BBQ Beans

For some time I have looked for a good BBQ beans recipe. Something that is at least a pale shadow of those I get at better smokehouses, like Bryant's in KC, MO.

Most recipes I find either start with a mostly-there canned bean like Bush's, then bake for hours. That seems like a lot of trouble, for starting with canned beans.

I'm working completely blindly looking for a pressure-cooker recipe. I often pressure-cook my own beans, it would seem that I should be able to do better than canned if I can pressure cook with my own spice mix.

This guess was pretty good. Better than most smokehouses...

  1. Soak ~2c dry white beans, then pressure cook with Note that cooking beans with salt can cause them to come out crunchy, not tender. I no longer try to cook beans in stock for this reason, but so far I have not had a failure with ham-hocks or bacon (which are salted). Strange but true. ken a hora ;-)

    Barely cover the beans and other ingredients with water for pressure cooking. About 5mm water over the top of the beans.

    1/2 hour under pressure is usually about right, then allow to de-pressurize.

  2. Saute 1 diced onion in some of the reserved ham-hock fat (or bacon) and about 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  3. At end of saute, remove onions from fire and add red chili powder to taste.
    Hotness varies a lot. Here in NM, we can get dried red chili, which I believe is best. The trouble is that NM dried red chili power varies a lot in heat. Other places may use cayenne, paprika, or a blend of the two.

    Chili needs a short saute to be disolved in fat for proper flavor extraction.
    Add to beans.

  4. Add around 1/4 cup brown sugar to beans.

  5. Add your favorite BBQ sauce to taste.
    I wish I had better suggestions here, but I have yet to master BBQ sauce. (although I'm satisfied with my red-chili BBQ rub) Please forward recipes if you have some! Unfortunately, I do not know of any national brand that I am pleased with. Gates from KC, MO is pretty good. Quarters or Rudy's here in ABQ, NM are pretty good. Some specialty store brands like Bone Suckin' Sauce are good. I have often picked up most of a year's supply at the annual Firey Foods and Barbeque Festival here in ABQ, NM.

  6. Add salt (or ham or chicken bullion) to taste.

I'm not totally sure about cooking the pepper, cumin, and mustard. They might be better dissolved in fat along with the onion and chili later. Pressure cooking with garlic is the standard practice in many bean recipes, like NM Pintos with green chili, and Coata Rican/Cuban black beans.
Celery seed could go either way. It is often boiled.
Aaron Birenboim
Last modified: Sat Apr 1 09:06:00 MST 2006