My Southern family recipe doctors Van Camp's pork and beans with ketchup and brown sugar.
I dutifully pulled out Joy of Cooking and began an all-day process of boiling, soaking, and baking--with at least one hour of simmering and five hours of baking. After all that fussing, the taste was disappointing.
I decided to open a can of pork and beans to compare amounts. Both recipes made the same total amount of food, but the can contained slightly fewer beans. (In the photo, the liquid rises to the top)
For baked beans, is it truly cheapest to use dried beans? Let's debate.
Dried Navy Beans (99-cents/l lb)
- can control the type of sweeteners
- paying for more beans and less liquid
Canned Pork and Beans ($1.25/46 oz can)
- uses far less electricity for cooking
- already includes molasses, onion, bacon, and flavoring
- can bake to thicken texture
What do you think? Do canned beans ever compare to dried, price- or flavor-wise?
Click here to return to the complete 1950s budget cooking experiment!