Bring on these baked beans!
Don’t laugh, you know you want a big bowl of these franks and beans. The nostalgia is real: You’re probably flashing back to childhood, opening a can of soft, mushy franks and beans and plopping them into a bowl. My mom would give me a side of Ruffles to dip.
Did y’all call these “beanie weenies”?
The good news is that these are not the mushy, bland franks and beans you probably remember. These are smoked, with the sweet heat of barbecue flavors and a touch of bourbon. Grab a bowl and dig in!
Little Smokies or Hot Dogs?
I’m sure you’ve already seen, those are not typical hot dogs in my recipe. Yes, those are little smokies, the tiny cocktail weenies you’ve been cooking in crockpots for decades. I prefer using these over hot dogs for a number of reasons, but if you choose to use hot dogs your recipe will still be delicious. Here are a few reasons that might change your mind:
- They are already bitesize. Less work for you with prep.
- They are smoked. Essentially we’ll be double-smoking them, packing on the flavor.
- There’s variety. I’m using the classic, which is pork & chicken. Look in the stores and you’ll see there’s a few varieties, including beef.
Baked beans from a can, or from scratch?
I’ve made them many times starting with dry beans. The process definitely takes more time and ends up with a different output. The biggest difference is going to be the texture: beans made from scratch are going to be meatier and chewier.
Ultimately if you choose to make this recipe with dry beans instead of using canned you’ll be needing to add quite a few ingredients to replace the canned baked beans, which are cooked and packed with many flavors. My recipe below does not accommodate for using fresh beans, so please be aware.
Breaking down flavor options
There are a few directions you can take to customize your flavors for the smoked beans and franks. Let’s break those down further.
This is where you can make one of your decisions to add sweet, heat, or any combination of both. Mustard-based sauces would probably be delicious. Serving this to a crowd, I tend to stick with a traditional sauce, but feel free to spice it up.
Go with what tastes great! In my recipe, I used a BBQ rub that I know tastes great with pork and pairs well with my BBQ sauce. My only tip is to avoid herb-based rubs, as most of them will probably contrast with the sweet and smoky flavors in the baked beans and BBQ sauce.
Classic baked bean recipes will generally use sweet onions, and some sore of chile pepper. We like to use sweet onions with jalapenos. Roasted red peppers, garlic cloves, shallots, habaneros, and red onions are just a few other options. Match the vegetables with your other flavor profiles and have fun.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use a smoker?
You may use an oven or any other cooking device that allows you to “bake” the franks and beans.
What hot dogs can I use?
I recommend skinless hot dogs, such as the ones made by Nathan’s. Skinless hot dogs allow you to slice them into smaller pieces and not worry about ripping the hot dog casing. You’ll have a more consistent texture from smoking.
Do I need to add bourbon?
It’s in my recipe, and it adds another layer of flavor. You can substitute this with a splash of beer, or apple cider vinegar.
Smoked Franks and Beans Recipe
Watch the Video Recipe below and I’ll show you step-by-step how I make these smoked franks and beans. You can also find more videos about recipes, smoking, and grilling on YouTube, Instagram, or on my Facebook page. Please feel free to leave a comment below!
- 12 oz pack of little smokies (hot dogs, cocktail franks)
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp BBQ rub
- 2 tbsp vegetable or corn oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2–3 jalapenos, diced
- 3/4 Cup BBQ sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tsp BBQ rub
- 2 cans of baked beans, 22oz
- Set the smoker for 225°F.
- Mix the franks with the mustard first, then add the BBQ rub. Place them out on a wire rack that can be used in the smoker. Smoke them for 1 hour.
- 10 minutes before the franks are done, start making the sauce and baked beans. Heat up the oil in a Dutch oven, this pot will be going directly into the grill. Add in the onions and jalapenos, cook them down for 2-3 minutes until they soften. Add in the remainder of the ingredients and cook on low, heating through to incorporate the flavors. Once the franks are done, add them in.
- Adjust the smoker temp to 250°F and place the Dutch oven with all ingredients inside. Smoke for 2-3 hours, until you have reduced the baked beans by at least 1″ on the side. I recommend stirring about every 30 minutes.
- Enjoy and serve with toppings such as green onions, cheddar cheese, white onions, or chips.
I prefer to cook them closer to the 3-hour mark, but your preference will dictate how long it should take based on the amount of smoke flavor. If you do not have a smoker, you won’t be able to complete the first step of smoking the franks; you can skip to the second phase and cook the franks and beans together in the oven.
- Prep Time: 10 mintues
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: side dish
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: pork, baked beans, franks and beans, side dish, appetizer, snack