Baked beans make a great side dish at a barbecue, but cooking something a long time in a hot oven during summer isn't fun. Christine Gallary of the CHOW Test Kitchen has an easier way: Just throw the ingredients into a slow cooker and walk away. Using our Easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans recipe she demonstrates how to make a perfect pot of creamy, not-too-sweet beans every time.
If ever a side dish were worth making from scratch, these sweet, smoky, bacon-flecked baked beans would be it. Starting from dried lets you infuse the beans with another layer of flavor as they simmer.