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Better baked beans

crispy bacon strips on a white plate
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Dexton Lake ’20 swears you’ll be glad you made these. 

The master’s student in agribusiness stumbled across a recipe online, modified the spices, and knew it still needed something else: more bacon. Lake is confident he has hit on a winning recipe.

“If I ever want to be a hit at a summer BBQ, a spring social, or anything for that matter, I make a pot of these, and people flock to them,” he says. “It kind of has that been on the fire at a chuckwagon taste to them, but ultimately made and perfected in less than a half an hour. I also know when I break these out, it’s usually next to a smoked brisket or some ribs, so you know you’re going to go into a food coma when you eat these.”

Better baked beans recipe


  • 1 pound of bacon
  • 1 26 oz. can chili beans 
  • 1 28 oz. can pork & beans
  • 1 7 oz. can diced green chilis 
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard 
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce


  • Before cooking the bacon, slice into bite sized pieces. 
  • Fully cook the bacon. Allow the grease to do all the cooking, so do not cook on too high of heat. Do not take out of drippings. 
  • While bacon cooks, drain your beans of liquid but do not wash. Make sure your green chilis stay in the liquid.
  • Mix together all ingredients and stir. Add your bacon and some drippings (about a tablespoon, or whatever your heart delights in) and stir again. Heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for at least twenty minutes to allow all the flavors to get to know each other. 
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