Cowboy Lunch – Dutch Oven Baked Beans

Let us introduce you to our friend, Chuck, who also happens to be our co-worker here at Orson Gygi. He spends his spare time moonlighting as a dutch oven expert. The first time we tasted his baked beans we knew we needed to trust this man’s dutch oven experience. And he’s never let us down.

Today we are sharing his tried and true baked bean recipe. Easily alterable, leave out the meat, add more meat, throw in a couple more cans of beans to make it stretch farther. The essentials skills are all there, the basic yet flavorful combination is foolproof and while you could get away with adjustments, we’re pretty certain you won’t want to. This is good food – pure and simple.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 cans pork and beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can great northern beans

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. You’ll want to precook your bacon and your ground beef. You can do this in your dutch oven on a camp chef- or you can cook them on a stove in a different pan and transfer the meat to your dutch oven. Cut your bacon into small chunks. Drain off grease.
  2. Once your meat is cooked and ready, you’ll want to start your charcoals to get them ready for cooking. If you’re using a 12″ dutch oven, you’ll need 24-25 charcoals total.
  3. While you’re waiting for coals to be ready, put ground beef and bacon into dutch oven.
  4. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and liquid smoke.
  5. Add in beans (don’t drain off any of those juices- those will give you all the flavor) and stir.
  6. Place 8 of your charcoals down for the bottom of the dutch oven, nestle it onto the coals. Then place 17 charcoals around the rim and scattered through the middle of the dutch oven lid.
  7. The beans will simmer for about an hour, you’ll want to give them a little stir in the middle, around 30 minutes.
  8. When the beans have thickened, you are ready to serve!
  9. Chuck recommends a little sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and a couple drops of hot sauce. And we have to agree. You just can’t go wrong with a classic bowl of beans.

Cowboy Lunch- Dutch Oven Baked Beans

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By Chuck Forrester- Orson Gygi Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 cans Pork and Beans (not drained)
  • 1 can Dark Kidney Beans (not drained)
  • 1 can White Northern Beans (not drained)



Fill your charcoal starter and have it ready to go. Preheat a 12" dutch oven on a camp stove.


Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel. Remove bacon fat, start charcoals.


Add hamburger to dutch oven and brown, remove the grease when cooked. Add canned beans with liquid and remaining ingredients to the Dutch Oven, mixing well.


Cook with 8 charcoals on bottom and 17 on top.


Cook for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.


Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.


Alternately you could cook this in a large pot on the stove. You'll miss out on the seasoned Dutch Oven flavor, but the beans will still be irresistible.

Find the right dutch oven tools for you, here. 

New to dutch oven? or want to learn a few new tips? Read all of Chuck’s dutch oven tips here.

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