KANSAS CITY – Barbecue Pit Beans





Everything’s up to date here at www.DoinThatRagu.com.  We have two more entries to go in this series and will resume with our Classic Rock theme come the new year.  This is one I’ve been looking forward to for some time.  Kansas City is famous for a lot of different foods.  Barbecue is probably the most popular in and out of KC.  But what about the Kansas City strip steak?  Well I figured we have done a lot of grilling of meat already with different dry rubs and sauces that we might want to go in a different direction especially now we’re well into the cold weather for a good part of the country.  So, I said there is one other dish that’s famous in KC that we haven’t done yet, Beans!

That’s right Kansas City is well known for grilled beans or pit beans if they are cooked traditionally over a pit barbecue.  You don’t have to do that here but if you have the capability, go for it!  You could always follow this recipe and bake the beans in the oven, but the taste isn’t quite the same as if you use your grill.  It’s a great side dish especially for an outdoor barbecue or picnic.  In the wintertime it can still be enjoyed with roast meats or indoor grilled meat, fish, or vegetables.  It’s great anytime of year but something about Sunday buffet and football is really special.





Handful of Hickory Chips, soaked for 30 minutes or longer

4 strips of Bacon

3 15 oz. cans Baked Beans or Navy Beans

1 cup Steve’s Marinara Sauce (see recipe in Classic Rock Bands #1)

1 TBSP Tomato Paste

2 TBSP Coleman’s Mustard

3 TBSP Molasses

1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce

3 TBSP Cider Vinegar

1/2 TSP Liquid Smoke

¼ cup Brown Sugar

2 TBSP Chili Powder

1 TBSP Hot Paprika

½ TBSP Ground Cumin

¼ TSP Cayenne Powder

½ TSP Onion Powder

½ TSP Garlic Powder

¼ TSP Ground Cinnamon

1 TSP Salt

½ TSP Ground Black Pepper



  1. In a large frying pan cook the Bacon until it just starts to crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Reserve the Bacon Grease.
  2. In a 3 qt. or larger oven proof pot add all the ingredients including the reserved Bacon grease. Stir until blended.
  3. Prepare a gas grill and place the Hickory Chips in the smoker or in aluminum foil with a few holes poked in by a fork directly on the coals. Heat one side on high and the other leave off.  You can grill any meat, fish, or vegetables over direct heat while the beans cook on the other side.
  4. Slice the Bacon in half lengthwise then crosswise into ½ inch pieces. Add to the pot.
  5. When the grill is ready place the pot over the side that is not lit and cook stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are cooked through and have a saucy, smoky consistency
  6. Serve hot with your favorite main dish and vegetable or salad


WINE PAIRING:  This is a side dish so it all depends on what you are having with your beans.  Beer will always work and is recommended with any barbecue naturally.  As far as wine goes this is more of a red wine dish especially if it’s served with grilled meats as it usually is.  Malbec is one of my favorite wines to drink with a barbecue.  No wine is ideal for barbecue but that is a good choice if you are looking for a match.

Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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