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BBQ Cowboy Beans

A great BBQ side with a bit of kick!

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These are a great side to go with a BBQ. Sweet and tasty, with a bit of heat. They can be made the day before and then smoked on the day. They get even tastier with a days rest before eating, I often make them without the bacon or brisket if we have friends that don't eat pork or beef.
Prep time
Cook time
2 to 2.5 hours
Quite a few!
Heat Beads® 4kg Original BBQ Briquettes
Manuka 4.2L Large Wood Chips
Best cooked on
Cob Barrel BBQ & Smoker


300g thick cut free range bacon or saved Brisket burnt end (optional)

1 ½ – 2 large onions, medium dice

1 can dark red kidney beans, all beans drained and rinsed

1 can butter beans

1-2 cans Black Beans (dependant on the quantity of product wanted)

1-2 cans diced tomatoes

½ cup tomato sauce

½ cup dark brown sugar, packed (can add up to 1 cup depending on your taste preferences)

2 Tbsp of molasses, or to taste

¼ cup yellow mustard

¼ cup cider vinegar

1⁄8 cup Worcestershire sauce

1⁄8 to ¼ cup Soy Sauce – this will help adjust colour and flavour

1 cup BBQ sauce, your favourite brand or homemade

1 Diced Red Capsicum

1 Diced Green Capsicum

Fire Dragon Chilli Sauce

2-3 heaped Tbsp of BBQ Rub – Pork or Chicken Style of your preference. I like to use our Competition Rib Rub

1 cup Chicken stock

  • Smoke your beans on the top rack of the Cob while your meat is cooking. 1-2 hours should do it.

    Smoke your beans on the top rack of the Cob while your meat is cooking. 1-2 hours should do it.

  • These beans are a great side to brisket and pork.

    These beans are a great side to brisket and pork.


  1. Heat a pot of suitable size to hold all ingredients (med- large pot).

  2. If using Bacon, fry the bacon until crispy.

  3. Remove bacon and crumble it, and put aside.

  4. Add onion and garlic to the Bacon Drippings or with fresh oil/butter. Mix and cook, stirring constantly, until golden. Now stir in rub and cook until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Stir until all the lumps are dispersed.

  5. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, then add sugar and stir until dissolved.

  6. Add beans, mustard, tomato sauce, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, soy, vinegar and tomatoes, capsicums. Bring to a simmer and season to taste. Adjust sweetness level if needed (using less up front is better, as you can’t take sweetness away!)

  7. If you want some more kick (if you’ve only used a mild BBQ Sauce), add in some Fire Dragon Hot sauce to taste.

  8. Add Burnt end brisket bits now if using brisket. These will add flavour to the mix.

  9. Transfer to trays suitable to go in your smoker, and smoke for 1 to 2 hours. Stirring periodically. When thickened remove, and let stand until ready to serve. Reheat before serving.

  10. Dress the beans with Crispy Bacon just prior to serving.

Never hesitate to Freestyle on the above guidelines to meet your personal taste profiles! Add more or less of anything (within reason!) When I need more hops, I occasionally like to also add in ½ Bottle of Epic Hop Zombie to mix things up! When doing this, a longer simmer/smoke may be needed to thicken the beans up again.

Don’t rush…. Have fun. Enjoy the cook.

Recipe courtesy of Anatole – The Slow Joint.