Few side dishes for camping or for a backyard cookout are as simple or traditional as baked beans. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, you make baked beans from scratch. And if you’ve never had the pleasure – you owe it to yourself to try them maybe even the kind cooked in a oven buried in the ground for a couple of days.
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But that’s not how most of us enjoy baked beans today – definitely not at a campground or tailgate party. But you can up your bean game simply and quickly, because canned baked beans are prime candidates for seasoning with smoke! The sauce for baked beans usually has sugar in it, and it’s always reduced to a thick, sticky consistency. That means it collects smoke flavor well even with a fairly quick exposure.
So here’s a simple and fast recipe for making your dinner guests thing you cooked for days … when all you really did is open a can and add some smoke. Follow the instructions carefully for best results. Heating the beans in the large skillet increases the surface area exposed to the smoke which helps flavor the beans.
- Large can of your favorite baked beans
- 12-inch cast iron skillet
- Kelly Craig Smoke Sack or BBQ Drop, Soak & Smoke – wood of your choice
- Light gas grill or heat coals for charcoal grill.
- Select a Smoke Sack or BBQ Drop, Soak & Smoke puck (try apple, hickory, or mesquite if you’re looking for suggestions)
- Soak and prepare the wood chips per instructions on package.
- Open can of beans and pour into large cast iron skillet.
- Place the sack or foil packet of wood chips onto the heat source.
- Close grill lid and allow smoke to build.
- Turn burner to low or place skillet on grill away from direct heat.
- Close lid and allow beans to warm and soak in smoke.
- Stir occasionally to make sure beans are not scorching.
- Remove from heat when sauce begins to bubble.