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Boston Baked Beans

Boston Baked Beans ~ a family recipe

Libby with Lemony Thyme
These slow baked beans will transform your house. At the three hour mark your house begins to fill with that sweet smell of sugars and molasses dancing with the smokey salt pork. At the 5 hour mark you reach the point "when aroma becomes flavor and you know something amazing is happening."
4.5 from 2 votes


  • 4 cups dried navy beans
  • 1 lb. salt pork
  • 2 small onions thick sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbl. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda for pre-boil


  • Soak beans overnight in 8 cups cold water with 1 tsp. baking soda.
  • Drain.
  • Cover with 8 cups water and boil 1 hour with 1 tsp. baking soda.
  • Drain and reserve cooking liquid.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Brown salt pork in a hot skillet until very brown on all sides, then cut into small cubes.
  • Combine molasses, brown sugar, mustard, paprika, salt & pepper.
  • Put a layer of salt pork in bottom of bean pot.
  • Add half the beans, another layer of salt port, and top with onions.
  • Add remaining beans and onions.
  • Pour in molasses mixture, then top with cooking liquid until beans are completely covered with liquid.
  • Bake covered up to 6 hours.
  • Add liquid periodically if necessary just to cover.


It took me two batches of soaking beans overnight and doing the one hour pre-cook (which each time yielded completely cooked beans - not good), before it occurred to me that mom's recipe that called for "dried beans" should have been NAVY beans NOT great northern beans. Not that there's anything wrong with northern beans but they cook more quickly.