! Bread recipe pleasee!!!


  49. #
    Alexa — October 26, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    This might be the winner that finally gets my husband to eat baked beans! Fingers crossed cuz they’re my most loved thing that he hates.


  50. #
    Bocaboy — January 8, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    I found the bourbon too heavy handed in this recipe. I’d cut it down by at least half and add an additional 1/2 cup of ketchup to enhance the tomato side of the flavor. They definitely taste better the next day, as the author suggests!



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