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Brisket Baked Beans


Four Beans, Mucho Brisket

Like barbecued brisket, baked beans have deep roots in American food culture. Native Americans cooked them with maple sap and bear fat, using re-scorched stones for heat.

European colonists adopted the dish, adding salt pork for fat and molasses as a sweetener. Today, baked beans are inextricably woven into the fabric of American barbecue and they’re about to get a lot better. With brisket. Lots of brisket. This is a great place to use up all those burnt ends and brisket trimmings. Sweet, salty, smoky, and, above all, meaty, these are everything you hunger for in baked beans—and more.


Brisket Baked Beans

Recipe Notes

  • Advance Prep: 20 minutes
  • Grill Time: 1⁄2 to 2 hours
  • Yield: Makes 12 cups; serves 10 to 12
  • Method: Smoking (though you can also indirect grill or bake the beans)
  • Equipment: Smoker (or grill or oven); A Dutch oven or heavy- bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid or a large heavy-duty aluminum foil roasting pan


  • 4 strips thick-sliced artisanal bacon, such as Nueske’s, cut crosswise into 1⁄4-inch slivers
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
  • 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 can (15 ounces) baked beans (preferably organic) with can juices
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans (preferably organic), drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans (preferably organic), drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) navy beans (preferably organic), drained
  • 1 ½ cups your favorite sweet red barbecue sauce
  • 2⁄3 cup packed brown sugar, plus extra as needed
  • ½ cup dark beer, plus extra as needed
  • 1⁄3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups chopped barbecued brisket
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Steps

1: Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sizzling and golden, 3 minutes.

2: Add the onion, poblano, bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic, and 1⁄4 cup of the chopped cilantro and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned 3 to 4 minutes more.

3: Stir the beans into the bacon mixture. Stir in the barbecue sauce, sugar, beer, mustard, and brisket. You can cook the beans in the Dutch oven, or transfer them to a large heavy-duty aluminum foil roasting pan.

4: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and heat to 275°F. Smoke the beans, uncovered, until thick, concentrated, and richly flavored, 11⁄2 to 2 hours. If they start to dry out, stir in a little water or more dark beer and put the lid on the Dutch oven or cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

5: Correct the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, or sugar to taste. The beans should be very flavorful. Sprinkle the remaining 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro on top. Dig in!

Brisket Baked Beans will keep, in a sealed container in the refrigerator, for at least 3 days.

Recipe Tips

Set up your grill for indirect grilling (see page 22) and heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, toss 11⁄2 cups wood chips (soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained) or 2 hardwood chunks on the coals. If using
a gas grill, place wood chunks under the grate over the heat diffusers. In step 4, smoke-roast the beans, uncovered, until they are thick, concentrated, and richly flavored, 40 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 275°F. In step 4, bake the beans, uncovered, until thick, concentrated, and richly flavored, 11⁄2 to 2 hours.

Find This Recipe

And More

The Brisket Chronicles

It all starts with the big kahuna: an authentic Texas barbecued brisket, aka 18 pounds of smoky, fatty, proteinaceous awesomeness. And from this revelation of pure beefy goodness comes burnt ends. Corned beef. Ropa Vieja. Bollito Misto. Pho . . . and slowly it dawns on you: Brisket must be the tastiest, most versatile, and […]

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