American barbecue goes hand in hand with baked beans. Serve these traditional baked beans with any grilled pork, beef, or poultry. Slow-cooking the beans with bacon and molasses gradually infuses the entire stew with rich, sweet flavors. To make this dish over a low campfire, start the fire early and make sure you have enough wood for the fire to burn gradually for 5 hours (about a quarter of a cord of wood should do it). Set up the fire with a higher-heat area for adding wood and a medium-low-heat area for cooking. Rake coals into the cooking area as necessary. It also helps to have a camp grill with a pot hanger and a wire-handled pot, which allows you to suspend the pot over the cooking area and swing it toward you or over the heat as necessary. But a simple campfire grill grate will also work. Regulate the heat by raking more or fewer coals beneath the pot. The beans should simmer gently in the pot. If using a charcoal grill, put the pot of beans on a sturdy grill grate (make sure the grate can hold the weight of the beans), cover, and cook as directed, regulating the heat with the air vents and replenishing the coals as necessary.
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Soak: Overnight (or 8 hours)
Cook: 4 to 5 hours.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 60 pounds of charcoal or about a quarter cord of wood so that the fire can burn gently for about 5 hours
– Heavy pot, preferably cast iron with a wire handle so it can be hung over the fire
– Heat-resistant grill mitt
– If you don’t have enough fuel to cook the beans over an outdoor fire, you can cook them on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. The cooking directions remain the same.
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting or pot hanger and wire-handled pot
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire or pot hanger and wire-handled pot.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 8 SERVINGS)
10 ounces dried navy beans or other small white beans, picked over and rinsed
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup molasses
1¼ cups Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
1. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak overnight.
2. Heat the grill as directed. Drain the beans in a colander and set aside. Cook the bacon in the same bean pot directly over the heated part of the grill until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the beans and enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Stir in the molasses and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil, then move the pot to the unheated part of the grill and simmer gently, uncovered, until the beans are tender, 4 to 5 hours, stirring now and then and adding hot water as necessary to keep the pan bottom from going dry.
4. Stir in the salt and pepper and serve.