The first time that I tasted cider beans was at the local gas station. Here in the mountains, folks gather at the local gas station to visit, have a meal, and catch up on the local news. Far from serving “fast food,” these little places present “home cookin’,” and it’s delicious. This good ol’ mountain recipe is very satisfying paired with cornbread or muffins.–Joan E. Aller

Where Can I get a Ceramic Bean Pot?

Thanks to this recipe, we’re experiencing some serious ceramic bean pot envy. We want one. Those of you who have one, where’d you get yours?

A pot of Appalachian cider baked beans with a wooden spoon placed on a wooden chair.

Appalachian Cider-Baked Beans

4.73 / 11 votes
Appalachian cider-baked beans takes regular pinto beans, adds salt pork, molasses, mustard, and apple cider, making them into something magical. Hearty, flavorful, and traditional, this recipe is everything you want for dinner.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories399 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 15 minutes


  • Slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method)


  • 3 cups dried pinto beans
  • 3 cups fresh apple cider
  • 8 ounces salt pork, thinly sliced
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and left whole
  • 6 tablespoons molasses, preferably sorghum molasses
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • To make the Appalachian Cider Beans in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.

    To make the Appalachian Cider Beans as God intended, in the oven, pick over the beans, discarding any stones and wrinkled beans. Rinse well and place in a large bowl. Add cold water to cover by 3 inches, cover, and let soak for 12 hours.
  • Drain the beans and dump them into a heavy saucepan. Add the cider and slowly bring the beans to a boil over medium heat. Gently boil, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C).
  • Layer half of the salt pork slices on the bottom of a 2-quart ceramic bean pot or other deep baking dish, such as a Dutch oven. Spoon the beans into the pot and then bury the onions in the beans.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the molasses, dry mustard, and salt and place over medium heat until the mustard and salt dissolve into the molasses. Pour the mixture evenly over the beans and top with the remaining salt pork slices. Add the reserved cooking liquid to the pot. Add hot water as needed to cover the beans with liquid. Cover the pot.
  • Bake for 4 hours, then uncover the pot and add more water if the beans seem dry. Recover and continue to bake for 1 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Serve hot, directly from the pot. Originally published June 27, 2011.
Cider Beans, Wild Greens and Dandelion Jelly

Adapted From

Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 399 kcalCarbohydrates: 40 gProtein: 8 gFat: 24 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gCholesterol: 24 mgSodium: 1353 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 21 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Joan E. Aller. Photo © 2010 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This was a fun recipe to transfer to the Crock-Pot. Wanting to keep it simple, I elected not to simmer the beans with the cider but to use 2 cups of cider with my soaked, but uncooked beans. The perfect balance of salty and sweet with deep flavors of molasses and mustard. While the beans could have used a bit more time in the slow cooker, the flavor was absolutely wonderful. I’ll definitely make these again, but I will plan on 10 hours in the slow cooker to get the beans to the point where they give up all resistance.

I placed the salt pork on the bottom of the Crock-Pot, layered the beans on top of the salt pork, and poured the cider on the beans. I then buried the onions in the beans. I heated the molasses in the microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds. This was the perfect temperature for the mustard to blend into the molasses. I poured that on the beans and topped them with the remaining salt pork and set the slow cooker to high. I cooked the beans for 3 hours on high and then on low for 4 additional hours.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Spaghetti Carbonara

This spaghetti carbonara recipe tosses pasta with eggs, cheese, guanciale, pancetta or bacon, and pepper to form a creamy sauce. Quick and easy.

25 mins

Ina Garten’s Mashed Potatoes with Lemon

If Ina believes mashed potatoes need a little acidity to smooth out the richness, so be it. Here’s our new go-to approach to this oh-so-comforting side dish.

40 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made these beans 4 or 5 times. The only change I make is to pierce the onion with a few whole cloves. I simmer the beans for 1 hour in the cider. I’ve used a mixture of several kinds of dry beans, but I like pinto beans the best. Be patient and let the beans cook as long as necessary.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these exactly per the recipe. They are tremendously awesomely great!

    Never liked Boston Baked or Maple Syrup Baked or Boozy Baked Beans. These were perfect in every way and the only ones I’ll ever make again.

    Froze half in two bags for follow up meals. Defrosted and warmed up without any loss of texture or flavour.

    1. We’re so pleased that we were able to help you find a baked beans recipe that you absolutely love, Bernadette. Thank you for sharing!