This Smoked BBQ Baked Beans recipe is made with ground beef, bacon, BBQ sauce, and plenty of seasoning for the ultimate smoky flavor. You can use canned beans or make the dish homemade from scratch. This side can be made with any smoker or pellet Traeger grill.
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If you have ever made my Southern Baked Beans, you are in for a treat! This is a similar recipe, but with added ground beef and plenty of smoked flavor.
What Type of BBQ Sauce to Use
This is probably the most important ingredient in the recipe! Your baked beans need BBQ flavor. Use your favorite sauce! I like to use our local Kansas City Gates BBQ Sauce.
What Type of Bacon to Use
You can use any bacon in this recipe such as pork bacon or turkey bacon with no adjustment to cooking time. I like to use thick-cut, uncured and nitrate-free bacon.
What Type of Meat to Use
A lot of Southern baked beans are made with ground beef. I love this addition because it enhances the flavor profile. You can also use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork or sausage, or omit it all completely if you wish.
What Type of Beans to Use
Navy beans are often used for baked beans. You can also grab canned baked beans, Bush’s brand if you wish.
If you want to use dried beans and make a truly from scratch recipe, check out my Instant Pot Baked Beans or Slow Cooker Beans with instructions on how to cook the beans first before smoking. Canned beans will simply save you hours of cook time and is a matter of preference.
How to Make Smoked Baked Beans
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Preheat smoker.
- Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add the bacon, ground beef, and chopped onions.
- Drain any excess fat. Add in the garlic and stir.
- Add in beans, ketchup, BBQ sauce, chili powder, and brown sugar or sweetener.
What Type of Wood/Pellets to Use
Apple, cherry, hickory, oak, or the Traeger Signature blend will work well. Any fruit flavor or blend should work for this recipe. Mild smoke flavors will require you to smoke the beans longer. If you are in a hurry, opt for something with a strong smoke flavor.
I recommend 225 degrees.
Cook Time/How Long to Cook
The beans will need to smoke for 2-3 hours. Use your judgment and taste the beans. They are ready when they have perfect smoky flavor.
Are They Spicy?
The recipe calls for chili powder. I don’t find chili powder spicy, but some people do! So if you don’t want spicy beans omit the chili powder or start with 1/2 teaspoon and continue to adjust to taste.
Are the Beans Sweet?
I like for a moderate taste of sweetness so I use 3 tablespoons of brown sugar or sweetener. If you want them to be really sweet use 1/4 cup.
What Type of Pan to Use
I love to use a 12 inch cast iron skillet. You can also use a heavy-duty stainless steel pan. Any pan that will work inside your smoker is best, as long as it’s around 9×13 in size.
How to Make a Large Pan for a Crowd
This recipe will make 8 servings, but you can easily double or triple that by doubling the ingredients used in the recipe.
Can You Make Them Ahead?
Yes, you can make these ahead. Allow the beans to cool and place them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. They will last up to 4 days.
How to Make them Vegetarian
Make sure to grab vegetarian baked beans. From there, you can simply omit the bacon and beef used in this recipe.
You can freeze these in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. I love to reheat these in the oven or air fryer on 350 degrees until warm. Stovetop works as well.
How to Reheat
I love to reheat these in the oven or air fryer on 350 degrees until warm.
Pair with these Main Dish Smoked Recipes
Traeger Smoked Glazed Ham
Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast
Traeger Smoked Salmon
Traeger Smoked Chicken Breast
Traeger Smoked Ribs (3-2-1 Method)
Traeger Smoked Chicken Wings
Smoked Lobster Tail
Traeger Smoked Whole Chicken
Traeger Smoked Brisket
Traeger Pulled Pork (Shoulder Butt)
More Smoked Side Dishes
Smoked BBQ Baked Beans with Bacon and Ground Beef
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion I use white onion.
- 2 garlic cloves Minced.
- 2 28 oz cans baked beans I use vegetarian.
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon chili powder This amount will give the beans a kick. If you don't want a dose of spicy omit it or start with 1/2 teaspoon and continue to taste and build.
- 2-4 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener I typically use 3. See notes.
- Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
- I like to use a 12 inch cast iron skillet to make everything using one pan. You can use any pan or smoker safe dish.
- Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add the bacon, ground beef, and chopped onions. Cook until the bacon is crisp, the ground beef is no longer pink, and the onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Drain any excess fat. Add in the garlic and stir.
- Add in the beans, ketchup, BBQ sauce, chili powder, and brown sugar or sweetener. Stir. Taste the mixture repeatedly to ensure the flavor meets your tastes. I don't add any salt because I feel the bacon adds enough. Taste and decide if you want to add salt or any other flavor.
- Smoke for 2 to 3 hours until the beans are bubbly, the sauce has thickened, and the beans have an amazing smoky flavor.
- Remove from the smoker and cool before serving.