Baked beans top the list as one of Barbecue's most quintessential sides, but finding a really great recipe can be tough.
No worries, Traeger Nation. We have got your back on this one.
Baked beans are delicious. Baked beans with bacon are extra delicious. Baked beans with bacon, and pulled pork are even more delicious. But baked beans with bacon and pulled pork, and slow-cooked with a ham bone (Easter leftovers anyone??) are absolutely out of this world. All that hearty meat comes together with the perfect balance of sweet and tangy sauce to give you a side dish that may just outshine your main course.
Pork Lover's Baked Beans
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Pellet Recommendations: Hickory or Apple
1 pound dried beans such as red kidney or chili beans, pinto beans, navy beans, frijoles Colorados, or pink beans
3 strips bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water, plus more as needed
2 pounds pork shoulder, smoked at a previous grill session, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 meaty ham hock, smoked at a previous grill session, or more pork shoulder
1 cup Traeger Regular Barbecue Sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, or more to taste
1/4 cup prepared mustard Salt and black pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 300 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put a cold Dutch oven on the stovetop and add the bacon. Turn the heat to medium low and sauté the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it begins to render its fat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the 6 cups of water and the beans, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
Bury the pork shoulder and ham hock in the beans so they are covered with liquid. Put a lid on the Dutch oven and carefully transfer it to the grill grate. Bake the beans for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the barbecue sauce, applesauce, brown sugar, and mustard. Recover the pot and continue to cook for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed to keep the beans from drying out, until the beans are tender but not falling apart. (Remove the lid from the pot if the sauce needs thickening.)
Retrieve the pork chunks and ham hock from the beans and shred or dice into bite-size pieces, discarding any bones, fat, skin, etc.
Stir the meat back into the pot along with the bourbon, if using, and add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to bake for a few more minutes to reheat the meat.