Barbecue Beans Recipe

These barbecue beans are made from scratch yet quick and easy and just may alter the way you think about barbecue beans forever.

Barbecue Beans Recipe

Not your typical barbecue beans. That’s what we think of this easy barbecue beans recipe that yields a slightly spicy side dish with none of the annoying and cloying sweetness of canned barbecue beans. Perfect for a backyard barbecue with all the classics, whether ribs or pulled pork or smoked brisket and, if you’re in some parts, slaw and white bread and pickles. These beans also work just as well all on their own—sorta a poor man’s chili with a little extravagance in the form of a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Barbecue Beans Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 5 H, 15 M
  • Serves 8


  • For the bean seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup (about 50 g) chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (13 g) coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (7 g) onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground cumin
  • For the barbecue beans
  • 1 pound (454 g) dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 70 g) diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) bean seasoning
  • 8 cups (1.9 l) cold water
  • 1 cup (150 g) chopped store-bought or Homemade Smoked Brisket (this is an excellent way to use the tough outer edges of smoked brisket)


  • Make the bean seasoning mix
  • 1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. You should have about 1 cup. Store in an airtight container.
  • Make the barbecue beans
  • 2. Combine the beans, onion, 1/2 cup bean seasoning, and water in a large pot and let soak at room temperature for as little as 4 hours and as long as overnight.
  • 3. Add the brisket to the soaked beans, slide the pot onto the stovetop, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a slow simmer, cover, and gently cook for 3 to 4 hours, until the beans are tender. Let cool slightly prior to ladling into bowls or onto plates. (This makes a lot of beans but no worries because you can freeze the leftovers in resealable plastic bags and gently reheat them over low heat. The texture of the beans becomes even creamier and the flavor turns even more robustly harmonious.)
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Angie Z.

May 21, 2016

This was an extremely easy way to get smoky, tender barbecue beans. Because of all the chile powder, the beans do pack some heat, but I found that the spiciness of the beans really complemented the creamy texture. I soaked the beans overnight and simmered them for 3 1/2 hours. They were very tender and creamy at this point, although there was quite a bit of liquid still in the pot. As I was making the smoked meat at the same time as the beans, I waited until the last 1/2 hour to add the meat, but it still imparted a nice smoky flavor to the beans. They made a lot so I froze half of the recipe. I thawed the frozen half and heated them up tonight. They were SO amazing! They softened and got a little creamier. And that smoky chili flavor combined with the peppery bite and almost-too-salty edge had us swooning. I'll be making these again! Next time I might just freeze the whole batch. #campingmadeeasy

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

May 21, 2016

Beans are always a hit and this recipe is a rustic pot of flavorful beans! I've always used ham hock or a ham bone with pinto beans, but the brisket was a new satisfying way to go and also a way to use the tough outer bark of the brisket. I'm at high altitude so my beans took almost 4 hours to get tender. They still held their shape very well. We enjoyed the smoky barbecue beans with cornbread and green onions. My husband is ready for the beans again anytime soon!

Testers Choice
Joel Jenkins

May 21, 2016

These barbecue beans are definitely a tester's choice. I’ve been making beans for years, like most of us, and have never soaked my beans in the spices. This is a new way for me to prepare beans and I am hooked. I made this to use up some brisket and burnt ends I had left over while visiting family in Kansas City. I soaked the beans overnight and then cooked them for about 4 hours. They went from really al dente to finished rather quickly although I don't think you have to watch them so closely in order to pull them off the heat at just the right moment. I don’t think they would overcook for quite a while.

Testers Choice
Dawn E.

May 21, 2016

I took a chance and made these barbecue beans for the first time for a dinner party I'm having tonight and I just tasted them. So incredible and so much better than I even imagined they would be. They have such a great depth of flavor and just the right amount of spice. One note, I used 2 tablespoons salt and it was still on the verge of almost being too salty for my taste. I suggest halving the salt and adding more to taste. I soaked my beans overnight and cooked them in a covered Dutch oven. I purchased some smoked chopped brisket from my local Whole Foods. The beans came out perfectly!

  1. Cyndra Moore says:

    These look so good, when I went to make them I realized I was out of chili powder, so being from the south I did a sub of Cajun seasoning and Slap your Mama seasoning…I also used smoked sausage…great Cajun barbecue beans.

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