Baked Beans – 18th Century Cooking Series at Jas Townsend and Son

Baked Beans – 18th Century Cooking Series at Jas Townsend and Son


Today we’re going to bake beans. Beans were
a common fare in the 18th century both for regular folks and part of the soldier’s
rations. We’re going to bake beans in the oven today then we’re going to bake beans
buried in a pit. It was common practice in New England for
the village baker to heat up his oven, bake his bread and other items and then at the
end of the day everyone would bring their bean pots and they’d put it in the oven
and it would stay in overnight to bake the beans. Especially on Saturday night so on
Sunday everyone had beans to eat and they didn’t have to work on the Sabbath. Soldiers didn’t have ovens to work with
so they’d have to use whatever they had on hand. We’re going to dig a hole so that
we can bake our beans inside of a fire pit, down inside the earth. We’re looking for a hole in the ground that’s
about twice as big as the pot we’re going to cook in and a little bit deeper than the
pot so that we can have coals underneath and on top. So while our oven is heating up, I’m
going to go ahead and start a fire in this pit. And while our fires are burning down to coals,
let’s talk about beans. Soaking your beans is a very good idea. It helps them cook for
a lot less time. You also should boil your beans. Dry beans have a toxin in them that
causes issues with digestion if they aren’t heated to the right temperature. If they’re
baked at a very low temperature, that doesn’t get rid of the toxins and you need to boil
them first. Well, we’ve had our beans boiling. These
have boiled for quite a while. You can boil them an hour or whatever it takes to get them
nice and soft and ready to bake. We’re going to use two different methods of baking. We’re
going to flavor these two batches in two different ways.
Let’s divide our beans up into our two different cooking vessels. We have our new red ware
bean pot that you can find on our website. We also are going to use one of our two quart
pots and we have one of these new metal lids for them that are available that will be perfect
for this sort of operation. Anyway, let’s get these divided out. First thing we’re going to put into these,
they’re both going to get some salt pork. You can use authentic style salt pork like
we cover in one of our videos. You can also use bacon or salt pork that you find in the
grocery store but they’re both rather greasy, fatty, so you would want to cut back on how
much you’d use. If you use authentic salt pork you want to make sure to soak it for
an hour or two to reduce the saltiness. Now we’re going to put in mustard in both
of these. Dry mustard is very common. You see it in almost every recipe for baked beans, and we’re going to need a good, big spoonful in each one of these pots. Both our beans recipes use a sweetener. In this one we’re going to use a molasses, and this one some
maple syrup, both of those are very common sweeteners. We’re going to use about a cup.
You’ll want to use a Barbados molasses; you don’t want to use blackstrap. Barbados
molasses or light molasses is going to have a lot better taste than blackstrap which is
very bitter. And for the maple beans, you want to make sure to use about a half a cup
of authentic maple syrup. And in both pots,a quarter teaspoon of pepper here, not one of these spoons, or you’ll do too much, so don’t go crazy with pepper. And we need
some onions in here. We’re going to use about half of these, maybe a half a cup or
a quarter cup of onions. You want to get all this stuff mixed well, pushed down to the bottom and mixed well. Let’s get both of these stirred up.
Now let’s top these up with water. Don’t be afraid to put too much water in. It’s
going to bake off so you want to have both of these topped off with water. Okay, there we go, should be enough water. Our fires, both places, look like they’re ready to go. Let’s start with our oven baked beans first. Our oven’s good and hot. In a previous video
we’ve shown you how to build one of these ovens and how to fire it and bake bread in
it. We actually suggest you go ahead and bake bread in the oven before you put beans in
it. You don’t want it to be too hot. We’re going to let these beans bake. You
can bake them in an oven like this for 4 or 6, 8 hours, even 12 hours, the longer the
better and they really start to taste good. You might want to check them after just a
couple of hours to make sure there’s still some liquid in there. You don’t want them baking out too dry, you might need to add a little water. We’ve got to make some room in our fire
pit to put this other pot down inside the coals. You want to make sure you’ve got coals on
all side, coals on the bottom, hot coals all the way around each side, then you want to
have a little rock that you can put on top of the lid, make sure it doesn’t get knocked
off, now we’re going to put coals up on top. We’re going to go ahead and build a
fire up on top of this so it’s got more heat. The beans have been in here about 3 or 4 hours
so we’re going to go ahead and pull them out now. They could probably cook a lot longer
but let’s get these out of here. Well let’s take a look. Looks, whoa, they
look really good. These have cooked for about 4 hours so they’re ready to eat right now.
If we want them to be even better, we can let them cook longer. Another 4 hours or even
another 8 hours and they’ll really start to darken up, but these are ready to eat just
like this. These maple beans have been in the embers
for several hours. I think they’re done, let’s take them out. There we have our molasses baked beans and
our maple flavored baked beans. Both of these we let cook for quite a while. There’s a
lot of latitude here in how long we’re going to bake our beans. They’ve already been
precooked when we put them in. They’ve already been boiled, so you know, they’re only going
to get softer and better tasting the longer you cook them. We put in the raw salt pork,
so you’re definitely going to want to make sure that gets cooked so you want to bake
them at least two hours at the very bare minimum. Four hours is good, and all the way up to
12 hours. They’re only going to get tasting a little bit better, you just need to check
on their moisture levels occasionally, make sure they don’t get too dry.
Another hint on this, on these bean pots, when you’re using, especially the molasses,
they want to boil over and then this molasses stuff gets stuck between the lid of the pot
and the body and they can be really hard to get off. You don’t want to break your pot
and break the lid, so you want to either grease this lid here so it doesn’t get stuck or
you want to make sure to wipe those down when you check on the moisture level. These beans have a flavor that you cannot
get anyplace else. I really recommend you try a couple of these bean recipes. They’re
really good. Good food is really important. The public is going to be more interested
in food when you’ve got really good food in your cooking. Recruits, if you want people
to join your group, really good food is what’s going to bring them in. That’s a really
important part and you want to have fun when you’re reenacting and probably the most
important part of having fun is having really good food, so I encourage everyone to do more
period cooking at events. I think you’ll really enjoy it. On our website you can find
all kinds of great period cooking things, equipment and eating supplies. We have a lot
of different kinds of clothing, so make sure to check out our online catalog. You can get
one of our printed catalogs and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

100 thoughts on “Baked Beans – 18th Century Cooking Series at Jas Townsend and Son”

  1. What makes these videos so 18th century authentic is the cookware and utensils used. Note the smokey, unclear translucency of the plastic spoon. 03:35 This was years before more refined plastics were invented and reached the frontier.

  2. I love your channel and how I wish I could join you with in adventures of cooking. You're truly awesome my good sir

  3. Beans are like my least favorite vegetable/legume to eat, but this sounds rather tasty ! … add some hoecakes and you got a full spectrum meal.

  4. Mr Townsend is not his usual happy self in this video. He must have had a rough day before/during filming.

  5. Are y'all just going to sit here and pretend that these are incredibly over cooked and dried out please don't try to explain to me that in the 17th century people didn't have taste buds come on bro you know you must both of those up

  6. lol! Yeah, my father decided to break me away from Campbells pork and beans, so he made Boston baked beans I always thought because he was from Boston. Basically did everything you did Townsend. I seem to remember him using molasses and syrup. I thought they were pretty good but I stuck with Campbells. Now that I am older, I get his point.

  7. Ok I hve have a question about beans.
    When every I cook beans no matter how long I cook them they are never done. I have cooked beans for 24 hours and still they are slightly crunchy.
    To cook beans. I put beans in crock pot on low with water. ( not able to put on high, so need to know how to use low)

  8. My dad had a similar recipe for pintos during boyscout camp outs and family trips. Wow, all this time I didn't know I was eating historically authentic food. He is the one that got me hooked on history.

  9. I spent 10 minutes watching and anticipating the beans when I noticed I could have cooked some Bush beans on the stove and ate it while watching him eat his beans! 🤓

  10. "They didn't need to open in Shabat"

    *Saturday is Shabat, Sunday is the first day of the week in the Jewish calendar.

    Just saying… but don't mind me 🙂

  11. I use Grandma’s molasses but add brown sugar. Growing up, Saturday night supper was beans and hotdogs or burgers with brow,n bread or cornbread. Typical New England fare.

  12. Baked beans will always be a perfect late autumn/winter meal. It’s delicious, hearty, and sticks to your ribs and keeps you warm in those cold months. Definitely a comfort food for me

  13. 7 minute mark….takes beans out of "hot" oven, with gloves, takes lid off with bare hands…LMAO!!!

  14. Beans beans the magical fruit
    the more you eat the more you toot
    the more you toot the better you feel
    so eat beans at every meal

  15. it seems like just staying alive was a full time job in days past, i wish i could experience that just for a bit

  16. With all due respect, do you really need music being played loud over your voice all the time ? Aren't your explanations interesting enough ? Have you ever asked yourself why schools don't play music during classes ?…it's because it's disruptive. Sorry for this.

  17. Can you please show us how to keep the fire going without burning the beans? If you add wood will it burn them?

  18. I'm going to make some of these with maple syrup from this last spring 😀 ( I'm a Mainer, so obviously I tap my trees lol)

  19. As soon as this video started I knew I was gonna love this, food, history and diy cooking all mixed together. I rarely like or subscribe to anything but this guy deserves it.

  20. I like you videos! You ever feel like you were born in the wrong century? I do! I hate the new world! If only I could go back into time!

  21. Something I noticed about these recipes, most of the food ends up some shade of delicious brown. It's interesting to think that brown is the natural color of cooking. Get your color from greens and fresh fruits.

  22. Fascinating recipes. I love the way that you are putting in so much effort to keep these old dishes alive. i will be trying this one. forget convenience food and use fresh produce.

  23. Wow!! Big change how world changes. Some people can say we're lazy or convenience. I say convince. Im greatful how lord help us all. 😇

  24. I like how we need to be reminded how fresh beans is better to have then can beans. Its hard work is great for better health.

  25. I've been watching these videos for about 5 years now. Have enjoyed them greatly. Sometimes I end up going down a Rabbit Hole that never ends. As much as 8 hours at one time. Providing I have nothing that needs doings. Like yard work on my day off. Anyway,maybe someone can tell me this : Barbabos Malasses isn't cheap. Ive tried to find it and it is very difficult to find . How long does the stuff last, if refrigerated. Besides beans I would not know what else to use it for….. Oh…. passibly ginger bread. Which by the way is sorta dangerous for me. Insulin dependent and insulin resistant diabetic. Sorta takes the fun out of some things. Moderation usually saves the day.
    As for the molasses….will it keep ? Where is the best place to buy. I live in East Tn. All we have is Black Strap. Need I say more. Gotta go,so Ill say Thanks in advance.

  26. Townsend's were in new haven ct , my friend is mixed , they had mixed kids and their family and she's a descendent coolest family ever. The REAL ones that is .

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