The difference between pork and beans and baked beans is not as simple as adding or omitting a single ingredient. Sometimes people use these two terms interchangeably, when really they are two very different dishes. The difference lies in the method of cooking, as well as the combination of ingredients used.
What are Pork and Beans?
Go to any grocery store and you will find an abundance of canned pork and beans. They come in different brands and different sized cans, but generally speaking, the recipe within the can is going to be the same thing: some type of white bean, usually navy bean, stewed tomatoes and pork fat.
What are Baked Beans?
Baked bean recipes vary by household and region, but most often you will find people adding some or all of the following to a can of beans: ketchup, mustard, bacon, hot dogs, onions, garlic, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, salt and pepper. This is all left to simmer gently together, mingling flavors for at least a couple hours either on the stove top or in a crock pot.
Baked Beans in a Can?
You may also find canned baked beans in the store and save yourself the time and effort of making them at home. Some may argue that baked beans in a can are just as good as the slow-cooked ones made at home.The ingredients on a can of baked beans may be very similar to the same ingredients used in your family recipe.
Uses of Both Beans
Since the Civil War, canned beans became a staple food in the Army. Because they are fully cooked, come in can form, and can be stored for months, they are an easy "go-to" food for some quick protein. Cans of baked beans or pork and beans are also commonly found at campgrounds and campfires for those same reasons. However, baked beans are most often the bean of choice for family picnics and gatherings.
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