Baked Beans are the go-to side dish served with all types of BBQ – but this Apple Bourbon BBQ Beans takes it to a new level.
It would be hard to pick out my favorite recipe for baked beans, but this one here is high up on the list. I use fresh apples and just a touch of bourbon to kick up the flavor in these beans, and of course, I’m cooking them in some smoke to give them extra special flavor.
Start off by chopping 6 strips of thick sliced bacon and placing it in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon just long enough to render the fat. Leave 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat in the sauté pan and add 1 diced medium size onion.
Cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften and add 2-3 diced jalapeno peppers (red and green) and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Continue to cook for a couple minutes and add diced apples (3 medium size gala apples). Season the mixture with a pinch of Killer Hogs AP Rub (or salt & pepper) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes before adding ½ cup of brown sugar.
Stir the apple mixture to melt the sugar and add a good shot of Four Roses bourbon. Let the mixture continue to cook until the liquid reduces by half. The total cook time is about 15-20 minutes.
In a large dutch oven, add 2 cans of your favorite style baked beans (I use 28oz cans of Bush’s homestyle). Spoon the apple mixture into the dutch oven along with 1lb of left over pulled pork and the bacon.
Give the mixture a quick stir and add: 1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard, 1 cup of bbq sauce (Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce), and ½ cup of brown sugar. Fold the beans with a large spoon and season with 3 Tablespoons of BBQ Rub (Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub) and 1 Tablespoon of AP Rub.
Fire up the smoker, I’m using my Big Green Egg, and bring the temp up to 300⁰. Just before placing the beans on the pit add a chunk of cherry wood for smoke. Cook the beans uncovered for 2 hours stirring occasionally and remove them from the pit once most of the moisture has been absorbed.
These Apple Bourbon BBQ Beans are sweet and smoky with just a touch of heat from the peppers. The bourbon gives it a nice caramel-like note without being too strong; and don’t worry the alcohol cooks off so it’s kid friendly. Give this recipe a try the next time you’re planning a BBQ. Read more: best electric smoker