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Grandma Browns Baked Beans Recipe

Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans has been a staple in many households from the day it went into production about 80 years ago. They aren’t just a tasty side, but a dish full of essential nutrients to ease hunger.

This recipe is a great way to use a whole can of beans before they go bad and stuff them in any other food, from tacos and meaty pasta to burritos and chili

Grandma Brown’s Baked Bean, also known as Brown’s beans, is great for a weeknight meal on its own or as a sub for any of your favorite meals.

Ready to start with the simplest Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans recipe?

How to Make Grandma Browns Baked Beans 

You won’t be surprised if we tell you this delicious recipe is made from whole beans. They are quick and easy to make and taste fantastic. All because brown-skinned beans contain no added color or preservatives and are beautifully tender and smooth. 

Besides, beans have a neutral, mild-flavored spiciness perfect for experimenting with spices or ingredients. Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans are baked in a generous amount of brown sugar, pepper, salt, and natural bay leaf.

However, you’ll see what makes a difference by skimming through the ingredients list.

Ingredients:

(6 servings)

  • 1 pound of Navy beans
  • Some water to cover
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 ounces of cooked bacon
  • 1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)

Instructions

Grandma Brown’s Bakes Beans recipe has been passed down through the family for generations. So you might find that everyone has their tricks of how to make them perfect. These tricks may vary from family to family, but some things are a must in all cases. 

It would help if you rinsed the beans before cooking to remove any dirt and debris. Plus, it’s recommended to soak the beans in water overnight so they can soften and cook through. 

And finally, take your time. Let your beans cook slowly on low heat. The flavors will meld together wonderfully. But don’t overcook them – they should be tender, not mushy.

Step 1: 

Add a tablespoon of baking soda to water and boil it in a pot at medium heat. Boil the water with baking soda for at least 10 minutes, turn off the heat after the time passes, and cover the pot with a lid. 

Note: let this boiled water sit overnight to develop the qualities we want in it.

Step 2: 

Clean and rinse the beans. Then transfer them into the bowl, which should be heat resistant. Add the rest of the ingredients, like cooked bacon, chopped onion, brown sugar, salt, and bay leaf, to the bowl.

Step 3: 

Fill the bowl with the beans with the boiled water and ensure the beans are completely covered.

Step 4: 

Preheat an oven to 300°F and put the bowl with the bean mixture to bake for more than 3 hours, at least 4-5 hours.

Open the oven in between to stir the beans. 

Cooked beans should have a thick texture with incredible flavors and outstanding taste.

Ingredient Substitution

As you can see, there is no real secret to the best Grandma Brown Bean. You can whip one up at home with little effort if you choose the right beans

However, you don’t have to be afraid to experiment with alternatives

1. Great Northern Beans

Great Northern Beans are one of the most common beans with a delicate and lightly nutty flavor that is considered mild-flavored. It makes it a perfect substitute for Navy beans in this recipe. 

They both have similar colors, shapes, and flavors. However, great northern beans are a bit grainier than the navy. Nonetheless, you can use it as a 1:1 substitute.

2. Salt pork

Salt pork comes from the lower portion of the pork belly, filling it with fat and muscle fibers. As the name implies, salt pork is saltier than bacon. However, it is quite rich when it comes to flavors. 

So the saltiness shouldn’t prevent you from using cooked salt pork instead of bacon. Just try to reduce other salts in the recipe a little.

What to Serve with Grandma Browns Baked Beans 

Once you make these succulent Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans, you could enjoy them as is or with any of your favorite dishes like soups, salads, gravy, and others. 

Baked beans pair well with anything and double the deliciousness of every meal. Consider pairing them with the following to make your next dinner a hit.

Patty Melt

Nothing says comfort meal like the freshly cooked burger patties topped with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions and assembled into a mouth-watering patty melt. Just toast the bread, coat it with butter, and add the patties, cheese, and onions. 

It’s heaven on the plate. Baked beans elevate the flavors of the meats, so this combination will surely tickle your taste buds.

Cornbread

Savory homemade baked beans and flavorsome cornbread are an epic combination. Both are from the South, and both are iconic. Cornbread is a delectable dish that can’t turn out bad. Besides, it is super easy to make. 

So you have to try mopping up the cornbread in baked beans juices. Tell us once you find a better pairing.

Mac and cheese 

We bet you haven’t tried amplifying your mac and cheese with new flavors for quite a while. And you, indeed, haven’t considered adding beans, have you? 

Mac and cheese are cheesy and creamy, contrasting with the smoky baked beans too nicely. Add the beans before or after adding the cheese, top it with bread crumbs or cornflakes, and you’ll have everyone’s attention.

How to Reheat Grandma Browns Baked Beans 

If you enjoy some baked beans in your morning fry-out as we do or want to enjoy the leftovers from last night, use these three methods to reheat them.

Reheat Grandma Browns Baked Beans in the Microwave

Reheating baked beans in the microwave is the least recommended option since you could fry them out. But if it’s the only option, transfer beans into a microwave-safe bowl and cover the bowl with a damp towel and a lid of plastic wrap.

Heat the beans for about 1-2 minutes, stirring them in 30-second intervals until heated thoroughly.

Note: don’t add any liquid until the first 30 seconds pass since sometimes the heat releases extra moisture from the beans. You don’t want them to be watery.

Reheat Grandma Browns Baked Beans in an Oven

Preheat an oven to 350°F and place your beans in an oven-safe dish. Add a splash of liquid and cover the dish with foil. Reheat the beans for about 10 minutes stirring halfway through.

Remove the foil for the last few minutes.

Reheat Grandma Browns Baked Beans on a Stove

To reheat baked beans on the stove:

  1. Pour them into a pot and heat them on low heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Add extra liquid (water, milk, stock) if the beans seem dry.
  3. Go with a tablespoon at a time until the desired thickness is achieved. 

How to Store Grandma Browns Baked Beans

The most important tip to remember before you store baked beans is to store them within 2 hours of cooking or once they cool down.

Store Grandma Browns Baked Beans in the Fridge

Once the beans drop to room temperature, transfer them to a resealable food container and refrigerate. They could sit like this for about 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Store Grandma Browns Baked Beans in the Freezer

If 3-4 days is not enough for your needs, store leftover baked beans in the freezer. They freeze well, and the process is super simple. You only have to transfer them into an airtight container or a glass jar

Baked beans could be stored in the freezer for about 3-6 months.

grandma browns baked beans recipe

Grandma Browns Baked Beans Recipe

Grandma Brown's Bakes Beans is a staple of almost every household. Smoked and succulent baked beans are a great addition to any of your favorite meals. Tender and smooth beans are extremely easy to make though you have to dedicate some time to it.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 5 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 220 kcal
Equipment
  • bowl
  • pot
Ingredients
  
  • 1 pound of Navy beans
  • Some water to cover
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 ounces of cooked bacon
  • 1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
Instructions
 
  • Add a tablespoon of baking soda to water and boil it in a pot at medium heat. Boil the water with baking soda for at least 10 minutes, turn off the heat after the time passes, and cover the pot with a lid. 
    Note: let this boiled water sit overnight to develop the qualities we want in it.
  • Clean and rinse the beans. Then transfer them into the bowl, which should be heat resistant. Add the rest of the ingredients, like cooked bacon, chopped onion, brown sugar, salt, and bay leaf, to the bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with the beans with the boiled water and ensure the beans are completely covered.
  • Preheat an oven to 300°F and put the bowl with the bean mixture to bake for more than 3 hours, at least 4-5 hours.
    Open the oven in between to stir the beans. 
Nutrition
Calories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 9gFat: 1gFiber: 10gSugar: 6gIron: 4mg

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