No ImageSlow Cooked Boston Baked Beans

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  1. John Soto

    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. :(


    • Elise Bauer

      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.

  2. Michelle

    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?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

      • Michelle

        I love smoked paprika – great idea. I’ll try that! Thanks!

        • Becky

          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.

  3. David

    I added a large apple


  4. Gerrianne

    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.

    • Sherrill

      You need to cook the beans until tender before putting them in the slow cooker. This
      will take about 45 minutes to an hour.

    • Elise Bauer

      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.

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

  5. Susan

    3 cups of water may be too much. They came out with too much thin liquid. I was looking for a thicker sauce.


  6. Jessica

    Can’t wait to make this. What size crockpot did you use?

  7. Mike

    I have never heard of baked beans with cloves. Does it really enhance the flavour?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Mike! Yes, the cloves really do enhance the flavor. You don’t notice the flavor as an upfront taste, but they provide a background note that is really lovely. Enjoy!

  8. Robn Sorrells

    Mine have been cooking for 9 hours in the slow cooker on low and seem very watery and the sauce seemed like it had almost separated. They taste great but just don’t have the traditional thick sauce I am used to. I don’t need them until tomorrow night so should I keep cooking them or turn them off and see if it it thickens up over night?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Robn! Sorry to be slow to reply. How did the beans turn out? Next time, you could try leaving the lid ajar for a little while as the beans cook to concentrate the liquid. Hope you liked the recipe!

  9. Renee

    Great recipe. I added a bit of baking soda as I wasn’t sure how old my beans were. I also added a few drops of liquid smoke. Amazing!


  10. JULIE

    I’m trying this recipe tomorrow but after reading the reviews I have to add this. I come from the south and grew up on fat back (salt pork), for heaven’s sake, feel the pork. If it is covered in coarse salt rinse! If not don’t! That’s why some is too salty and some not.

  11. Rose

    This is my go-to baked bean recipe. I make it all the time, even won a baked bean contest once.


  12. Lisa Canuck

    SUPPER DELISH!!! I have used this recipe many times and is my go to now for slow cooker baked beans. I like my beans just a wee bit softer so the next day when I go to put the hot water on them I just softly boil for approx. a half hour to 45 min. before I put them in the slow cooker. I also use just a little less brown sugar and add about 1/4 cup of real Canadian Maple syrup. They are always the first to go at a gathering.

  13. [email protected]

    I soak the beans overnight. Rinse well and boil the beans for an hour.
    Then I put everything in the crock pot for 8-10 hours.
    I also add a whole jalapeño pepper and remove it at the end.


  14. Don Ugent

    I made this yesterday,in our slow cooker and soaked the beans overnight first. Followed the recipe but added a bit of honey-baked ham, leftover from Christmas.. Cooked it for about 8 hours and beans (Navy beans) were still a bit crunchy, but delicious. Maybe that’s the way the beans will always be. Great comfort food. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Don, they shouldn’t have been crunchy. They just needed more time in the slow cooker. Beans get drier and take longer to cook the older they get, so depending on where you bought your beans, how long you’ve had them, the cooking time might be longer.

  15. Marian

    I made these and though they were good it was way to much salt pork came out very salty. Making them again for Christmas and cutting back on the salt

  16. Kara Ffrench

    My beans are soaking, I am excited to try this as an experienced cook that has yet to try making homemade baked beans. When I told my husband I was going to try this I told him the recipe was from my “go to recipe site” he asked? “Simply recipes?” Elise, you are known in this house!

  17. Deb

    Can you use a smoked ham hock instead of salt pork?

    • Chris Hayes

      I have made this loads of times and experimented with variations. If I’m using an unsmoked ham hock or just some other type of pork I now like to add a teaspoon of smoked sweet paprika (La Chinata brand in the small red tins is the most well known in the UK) which gives it a great smokiness. If using a smoked ham hock i tend to leave it out. Either way my kids can’t get enough of it.

    • Elise Bauer


      • Deb Dunt

        What size hock would I use as usually the smallest I can get is about 750g. Do I just leave it whole and place in the bottom of the slow cooker as it would then be too difficult to later the ingredients.
        Or if I use bacon rashers can I then remove them afterwards as my son is not eating bacon at the moment.

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Deb, you’ll have to experiment. I’ve only made it as described.

          • Deb Dunt

            What can be used instead of salt pork as I’m not sure what the equivalent is here in Australia. Would it be similar to speck? If I use bacon rashers will it still give enough smoky flavour-( using streaky bacon)?

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