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Great recipe however more molases is required
Made this recipe for Easter a couple of years ago and now getting requests for it! Usually I trim and freeze bacon fat when making breakfasts, and then thaw and use it for this purpose. Don’t be afraid to add more mustard at the end if the flavor balance isn’t quite right.. you might need some more acidity depending on how much fat you use. Freezes well.
Great taste but waaaaay too much liquid if you use the crock pot.
Yes, some slow cookers really keep the water from evaporating. You can have the lid ajar next time, or reduce the liquid by 1 cup but still keep the molasses the same. Watery baked beans are no fun!
Wonderful taste and simple to make
Hello! I had a quick question as I plan to make these for Thanksgiving this year. Since they are better the next day, what is the best way to reheat them so that the beans do not dry up? Will simply rearming it in a pot work?
Hi, Jen! Great question. Yes, reheating in a pot should be fine, or you could reheat the beans in the slow cooker for a few hours on low before serving. If they do look a little dry after they’ve been reheated just stir in a 1/4 cup of water. Happy Thanksgiving!
I didn’t realize my crock pot was a bit oversized for this recipe (6 qt) however it still cooked wonderfully. I couldn’t find salt pork so I used extra thick bacon instead. The beans re-heated perfectly, didn’t dry up at all and they were a big hit! In fact the host kept all of the leftovers for her and the family.
This recipe is WONDERFUL, I can never find a canned variety that I like consistently, but this recipe is just the flavor I’ve been looking for. I will definitely make this again.
I have heard a peeled potato will absorb the salt. Worth a shot next time?
HELP! I cooked the beans in the crock pot for 16 hours. They’re way too salty, how can I fix this?
Hi Catherine, hmm, the way I would fix this is to mix the beans with a can or two of low sodium white beans. You need to dilute the salt somehow. The other thing you could do is to make another batch of beans in just water, without any salt pork, and then mix them with the salty batch you made.
Do I have to double the ingredients if I use two pounds of dried beans?
Hi, Harry! I would double the other ingredients as well. Happy cooking!
Thanks Summer. I decided to make two separate batches. One in the slow cooker the other in the oven in a cast iron dutch oven.
We’ll see which is best when they are done.
First off, I always soak overnight. Then I turn up the heat all the way with some salted water. Once they reach a rolling boil I leave covered and boil for 2 minutes. Then leave the cover on, pull off the heat and let them soak for 1 hour. Then strain in a collander. Then I take 1 pound of smoked hog jowls and remove the skin, cut into chunks and brown off in a frying pan, during which time I slice up a large yellow onion. Then 1 layer of hog jowls, 1 layer of onion, and 1 layer of beans. Repeat until off of the ingredients are gone. Then pour the molasses mixture over the top, put the lid on the slow cooker and set on high for 2 hours. THEN I pull off the crock pot, wrap foil over the top and put into a 250 degree oven and let go another 2 to 3 hours, checking after 2 hours. They are perfect every time.
The sauce is much thinner that I expected. Is there a way to thicken it or perhaps in the future use maybe 2 cups of water instead of 3?
Hi Pam, there are so many variables at play here, including the batch of beans you are using (older drier beans will need more water) and the brand and model of slow cooker you are using. If you make it again and it still too thin, I would uncover the pot, put it on high and let it simmer some of the excess moisture away, and then use less water the next time.
Cooking in a crockpot generates lots of moisture. To counteract that, place a clean kitchen towel over the pot before putting the lid on it. It will absorb the moisture that would normally drip down during cooking.
I second this idea. You could even just mix the molases with 1 cup and then as the last step add as much water as is necessary to cover the beans. Add more as you need to in order to make sure that the beans are covered throughout cooking. Also, Crockpot brand inserts are rated to be oven safe up to 400 Fahrenheit so you can up the heat by putting it in the oven for the last bit.
I do not recommend this. I soaked and cooked my beans for 12 hours on low as suggested and the beans were not cooked. Eating under cooked beans can be dangerous. I changed the cooker to high and 8 hours later they were only mostly done and burnt. I had to throw the whole thing out. Next time I start with fully cooked beans.
Hi, Lee! So sorry this recipe didn’t work for you! The culprit when beans stay crunchy despite hours of cooking is usually older, out of date beans. If your beans were in your cupboard for a while, this could be the case. It’s also often hard to tell how long beans have been sitting on a store shelf (or in the warehouse before that). It’s best to avoid beans with a packaged date more than a year old. Hope you have better luck next time!
Turned out perfect. I did tweak it just a bit. In addition to the chopped onion I studded a small onion with cloves instead of powder cloves. I also just used regular dry mustard as I had no Dijon, I soaked the beans overnight and then boiled them for one hour. I added less water to start and added more as needed so beans sauce stayed thick. I used thick slice bacon. Thanks for the yummy recipe!
You forgot the onion. True Boston beans always include an onion (whole) in the pot, along with the salt pork. My mother would put the whole thing together on Friday night, bake it overnight to have ready for Saturday dinner.
I’m new to making beans from scratch (truth be told, never done it). Does your recipe follow hers, pretty much or are there changes I need to make? What temp & how long did your mom cook them? (when you say overnight, I’m lost as to what time did she start them & finish them). Thanks
The faithful process calls to soak great northern beans overnight and drain. Now put them in a good sized pot, plenty of water, and simmer on the stove until you can gently blow on their skins and the skins break freely. THEN proceed with the crockpot. You can also substitute (real) maple syrup for the brown sugar.
Soaked the beans the night before (which was also the day I bought them). After cooking for 10 hours they are still very hard. The sauce is also thin and weakly flavored. I’m very disappointed. :(
Hi John, if after 10 hours your beans are still hard it sounds like you are working with some old beans. The older the beans, the longer they take to cook.
John Soto: True ! After soaking 10-12 hours, bring beans to a very gentle boil on the stove top for a 1/2 hour to an hour. Then add directly to a worm crock pot. Enjoy!
These sound wonderful! My daughter is a vegetarian so I was wanting to omit the pork. Do you think the recipe will still taste ok? Should anything to enhance the flavor, like liquid smoke?
Hi, Michelle! Yes, you could definitely just leave out the bacon to make this vegetarian. For smoky flavor, I think liquid smoke would be great! I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more as needed. Smoked paprika would also do well in this recipe. Enjoy!
I love smoked paprika – great idea. I’ll try that! Thanks!
I found this recipe looking for how to translate my mom’s classic recipe to a crock pot. I grew up eating them with salt pork, and when I became a vegetarian found that a teaspoon liquid smoke, a tablespoon or two of vegetable shortening, and a teaspoon of salt flawlessly subbed for the meat.
I added a large apple
Well I am cooking them in a slow cooker. They have been cooking 7 hours now and are hard as a rock! I soaked them over night and they were covered in water. The beans are new, just bought a few days ago. I even turned slow cooker up high two hours ago and still hard. The slow cooker works fine. I don’t know what to do. Supposed to have dinner in a few hours time.
Hi, Gerrianne! I’m so sorry this didn’t work for you! Unfortunately, this sounds to me like a classic problem with older dried beans — they just never soften no matter how long you cook them. Even though you yourself just bought these beans, there’s sometimes no tell how long that bag sat on the shelf…or in the warehouse before it got shipped to the grocery store. My best advice for this is to either buy your beans from a reliable source (like Rancho Gordo) or to buy your beans from a store that has high turnover on their beans. You can ask the store manager about this and they can look up how often they restock their beans. Good luck!
Hi Gerrianne, so many things can impact the hardness of the beans, including the kind of water you are using. Even though you just bought the beans, they might still be on the old side if the store has had them for a while or they sat in a distribution center for a long time. I would just keep on cooking them.
You need to cook the beans until tender before putting them in the slow cooker. This
will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
3 cups of water may be too much. They came out with too much thin liquid. I was looking for a thicker sauce.
Can’t wait to make this. What size crockpot did you use?
Hi Jessica, I used a 3 1/2 Quart slow cooker.
These turned out great! So easy !