How to cook lots of Baked Beans
This is my first post on "The BBQ Brethren" and am happy to have found this pressing issue. All that means is take this for what it's worth:
Just don't do it!! No need to bake beans, when you can make "Killer Beans" that taste better and are just cooked in a pot. The taste improves with time, though the texture softens somewhat.
¼ lb Bacon
1 lb Hamburger
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Catsup
1 Large Can Pork & Beans
2 Tbsp Vinegar
1 Tbsp Mustard
1 Can Green Baby Lima Beans or 1 Bag Frozen Baby Lima Beans
1 Can Kidney Beans
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Brown hamburger and drain on a paper towel. Put all ingredients in a large pot and mix well (a crockpot works great). If you are going to make five gallons, make sure you got a real strong helper to stir that much, as it gets pretty thick. Cook slowly for one hour or until onions are soft and clear.
I seldom measure ingredients. I add brown sugar until I like the size of the pile in the pot. More is better. I squeeze the catsup bottle until just before it is empty and put it back in the fridge. This drives my wife nuts. I squeeze the mustard bottle until my hand gets tired. The point is this will basically come out the same regardless of how much of anything you use (within limits, of course) except for the vinegar. I suggest you not necessarily measure it, just don't stub your toe cause this can make the final batch pretty tart. I also consider the lima beans essential. I have had a number of people tell me how much they hate limas, but love the beans so much they are re-thinking their likes and dislikes.
These beans are awesome. The above recipe makes about a gallon + or -, so just adjust it to suit the size of your pot. I have not tried to keep a pot hot all day like you would do in a cafe, so you may need to experiment with how long the beans will stand up to the extended cooking. The best part is the flavor, but the second best part is the recipe is very insensitive to ingredient measurements.
Hope this helps.
The Original Bad Bill
San Antonio, Texas