We document our adventures in travel, food, and design, and share stories about the people and communities we encounter along the way. 

Now full-time travelers, we've always been slightly nomadic and consider 'home' anywhere that includes us and our rescue dog, Lemon. We hit the road this year to discover, explore, and build community.

Alton Brown's Baked Beans (Instant Pot!)

Alton Brown's Baked Beans (Instant Pot!)

Adapted from Alton Brown's The Once and Future Beans (ingredients) combined with
Pressure Cooking Today's Pressure Cooker Baked Beans (method)

We always default to Alton Brown.  Good Eats basically taught Andrew how to cook, and we refer to the cookbooks constantly.  When looking for a good baked beans recipe for our first Instant Pot baked beans, I found many methods that seemed to work, but the recipes all seemed too sweet.  So my compromise was to keep my AB ingredients and refer to IP recipes for cook time/method only.  Success!

Andrew tried to make AB's baked beans once in Philadelphia, which took 8 hours in the oven.  He didn't add quite enough water, so they weren't cooked evenly.  I think it goes without saying that 8 hours is TOO LONG to spend on a recipe that might not come out.  Enter my love sonnet to the IP.  With only 35 minutes pressure time, these took about an hour total.  Much more in keeping with the lazy cook that I am!

You will need:

  • 1lb Great Northerns, soaked overnight
  • 12 oz bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, diced (seeded if you like less heat)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups water (per the recipe at Pressure Cooking Today)

The ingredients are pretty much directly from Alton Brown's bakes beans, and you can find that recipe at Food Network.  My method was from Pressure Cooking Today, and you can find that recipe here.  My abbreviated version is below.

  1. Soak the beans overnight, pick through them, and rinse.
  2. Turn the IP on saute and add the bacon.  Cook until the bacon is crisp and remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Add the onion and cook until tender, scraping up the yummy bits on the bottom.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the cooked bacon), including the beans and water.  Stir everything together.
  5. Turn off saute, turn on manual high pressure and set it to 35 minutes.  Lock and load, closing the valve.
  6. When the timer beeps, turn the IP off.  Set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes.  When it beeps, do the quick release method (I like to hit it with my long spoon!).
  7. Stir in the cooked bacon and simmer if it's too think.  We thought it was perfect!

These are the best baked beans I've ever had.  It made a ton, but they froze really well and reheated great in the oven.  When in doubt, AB never misses.  

Fresh Cream Peas (Instant Pot!)

Fresh Cream Peas (Instant Pot!)