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Slow-Cooked Boston Beans

These slow-cooked beans have a little more zip than usual Boston baked beans, and the rum helps lighten the flavor. —Anne Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. + soaking Cook: 9 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 1/4 pound sliced salt pork belly or bacon strips, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup rum or unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Sort beans and rinse in cold water. Place beans in a large bowl; add water to cover by 2 in. Let stand, covered, overnight.
  • Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Transfer beans to a greased 3-qt. slow cooker; add salt pork. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir into slow cooker.
  • Cook, covered, on low 9-11 hours or until beans are tender.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled beans in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water or broth if necessary.
Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 391 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 675mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 9g fiber), 14g protein.

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  • suzanne
    Jul 27, 2017

    The rum is under the brown sugar or you can substitute apple juice. This was very good but I did boil my soaked beans for half an hour. I do that whenever I bake beans to be sure beans are cooked through.

  • lgrande9811
    Jul 16, 2017

    Where's the run? How can this have been tested by TOH when there's no rum in the recipe?????

  • annrms
    Aug 9, 2016

    I learned a tip for getting tender beans from America's Test Kitchen that may change your mind about this recipe. Assemble recipe per directions and place in slow cooker. Place a sheet of tin foil onto the top of the beans and put on the cover. The tinfoil keeps the moisture next to the beans instead of up on the lid! Works much better!!! Ann Sheehy

  • dsiembor
    Feb 11, 2014

    The recipe did not work out for me. The beans were still crunchy after being in the crock pot for 12 hours. Because there are relatively few ingredients in this dish, the overall flavor of the beans is not very complex. It did not have the depth of flavor that other Boston baked bean recipes have. The rum flavor did shine through, so if you like the flavor of rum you may like how it plays out in this dish.