Crock-pot® baked beans are simply a way in which beans can be prepared through the use of a slow cooker, rather than a stock pot or other pan. This preparation usually creates a side dish that may be served with a wide range of different meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dried beans and canned beans can both be used in the recipes for this dish, though many people prefer to use the dried variety for more control over them. Crock-pot® baked beans are often made over the course of a day, by allowing them to cook slowly for several hours.
There are a few different ways in which Crock-pot® baked beans can be made, though they typically begin with either dried or canned beans. Dried beans usually need to be soaked, which is often done overnight, and then they are typically cooked in a pot for a few hours. This allows them to become tender, which they usually need to be before they are placed in the slow cooker. Canned beans do not need to be soaked, and someone can choose between either baked beans that have already been flavored or plain, cooked preparations for use in Crock-pot® baked beans.
Regardless of which types of beans are used, they are placed into a slow cooker with a number of additional ingredients to make Crock-pot® baked beans. The different types of ingredients that are usually added to this recipe often depend a great deal upon the tastes of those who are going to eat the dish. Common additives include barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and yellow mustard, though dry ingredients such as garlic powder, mustard seed, and cumin can be added. Additional liquid may need to be added to the Crock-pot® baked beans to ensure that they do not dry out while cooking.
Once everything is combined in the slow cooker, then the Crock-pot® baked beans are allowed to cook for several hours. The exact time required to make the dish depends a great deal upon the temperature setting a person uses for his or her slow cooker. Someone using the low setting, for example, may need to cook the beans for as long as 10 to 12 hours in order to ensure the beans are thoroughly cooked through and the flavors have all combined properly. Crock-pot® baked beans may be prepared in about half that time, however, if cooked on a high setting and when using canned beans.