Ultimate Great Northern Beans

"I usually cook these outdoors, suspending a cast iron pot over a campfire but honestly, they taste about the same on the stovetop. And the flavor is just great. If you've yet to adopt a cooked beans recipe, this might be the one you're looking for. It's right out of Appalachia."
Ultimate Great Northern Beans created by Derf2440
Ready In:




  • Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Make sure that there is twice as much water as beans because they will swell up.
  • In a large cooking pot, pour in the cooking oil and toss in the smoked jowl pieces. Stir and allow them to sizzle over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes. After they brown a bit, deglaze the pot with about 4 ounces of the chicken broth.
  • Add the onion and allow to simmer until the onion is tender, stirring often.
  • Rinse the beans in fresh water a final time and, after draining, add them, plus all the remaining ingredients into the pot. This should include the 48 ounces of water listed in the ingredients.
  • Boil, covered, over low heat until beans are tender, stirring occasionally (about 2-3 hours).
  • Serve with cornbread, fried potatoes, eggs and biscuits.
  • If you wish, you can use chunks of ham or bacon instead of pork jowl.

Join The Conversation

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  1. Nate M.
    I like this dish a lot. Made some adjusts - added carrots, 2x the onion, brown the becon, added chicken bouillon (48 ounchs of water is way too light), and 50% more pepper. Also, used mild rotel tomatoes.
  2. Anonymous
    WAS WAY too spicy , hot spicy and we love spicy food. Won't use this recipe again.
  3. jceubanks
    This recipe is delicious. I used a ham hock and cooked it in a cast iron pot. Followed the directions exactly. We really enjoyed it. I will definitely make it again! Thanks for sharing.
  4. Yasmine S.
    Okay.. so i made this recipe with a few tweaks and it turned out amazing!! I soaked the beans over night, drained, and rinsed them. I used 2 lbs instead of one. I boiled 2 smoked turkey legs in water to cover for about 2 hours until the meat was tender. I took those out of the water and shredded the meat returning it to the pot. From there I followed the recipe but I added fire roasted tomatoes instead of the rotel, I added 4 chicken bouillion cubes, 2 bay leaves, I added 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion diced, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 a stick of butter and 1/2 pack of liptons onion soup mix.
  5. Donna H.
    This was the worst beans I've ever made, way way too much liquid.



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