Prep 10 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Quick, easy recipe we make on a regular basis. My 16yr old son is learning to cook and the slow cooker has been great for him to learn and put together his own ideas. (No Peppers or Onions is his one basic rule!)
- Fry bacon and drain on paper towels. While frying bacon slice smoked sausage on the bias and place all remaining ingredients (Beans, BBQ Sauce, A-1 and brown sugar) in crock pot or slow cooker. Using a small amount of the bacon grease brown the smoked sausage. Crumble bacon and place in cooker. Stir in smoked sausage. Cover and cook on low 4hrs.
- *to save time I sometimes use the precooked bacon bits, bacon is a must for my family in this dish.
I've made this twice now. It was pretty good the first time, but I felt that it was missing something. The second time around I sliced an onion and a green pepper, put that in with the browning sausage and then put it into the slow cooker. The bite from the onion and pepper really added a good contrast to the sweet, savory flavor of the beans and sausage.
I was also making it for a potluck, so I got a 55oz can and an additional can that was like, 18-20oz, so a little over double the recipe amount. I doubled up the bacon... almost. Called for 6oz, and while I fried up a 12oz package of bacon, not all of it found its way into the crock pot of course. :) I also doubled up the sausage, BBQ sauce, but not the brown sugar and A1. I have absolutely ruined an otherwise perfectly delicious batch of chili before adding too much brown sugar, so I'm very cautious when using it these days. Also, I used Bush's Original Baked Beans, which already had some brown sugar to begin with. I'm glad I didn't use more. A1 is also has a rather strong flavor profile, and that 1/4c looked like enough to me so that's all I used, and it was plenty. I think doubling that would have been too much. I did fry a medium chopped onion for a bit before adding the sausage (I like the onions really done), which, definitely add the onion because sausages and onions are fantastic together. Lastly, I hit it with about a tbsp of some really hot mustard (the Philly Pretzel Factory Super Hot Mustard... and it IS hot), and I really think that's what put it over the top. It added a little bit of spice, and I love a slight presence of mustard in anything that has bbq in it. Great dish!
I had this simmering in the crockpot while we were away for the day. When we got home, we were so hungry, we just grabbed a bowlful with nothing else. We thought it was okay but a little too sweet. Then the next night, we ate the leftovers served over mashed potatoes - delicious!! Somehow the potatoes seemed to take out some of the sweetness & we enjoyed it much better that way.