Bludso’s BBQ recipes: Brisket Baked Beans

Bludso's BBQ recipes: Brisket Baked Beans

Part memoir and part cookbook, pitmaster Kevin Bludso’s new โ€œBludso’s BBQ Cookbook: A Family Affair in Smoke and Soulโ€ (Ten Speed โ€‹โ€‹Press) offers up family tales, as well as recipes for classic barbecue fare, including sides like his Brisket Baked Beans.

The easy, wildly addictive recipe starts with canned beans, then elevates the flavors with his own barbecue sauce, brown sugar, yellow onions and chopped, smoked brisket. Best of all, the beans keep for up to five days, so you can make them ahead, then serve them for your next backyard barbecue bash.

Brisket Baked Beans

Serves about 12


17-ounce can baked beans

ยฝ cup yellow mustard, or as needed

1 cup packed dark brown sugar, or as needed

ยฝ cup finely chopped yellow onion

1ยฝ cups chopped smoked brisket, in about ยผ-inch pieces

ยฝ cup Bludso’s BBQ Sauce (see recipe below)


Open the can of beans and drain off and discard about one-fourth of the liquid. For the beans and remaining liquid into a large pot, add the mustard and stir to mix well. The beans should take on a slightly yellow color. Add the brown sugar and mix thoroughly.

Taste the beans; you should be able to taste the mustard and brown sugar right away. If you can’t taste them, add a little more. Add the onion and brisket and stir. Then add the BBQ sauce and stir again.

Place the pot over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low. Let simmer gently, uncovered, stir frequently to make sure the beans don’t scorch on the bottom of the pot, for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Serve hot or warm. Leftover beans will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Bludso’s BBQ Sauce

Makes about 3ยฝ cups


6 tablespoons salted butter

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

2 yellow mustard teaspoons

1ยฝ tablespoons cayenne pepper

ยฝ teaspoon seasoning salt

2 teaspoons mustard powder

ยฝ cup packed dark brown sugar

2 cups ketchup

2โ„3 cup cider vinegar

1โ„3 cup Worcestershire sauce

4 teaspoons red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons liquid smoke


In a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and stir. Once they start sizzling, add the yellow mustard, cayenne and seasoning salt and stir to mix well. Next, add the mustard powder and brown sugar and stir to mix. Then add the ketchup, vinegar and Worcestershire and, again, stir to mix. Finally, add the red pepper flakes and liquid smoke and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. Turn the heat to low and allow the sauce to cook at just below a simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

When ready to serve the sauce, reheat gently on the stove top; do not let it boil or you could ruin it.

โ€” Reprinted with permission from โ€œBludso’s BBQ Cookbook: A Family Affair in Smoke and Soul.โ€ Copyright ยฉ 2022 by Kevin Bludso. Published by Ten Speed โ€‹โ€‹Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.



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