Baked beans in a dutch oven

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Wayne in Maine
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Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby Wayne in Maine » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:22 am

I don't know if there are any other Dutch Oven cooks out there, but I'm wondering about doing Baked Beans in a dutch oven. I've thought about doing some Bean Hole beans but I'm wondering about shortcutting them by simply doing them in a dutch oven with charcoal.
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temporal1
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby temporal1 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:49 am

refreshing, hoping it will catch someone's attention.
when i was young, we had wonderful, busy family reunions every year .. the ladies cooked+baked!
different varieties of home baked beans were a reliable part of the fare.
my mother's concoctions were tasty, she would mix her no-recipe sauce to be "just right," add slices of bacon across the top, then .. bake! the bubbly sauce, the bacon, the crispy edges .. yum.

my father would make a big deal about tasting all those beans!
at the time, i wondered about his sanity, with all the tasty contributions - including all sorts of desserts, why beans??!! of all things.

those are fond memories. by now i realize, for those who survived the Depression, baked beans were one of the mainstays. with very little, with gratitude and love, so many in that period, and following, did their best to raise the little they had to eat to an art form for their families.

my mother used a big Dutch Oven, in the gas oven, but i can't recall details to share.
i recall the sights+tangy smells! :D

charcoal sounds very good. beans+campfires are a classic combination, with lots of history.
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JimFoxvog
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby JimFoxvog » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:03 am

Dry beans seem to take forever to cook well without a pressure cooker. I'd get them soft in a pressure cooker before seasoning them and finishing the job in a dutch oven.
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Wayne in Maine
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby Wayne in Maine » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:47 am

JimFoxvog wrote:Dry beans seem to take forever to cook well without a pressure cooker. I'd get them soft in a pressure cooker before seasoning them and finishing the job in a dutch oven.

We soak them overnight.

I do the same thing with cracked oats when I'm camping - they cook real fast in the morning.
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby Bootstrap » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:20 pm

For this kind of thing, trying it at home first can be useful, because if it fails nobody is terribly disappointed. The one time I made baked beans in a dutch oven at camp, the beans didn't cook fully, and it wasn't very good. Most camp recipes suggest canned beans, as you have probably noticed.

When I cook beans at home, I usually boil them the evening before, soak them overnight, and bring them to a boil again. If the beans are reasonably fresh, that works great. Does this work without boiling them the night before, with just a cold soak? I can't remember, I think I tried it and had to boil it and soak it an extra time.

You can find authentic recipes in the Civil War handbook Camp Fires and Camp Cooking; or, Culinary Hints for the Soldier, if authenticity intrigues you. But they use a whole lot more firewood than you need by boiling much longer than you would have to with an overnight soak. They often would have had a fire running continuously anyways.

If you have a fire going for 7 hours, you could try this: http://www.tasteofsouthern.com/baked-beans-recipe-from-scratch/
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temporal1
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby temporal1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:24 am

Wayne in Maine wrote:
JimFoxvog wrote:Dry beans seem to take forever to cook well without a pressure cooker. I'd get them soft in a pressure cooker before seasoning them and finishing the job in a dutch oven.
We soak them overnight.
I do the same thing with cracked oats when I'm camping - they cook real fast in the morning.
o.yes. otherwise, they take forever, and use 'way too much fuel.

rinse in cold water, then soak in cold water to cover, with salt is ok.
no tepid or warm water, they could begin to ferment. i learned the hard way.

same goes for split peas, lentils, or any kind of dried bean, soak overnight. (as far as i know.)
then, no need for a pressure cooker. that would probably be overkill. (i never did both.)
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby Bootstrap » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:52 am

temporal1 wrote:rinse in cold water, then soak in cold water to cover, with salt is ok.
no tepid or warm water, they could begin to ferment. i learned the hard way.


I never had a problem with beans fermenting overnight, I'm not sure why. I usually bring them to a boil the night before for about 5 minutes, bring them to a boil in the morning for about 5 minutes, put them in 1/2 gallon freezer bags, then freeze them. If they are still hard, I might boil them a third time. I don't like long boiling because it's easier to burn them. We eat a lot of beans here ;->

But you're right, boiling them the night before does not seem to be necessary, at least according to this Cooks Illustrated article:

Our oven technique for cooking beans for use in other recipes (the liquid is discarded) works well with any variety, but it is especially good for thin-skinned beans like pinto, kidney, cannellini, black, flageolet, and navy. Here’s our method: Pick through and rinse beans. For every pound of beans, dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 quarts of water in a large container. Add the beans and let soak for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. (To quick-soak: Start with boiling water instead of cold and let the beans soak at room temperature for 1 hour.) Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 275 degrees. Drain and rinse the beans and transfer them to a Dutch oven along with 4 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and transfer to the oven until the beans are tender, 40 to 60 minutes.


In a separate article, they seem to be saying the salt in their soak is important, softening the beans. (I see other articles that disagree!)

My guess is that would work fine with a campfire too. And you could try making it at home in the oven first.
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby Hats Off » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:02 pm

I don't really care how they are done, I just love them all. The best ones though are the ones my wife makes with smoked bacon.
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby Wayne in Maine » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:47 pm

Hats Off wrote:I don't really care how they are done, I just love them all. The best ones though are the ones my wife makes with smoked bacon.

We bought some packages of John F. Martin Bacon ends when we were last in PA. I found some nice bug chunks of unsliced ends in them that I've set aside for my next bean bake.

The absolutely best baked beans I have had were done in a Roaster by one of my fellow Scout Masters. I have the recipe but I don't think I have the technique. They're better than B&M:
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Re: Baked beans in a dutch oven

Postby MaxPC » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:31 pm

Hats Off wrote:I don't really care how they are done, I just love them all. The best ones though are the ones my wife makes with smoked bacon.

My sentiment exactly. :lol:

This is a refreshing thread, Wayne. Thank you.
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