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Gradual Cooker Ham and Beans

This recipe for Gradual Cooker Ham and Beans is cooked low and sluggish with onions, celery, carrots, and ham making for a scrumptious bowl of creamy beans stuffed with savory, smoky taste.

Slow Cooker Ham and Beans in bowl with cornbread and onions

For me, there’s not rather more comforting than a giant bowl of white beans with a bit of cornbread and a few diced recent onion. And it’s a bonus if that bowl of beans is stuffed with chunks of ham and smoky ham taste.

However a number of of us are intimidated by cooking dried beans. That’s why this methodology of utilizing the sluggish cooker is so excellent. It makes the method just about fingers off and leads to tender, creamy, smoky Nice Northern beans that simply style like house.

Slow Cooker Ham and Beans in a slow cooker

And whereas this recipe is amazingly straightforward, there are some things I’d wish to run by way of. Your success is my final purpose, so let’s stroll by way of a number of issues…


Nice Northern Beans – I take advantage of common dried Nice Northern Beans – I believe I even used the generic model this time. I don’t soak them for this recipe. You should definitely see my FAQ beneath on soaking beans for more information.

Celery – Nothing fancy right here – simply celery.

Carrot – Similar goes for the carrots. I used one giant carrot. Be happy to make use of kind of.

Onion – I choose a white or yellow onion right here, however any onion ought to work.

Water – You possibly can go for broth, however I’d advocate unsalted to manage the salt content material. I believe water works simply superb and it’s inexpensive. Whereas I don’t advocate soaking your beans, when you do, you’ll want to regulate your water quantity. See the FAQ beneath for more information on soaking beans.

Ham – I used leftover items of spiral sliced smoke ham as a result of I wished bigger items of meat within the beans. You possibly can use a big leftover ham bone, a number of smoked ham hocks, and even smoked turkey items.

Salt – The quantity of salt you’ll want is determined by the quantity of salt within the meat you’re utilizing, so I like to recommend solely including salt after cooking and after you’ve added the ham seasoning.

Ham Seasoning – That is an non-obligatory ingredient, however one which I extremely advocate. Ham seasoning is a good way so as to add much more smoky ham taste to a number of dishes, specifically these beans. I’ve included a photograph of the one I take advantage of beneath, however there are different choices. In the event you’re going to make use of this, add it earlier than salt as there’s some sodium on this. Then you’ll be able to add salt to style.

packets of ham flavoring


The sluggish cooker/Crock Pot is the proper approach to cook dinner beans. The low and sluggish methodology makes for tender, creamy beans with tons of taste.

With that being stated, the sluggish cooker does current a number of challenges – all of that are straightforward to take care of if you realize about them.

The principle concern is with cook dinner time. There are large variations in cook dinner time with many sluggish cooker recipes – and for good motive. Each sluggish cooker cooks in another way. Actually, in testing this recipe I used two sluggish cookers of the identical measurement and even identical model and so they produced completely different outcomes.

One sluggish cooker had the beans tender in about 5 hours on excessive. The opposite took just a little over 6 hours on excessive. The explanation was temperature. The one which completed first was cooking at about 208°F whereas the opposite was cooking at about 194°F. That’s a 14° distinction between the very same sluggish cookers.

So simply understand that the time can differ a bit primarily based in your particular sluggish cooker.

bowl of Slow Cooker Ham and Beans

Need tremendous creamy beans? Simply stir!

Everybody’s thought in regards to the closing texture of beans like this can be a little completely different. In the event you choose a extra clear broth, I counsel following the recipe fairly intently.

If you need beans with a brilliant creamy, thick broth, merely vigorously stir the beans once they’re almost able to eat and press among the beans towards the aspect of the sluggish cooker partitions to interrupt them up. This may assist to thicken the broth and offer you a brilliant creamy texture.

This primary image beneath is of the beans proper after cooking that haven’t been thickened. The subsequent image is after a vigorous stir whereas mashing up some beans to thicken the broth.

scoop of Slow Cooker Ham and Beans
Beans proper after cooking with a skinny however flavorful broth.
scoop of Slow Cooker Ham and Beans
Beans after they’ve been stirred and had some beans mashed as much as thicken the broth.

Do I have to soak my beans first?

As I’ve stated earlier than, I used to be taught that you simply all the time soak dried beans earlier than cooking them – whether or not utilizing the in a single day or the fast soak methodology. Trendy science and testing have revealed, nonetheless, that soaking beans actually doesn’t do a lot apart from reduce down on the cook dinner time (which isn’t an enormous distinction anyway). 

I examined this recipe each methods and didn’t discover a noticeable distinction in texture, cook dinner time, and many others. One factor to notice, although, is that when you do soak them, you’ll want much less water within the sluggish cooker when cooking them. I like to recommend decreasing the water quantity to six cups when you’ve already soaked your beans.

Recipe Card

Gradual Cooker Ham and Beans


*In our exams, soaking the beans in a single day made no actual distinction in cook dinner time, tenderness, or different essential elements, so we don’t soak them. Nonetheless, when you select to soak your beans, you’ll want about 2 cups much less water when cooking them. 


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