Here is a recipe that has been around a bunch of years.
A longtime caterer claims this is the secret to his success,and he used it from Mikey in Alabama,courtesy of Ray Basso's forum.
I have never tried it,though.
BARBIE'S * MODIFIED * DOWN SOUTH, 'OLE HOME, GOOD 'OLE BOY, SOUTHERN RED OAK SMOKED BBQ BEANS
Recipe By Barbie Lulejian
April 1, 2001
This recipe consistently turns out the BEST Smoked BBQ beans
we and our guests have ever eaten. It is a relatively simple
recipe to follow, and we have now modified it for superior results.
We both sincerely hope you enjoy this !
This recipe can be posted elsewhere and/or shared as longer as
appropriate credit is given to Barbie Lulejian.
1 Can of Bush's "Original Baked Beans" (From Sam's)
(7 lbs - 5 oz can) - UNDRAINED !!!
2 LARGE (Yellow !) onions - chopped
NOTE: "Sweet" onions are not effective !
2/3 cup BBQ sauce ANY brand will do
1 entire green bell pepper - diced
1 entire yellow bell pepper - diced
1 entire red bell pepper - diced
1/3 cup syrup - either maple or cane ***
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup "Sugar In The Raw"
2 Tablespoons dry mustard
2 cups BBQ pulled pork - chopped (from your last Que)
Note: Outside cut is Best !
Note: The beans will NOT be anywhere near as
good without this. Even if you have to cook
some pork in the OVEN ! first.
1/4 tspn ground black pepper
1/4 tspn * Chimayo chili pepper (the REAL stuff !)
1/4 lb uncooked bacon slices - cut into pieces
3 tspn ** Texas Pete Hot Sauce
(This brand ONLY ! - We MEAN THIS !)
* For a spicier recipe, this could be adjusted a tad upwards,
but just a tad. And we do not suggest using less than 1/4
teaspoon. The Chimayo brand was suggested by Garry Howard,
and is one of the finest chili powders we have yet to use.
We got ours in New Mexico while at the 1999 Q-Fest.
We will only use this brand. Feel free to use whatever you can.
A GREAT alternative, but sometimes hard to find is the Gebhards brand.
** (Per Mikey): For a spicier recipe, this could be adjusted upwards.
Sometimes I just squirt the plastic bottle in the beans until I feel
they taste "right." So please feel free to use MORE ! This is one
of the many benefits of Texas Pete brand. But do NOT over-do.
*** Barbie recently used sorghum syrup in place of maple syrup.
The result were the FINEST tasting beans ever !
Open the can of beans and DO NOT ! drain the excess liquid from
the can. Please know that this works successfully for us, as
our smoked BBQ beans are cooked in the cooking chamber, nearest
the heat source, for 6 hours ! If you do not plan on cooking
yours as long, you need to drain "some" of the excess liquid
off. (See the note below). We discovered by NOT draining off
the liquid, it resulted in a "moister" dish.
NOTE; If you do not plan on cooking yours as long though, a few
notes: A) They more than likely will never become "Done" (Achieve
the right bean consistency). Be careful on this item. B) Do not
discard the excess liquid you chose to not use as above. Save in
case you need to add moisture to your beans later, or if not, then
discard if unused later.
Select a suitable cooking pan. We particularly like to use a
larger, flatter pan so that it exposes the maximum surface area
of the beans to the Red Oak smoke (*).
TIP: We now suggest most strongly the use of a large aluminum
baking pan/dish. That way you will not be bothered with having
to struggle with cleaning a heavily smoked and greasy pan, after
it has been in your smoker for 6 Plus hours. And this job can
be VERY messy.
* Other woods will do - We simply love the flavor Red Oak imparts.
In your pan, combine ALL of the ingredients. Stir and Mix well.
SUGGESTION: If you choose NOT to use a disposable aluminum pan,
coat the inside of the pan with Pam.
When you first go to place your beans in your smoker/cooker, you
will notice that your mixture will start off quite "soupy."
Place the pan in your smoker, nearest the firebox. This will
allow the bean mixture to cook at about 250 F to 275 F, or so.
If your temperatures are a little hotter, that's okay also.
We just recommend letting the beans cook with the smoke for a
long period. These are NOT to be rushed.
Do NOT let these cook at temps above 300 degrees F or the
beans will become more dried out BEFORE they have had a
sufficient time to cook.
Using a Bandera with a vertical smoke chamber, we place ours
almost right above the water pan, about two or three shelf
notches above the water pan. Being the lowest item, and having
rib slabs and/or pork butts above it, allows the meat juices
to drip down into your beans.
NOTE: Be careful about this IF you are cooking a large quantity
of pork in a vertical cooker such as a Bandera. We had to
re-think the beans placement when we cooked 6 pork butts at the
same time as the beans recently.
Plan on letting your beans cook about 5 to 6 hours.
4 hours really is NOT long enough ... 5-1/2 to 6 hours is
"right." YOUR total time will all depend on the temperature
inside your cooker. See the "Tip" below.
Stir the beans about every 30 to 40 minutes. Do NOT let a
"crust" form on the top as it will impede the smoke flavor
from getting into the beans.
When stirring your beans, make sure you also scrape the sides
of the pan. There is no waste with this recipe. As they cook
down, you will notice the mixture getting a little thicker each
time stir it. After 5+ or so hours, the beans will be the right
consistency. Nice and somewhat thick, but not dry. Remove the
pan from your smoker.
IF your beans are getting a little dried out (before they are done),
you can add moisture to them. Use 1/2 water and 1/2 any brand BBQ
If you want to know what is the "right" consistency, it is simple:
If the beans remain very juicy with lots of surrounding liquid
throughout about 3+ hours of cooking, you are doing fine.
TIP: Many people have asked me WHEN are the beans "done?"
It is actually a very easy answer to provide, and as you do this
yourself you will better understand. Just like cooking pork and/or
brisket, the beans will "break down." How long this will take for
you is subject to too many variables. But here is the key: If on
a taste test, the beans themselves have about the same "consistency"
of each bean as when you first started, they are NOT done. If upon
tasting, however, the beans seem to have "broken down" a little
(somewhat), then they are ready to be taken off the smoker/cooker
and brought in. What I have noticed is that this occurs at about
the same time the beans mixture starts getting darker in color
(AFTER stirring) and somewhat thicker and less liquidy.
When they are done, take your pan(s) into the kitchen and spoon
into a serving dish.
PLEASE NOTE: The pan you use to cook in will be TOTALLY smoky
(Greasy !). When you bring it in, please place it on a large
baking dish or cookie sheet, first covered with newspaper.
TIP: A better method is to first use Large, DISPOSABLE, aluminum
baking pans. These ABSOLUTELY will need support (such as a large
baking sheet before being brought in from your cooker).
You should, at that point, be the hit of the Party !!!
Mikey and Barbie
(Atlanta, GA - The HEART & SPIRIT Of Dixie)
If someone tries it,let us know.