We've updated this old-fashioned American favorite, taking advantage of the gentle, uniform heat of a slow cooker. Instead of the traditional salt pork, this recipe uses lean Canadian-style bacon.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, October 1998


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.)

  • Drain and rinse beans. Place in a slow cooker.

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and bacon; cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and light golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add to the beans.

  • Add maple syrup (or molasses), ketchup, Worcestershire and mustard to the beans; stir to combine. Bury ham hock (or neck bones or turkey wings), if using, in the beans. Add boiling water and top with bay leaves.

  • Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 1/4 hours on high or about 11 hours on low. Remove the bay leaves and bones. Season with vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Start soaking beans a day ahead.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

272 calories; protein 16.4g; carbohydrates 48.3g; dietary fiber 9.4g; sugars 11.8g; fat 2.3g; saturated fat 0.3g; cholesterol 6.8mg; vitamin a iu 69.3IU; vitamin c 3.8mg; folate 213.6mcg; calcium 119.5mg; iron 3.8mg; magnesium 110.3mg; potassium 903.4mg; sodium 306.1mg; thiamin 0.5mg.

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Portion size is deceptive Recently I got more interested in using dried beans which over all do take more time to prepare but there are also advantages. The part of this recipe that bothers me a lot is the deceptive presentation of amount of calories. 8 servings of 0.75 cup equals to 4 servings of 1.5 cups which seems more reasonable to me. Which makes a serving over 500 calories. I made this recipe with 1 cup of dried beans and I end up with 4 reasonable servings. Didn't sit down to calculate out calories but I don't see a reason to worry. Eating Well dropped here the ball with deceptive serving size presentation please revise this recipe. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very good have made this several times now family favorite. Usually cook a roast in the crock pot while making the beans. Read More