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Slow-Cooker BBQ Baked Beans

I was under doctor’s orders to reduce the amount sodium I was eating, but I just couldn't part with some of my favorite foods. After many experiments I came up with this potluck favorite—now everyone's happy! —Sherrel Hendrix, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. + soaking Cook: 8-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings (1/2 cup each)


  • 1 package (16 ounces) dried great northern beans
  • 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1/2 pound each)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, optional


  • Rinse and sort beans; soak according to package directions. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
  • In a 4-qt. slow cooker, combine beans, ham hocks, water, onion, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Cook, covered, on low 8-10 hours until beans are tender.
  • Remove ham hocks; cool slightly. Cut meat into small cubes, discarding bones; return meat to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, remaining garlic powder, remaining onion powder and, if desired, pepper sauce. Cook, covered, on high about 30 minutes or until heated through.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Using hot sauce to flavor foods can be a smart alternative to salt, but make sure you check the nutrition labels. We recommend Tabasco sauce. It has only 26 mg of sodium per 5-7 drops.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1/2 cup: 238 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 347mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 8g fiber), 10g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • justmbeth
      Jan 16, 2021

      A good bean recipe. I was not sure I would like the cloves in the beans but it was not overpowering.

    • ladyyorkie
      Jul 3, 2018

      I would think that if you used low sodium bacon instead of the ham hocks it would lower the sodium level even lower

    • Garry
      Jun 16, 2018

      The beans have 347mg sodium per serving! This is not a low sodium dish,

    • dublinlab
      Apr 15, 2017

      Excellent. Everyone loved them. I used maple syrup instead of the brown sugar. The cilice so gives a very subtle flavour. Janet. VFE