How to prepare bean hole beans?

What are bean hole beans?

Bean hole beans are a traditional Native American dish that consists of beans that are cooked in a hole in the ground. This method of cooking is believed to have originated in the northeastern part of the United States and has been passed down for generations. The process involves digging a hole in the ground, building a fire in it, and then placing a pot of soaked beans into the hole to cook for several hours. The result is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for a family gathering or a special occasion.

What ingredients do you need?

To make bean hole beans, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dried beans (such as navy or pinto)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Bacon or salt pork (optional)
  • Molasses or brown sugar (optional)
  • Onion (optional)

These ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences, but the basic recipe calls for just beans, water, and salt.

How to choose the right beans?

When choosing beans for bean hole beans, it is important to select a variety that will hold up well during the long cooking process. Navy beans and pinto beans are both good choices, as they are sturdy and can withstand prolonged cooking. Be sure to inspect the beans carefully for any signs of damage or discoloration, as this can affect the final outcome of the dish.

How to soak the beans?

Before cooking the beans, they must be soaked in water for several hours. This helps to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time. To soak the beans, simply rinse them in cold water and place them in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches, then cover the bowl and let the beans soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

What is the bean hole method?

The bean hole method involves cooking the beans in a hole in the ground. To do this, a fire is built in the hole and allowed to burn down to hot coals. Then, a pot of soaked beans is placed in the hole and covered with dirt. The beans are left to cook for several hours, until they are tender and flavorful.

How to dig a bean hole?

To dig a bean hole, you will need a shovel or a pickaxe. Choose a location that is away from any flammable materials, such as dry leaves or grass. Dig a hole that is about 3 feet deep and 2 feet wide. The hole should be wide enough to accommodate your pot of beans and allow room for the fire.

How to start the fire?

To start the fire, gather dry wood and kindling. Build a fire in the bottom of the hole and allow it to burn down to hot coals. This will take several hours, so plan accordingly.

How to prepare the pot?

Before placing the pot of beans in the hole, be sure to prepare it properly. If using bacon or salt pork, cook it in the pot until it is crispy. Remove the meat and set it aside. If using onions, chop them and sauté them in the pot until they are soft. Remove the onions and set them aside. Then, add the soaked beans to the pot and enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. If using molasses or brown sugar, add it to the pot at this time. Finally, add the cooked bacon or salt pork and onions back to the pot.

How to cook the beans?

Once the fire has burned down to hot coals, place the pot of beans in the hole. Cover the pot with a lid or a layer of foil, then cover the hole with dirt. Allow the beans to cook for 6-8 hours, or until they are tender and flavorful.

How to check if they are done?

To check if the beans are done, carefully remove the pot from the hole and remove the lid or foil. Check the beans for tenderness and taste a few to ensure they are fully cooked. If they are not done, return the pot to the hole and continue cooking for another hour or two.

How to serve the bean hole beans?

To serve the bean hole beans, remove the pot from the hole and uncover it. Stir the beans and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or other seasonings as needed. Serve the beans hot, topped with additional crispy bacon or salt pork, if desired.

How to store leftovers?

Leftover bean hole beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place the beans in a pot and heat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water if the beans seem dry.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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