Backyard Barbecue Beans


  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (we used Bull’s-Eye Original)
  • ½ cup ketchup (we used Hunt’s 100% Natural)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard (we used French’s)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (we used hickory smoke)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (we used garlic powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ¼ pounds bratwurst, casings removed (we used a 19 oz. package of Johnsonville Brats Original)
  • 2 onions, chopped (we used yellow onion)
  • 2 (28-ounces each) cans baked beans (we used Bush’s Original)
  • 2 (15-ounces each) cans pinto beans, drained (we used Bush’s brand)
  • 2 (15-ounces each) cans cannellini beans, drained (we used Bush’s brand)
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (we used Wright Naturally Hickory Smoked)


  1. With the oven rack set in the middle, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a large mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring until combined: barbecue sauce, ketchup, water, mustard, vinegar, liquid smoke, granulated garlic and cayenne. Leave the sauce off to the side for now.
  2. Take a 12-inch nonstick skillet out and set the heat to medium-high. Once the skillet’s hot add the bratwurst to it. Using a spoon, break the meat up into small bite-size pieces, cooking for 5 minutes or until the fat starts to render. Add the onions into the skillet and stir for 15 minutes or until the onions and sausage are both well browned.
  3. Take the sausage mixture out of the skillet and add it to the sauce, followed by the baked beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans and the tomatoes, stirring to combine and ensure that all the ingredients are equally distributed throughout. Take a 13- x 9-inch metal baking pan* out and place it on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Place the bean mixture in the baking pan, topping it with a single layer of bacon.
  4. Place the pan in the oven (with the baking sheet still underneath it) and cook for 1 ½ hours or until the beans are bubbling and the bacon’s rendered (ours took 1 hour and 45 minutes). Let the beans cool for 15 minutes before serving.

*We used an EZ Foil Lasagna Pan (13 ¼ x 9 5/8 x 2 ¾-inch).

This is good the first night but it’s even better the next day ! The first day you can taste the sweetness and smokiness but it’s on the second day that you notice the spiciness more. It makes your lips tingle but it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors. It’s got an excellent mouthfeel to it. It will thicken up some overnight and it’s great to eat cold or warmed up !

This recipe came from Cook’s Illustrated.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Bull’s-Eye, Hunt’s, French’s, Johnsonville, Bush’s, Ro-tel, Wright, EZ Foil or Cook’s Illustrated.

Take care everybody !