Smoked Baked Beans
on May 01, 2023, Updated Sep 21, 2023
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This recipe for Traeger smoked baked beans is packed with smoky and savory flavors! Featuring 2 types of beans, fiery jalapeños, smoked bacon, and spicy yet sweet Kansas City-style barbecue sauce, these smoky baked beans make for a perfect side dish. Filling, hearty, and oh-so-satisfying, you’ll want to serve this recipe at an upcoming party or potluck.
Best of all? Your smoker does all of the hard work for you! And everything is cooked in one large skillet, so cleanup is a breeze!
This delicious side dish is one of my all-time favorites. Here are some other side dishes to bring along to the cookout with these smoked beans.
- Cowboy baked beans
- Air fryer green beans with bacon
- Traeger au gratin potatoes
- Grilled potato wedges
- The perfect side dish for barbecues.
- It’s comfort food at its finest.
- This a great recipe for the Traeger smoker.
- Made with easy-to-find ingredients.
- It’s hearty and flavorful — the ultimate crowd-pleaser!
Make sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card below for specific quantities and other information about the key ingredients for this smoked baked beans recipe.
- Beans. I’m using a combination of pinto beans and navy beans for this smoked baked beans recipe. These beans take on the flavors of the other ingredients and the smoke from the Traeger. You can also use kidney beans, but they are firmer and not quite as velvety soft.
- Bacon. Use thick-cut bacon for the best results.
- Onion and garlic. These aromatic vegetables add so much flavor.
- Jalapeños. For a bit of heat! You’ll want to remove the seeds. If you like very spicy food, consider replacing them with habanero peppers. Or if you prefer mild baked beans, use green bell pepper.
- Barbecue sauce. I swear by my favorite BBQ sauce. Try this homemade Kansas City-style barbecue sauce.
- Molasses. Smoked baked beans are typically savory and sweet. Most of the sweetness comes from the addition of dark molasses!
- Worcestershire sauce. Gives the baked beans a great umami flavor a bit of an extra kick.
- Mustard. I like Dijon mustard best for its sharp and spicy flavor, but you can use regular ol’ yellow mustard instead.
- Tomato paste. Use a few tablespoons to inject a bit of tomato flavor into your smoky side dish.
- Apple cider vinegar. For added tang. This key ingredient also heightens the flavor of the beans.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
Don’t miss specific instructions on how to make these smoky baked beans on the printable recipe card below. In the meantime, here are the steps you’ll need to take to make this dish yourself at home.
- Preheat your smoker. I love my Traeger, but you can use any pellet grill or even a charcoal or gas grill.
- Pre-cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet.
- Cook the diced onions, minced garlic, and diced jalapeños in the bacon grease.
- Incorporate the rest of the ingredients into the skillet.
- Add the pieces of bacon on top of the beans and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Transfer to your smoker and smoke over indirect heat.
- Allow your Traeger baked beans to cool before serving.
- I recommend using a sweet wood like cherry, apple, or pecan for this recipe. You could also use a pre-made blend, like Traeger’s Signature Blend pellets.
- Serve with other yummy smoked meats like pulled pork, burnt ends, or dino ribs.
- Use a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven to make your smoky baked beans. They will hold up in the smoker — and it means you’ll only have to use one pan. Clean-up is so easy!
- Pre-cook the bacon just enough to render the fat, but don’t let it get crispy. Use thick bacon. The thin bacon will just get too crispy, while the thick bacon will hold up to the long cook time on the smoker.
By cooking them in a smoker, of course! This smoked baked beans recipe comes together wonderfully in a pellet smoker. But you can also use a gas grill or charcoal grill with some wood chips to get that rich smoky flavor.
Not if you use canned beans, which is what I typically do. Using canned beans will save you so much time and effort. If you do end up working from dried beans, you will have to soak them overnight before using them to make smoked baked beans.
Any sweet woods like cherry, apple, or pecan are great. You could also use smoky woods like hickory or oak. This really is a preference thing, so use your favorite wood.
- Use dried beans instead of canned beans. As a note, for every 15-ounce can of beans, you should use ¾ cup of dried beans. And don’t forget the ever-important soaking step before using them in this Traeger baked beans recipe. Soaking overnight should be sufficient.
- Omit the bacon if you’re expecting vegetarian guests. Or, you could double this recipe and make one portion with bacon and one portion without so you can accommodate everyone.
- Add pulled pork or beef brisket for a super meatier version. Mix some pre-cooked pulled pork or cubed brisket with the beans before throwing the pot on the Trager.
- You can also use dark brown sugar instead of dark molasses if you have it on hand. Molasses does have a very distinct, almost smoky flavor to it, but if you don’t have time to run out to the store to get it, brown sugar works.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup for some extra sweetness and a tasty caramel flavor.
Store your smoked BBQ beans in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will keep for 4-5 days.
You can reheat them on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat until warmed through.
If you’d like to make a double batch and save some for later, you can also freeze this smoked baked beans recipe. Store them in the freezer in an airtight container, and they will last for up to 6 months! Allow them to thaw overnight, then follow the reheating instructions above.
🛠 Tools and Equipment
- Traeger timberline 1300 pellet grill
- John Boos maple butcher block
- Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven
- Lodge cast iron pan
🤤 Other Amazing Recipes
Smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf – this main dish is a perfect alternative to the typical BBQ offerings. It is loaded with gooey cheddar cheese and wrapped with bacon. It is just what these smoked baked beans need!
Smoked cream cheese – you have to believe me when I say this is the best and most unique chip dip you can serve at the party! Top it off with crumbled bacon or some pulled pork, and dig in.
Smoked bacon-wrapped asparagus – if you are going to eat veggies, you may as well eat them with bacon!
Traeger smoked spatchcock turkey – this is the best method for cooking a turkey to ensure a juicy and flavorful result.
Smoked jalapeño poppers stuffed chicken – an entire jalapeño popper is stuffed into a chicken. What isn’t to love?!
This smoked BBQ baked beans recipe is one of my Traeger favorites for a reason! Every time I’ve brought it along to a barbecue or potluck, I always go home with an empty dish — which is always a good sign.
I hope you love it as much as I do. Make sure to let me know in the comments below!
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Did you try out this recipe? Please leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it. Also, snap a picture and post it to your favorite social platform. Be sure to tag me at @alicensetogrill and let me know how you liked it!
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- 1 pound bacon, thick slices
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 jalapeños, seeds and veins removed and diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 15-ounce cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-¼ cup Kansas City style bbq sauce
- ¼ cup dark molasses
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your smoker or Traeger to 250°F. See notes below for types of wood pellets to use.
- Use a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Cut the strips of bacon in half and lay them out in the skillet. Cook the bacon until it is done but not crispy and all of the fat has rendered out. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve it for later.
- Add the onions to the skillet and cook them in the bacon fat until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic and diced jalapeños and cook until they are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the skillet. Taste the beans and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Stir everything together to combine well.
- Lay the cooked strips of bacon on top of the baked beans.
- Bring the baked beans to a simmer and transfer them to the Traeger smoker. Smoke uncovered at 250°F for 2-3 hours until the beans have thickened up nicely and the bacon is crispy on the edges.
- Remove the smoked baked beans from the Trager and allow the beans to cool down for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Use a sweet wood like cherry, apple, or pecan. You can also use a blend like Traeger's Signature Blend pellets.
- You can substitute canned beans for dried beans. For each 15-ounce can of beans, use ¾ cup of dried beans. Soak them the night before in water for at least 12 hours before cooking.
- The smoked baked beans will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Store them in an airtight container and warm them up on the stovetop using a skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 1356mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 28g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.