A typical dish of baked beans

Traditional baked beans

Baked beans are sometimes baked and sometimes not. I googled “baked beans recipe” and read through the first ten search results. One recipe called for cooking the beans in a microwave, one stewed them, and the other eight cooked the beans by baking them. Some recipes were a combination of stewing and baking.

Traditionally, Native Americans slow-baked beans, maple syrup, and bear fat in a ceramic or cast-iron beanpot. Early New England settlers adapted their own version of this recipe and it became what we know today as Boston baked beans.

I found an article from Express UK where two of its reporters toured a Heinz factory in Wigan, England. Heinz does NOT bake baked beans. They actually steam them after they are canned.

I called five different local restaurants. Other than thinking I was insane, three said they stewed them and two said they baked them.

The little research I’ve done leads me to conclude that most of the baked beans we consume probably aren’t baked. At a minimum, baked beans you buy from Heinz are not baked.

The reason eight of the top ten recipes I came across on the internet call for baking is probably because of the name, baked beans. I would imagine that recipe authors would be relentlessly mocked if they posted a recipe for a “baked” product that they instructed their readers to steam or stew.

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  1. Heinz Baked Beans are called Heinz Baked Beanz in the United Kingdom.
  2. Baked beans are usually made from a haricot bean (Navy bean).
  3. The Heinz factory in Wigan, England makes over three million cans of beans every 24 hours.
  4. The world record for eating six pounds of baked beans is 1minute and 48 seconds by Don Lerman of New York.
  5. On the 1967 “The Who Sell Outs” album cover (by The Who), Roger Daltrey is pictured sitting in a bathtub filled with Heinz Baked Beanz.

  1. Express.co.uk – How are your baked beans REALLY made? Behind the scenes footage at a factory reveals ALL
  2. Yours.co.uk – 29 things you never knew about baked beans
  3. UMaine.edu – Foodways Research: A Taste of Maine

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