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Best Ever Southern-Style Baked Beans

At potlucks, cookouts, picnics, barbecues, and the like, we’re all used to seeing the familiar dish of baked beans. And why not? They’re good. They’re dependable. They’re soft and tender, sweet and savory, hearty and filling. They’re a side dish mainstay that everyone spoons on their plate without thinking much about it. But if you’re the one bringing the beans next time, don’t you want to bring beans that people will think about? Don’t you want to bring the best baked beans ever?
Well, good news, you guys. These beans here answer that call. These beans are ahhh-maz-ing. These beans are the complete package. These beans are the. best. ever.
They’re cooked low and slow in a sauce that is sweet and tangy and layered with flavor, and as it cooks that sauce becomes caramelized and surrounds those soft and tender beans in a blanket of nuanced flavor. There’s also bacon involved.
But not sad, soggy, chewy bacon. The bacon is partially cooked beforehand and then arranged on top of the dish before baking, so as it cooks it becomes perfectly crispy. When the beans come out of the oven and you’re ready to serve, that bacon crumbles easily against your spoon and imparts a smoky, crunchy bite to each mouthful. Bean and bacon perfection.

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