Quicker Boston Baked Beans (Cook's Country)

I've always wanted to make Boston Baked Beans. Typically, the beans are slow-baked for hours. This recipe comes from the June/July 2011 issue of Cook's Country; using science, baking soda is used to quick soak and cook the beans (no overnight soaking is necessary). Total cooking time is 1½ hours, so it's much quicker! The recipe was pretty much a success, except for two minor things-- I used a cast-iron Dutch oven and so I should have added more water to the beans. It was easily remedied by adding it at the very end. My family LOVED this recipe, but I have a personal preference for sweeter baked beans. I "doctored" my portion by adding extra brown sugar and some honey. It was perfect.

These boston beans don't take as long as the original recipe!

Photo by

These boston beans don't take as long as the original recipe!

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 1

    pound dried navy beans (about 2 cups), picked over and rinsed

  • 1

    tablespoon baking soda

  • 6

    ounces salt pork , rind removed and cut into ¼-inch pieces

  • 1

    onion, chopped fine

  • 3

    cups water

  • 5

    tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

  • ¼

    cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses

  • 2

    tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 4

    teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2

    teaspoons cider vinegar

  • Salt and pepper


*Liquids evaporate faster in the oven in heavy cast-iron Dutch ovens than in lighter pots. If you're using a heavy pot, increase the water to 4 1/2 cups. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 3 quarts water, beans, and baking soda to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer briskly for 20 minutes. Drain beans in colander. Rinse beans and pot. Cook salt pork in now-empty pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in water*, beans, sugar, 1/4 cup molasses, Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon mustard, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to boil. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until beans are nearly tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid and continue to bake until beans are completely tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and remaining 1 teaspoon mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Beans can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.) TASTING NOTES: I have a personal preference for more sweet, than savory, when I eat Boston Baked Beans. I added about 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar to the baked beans. That did it for me!


Facebook Conversations