Franks and Beans

Kent Rollins lifts a ladle full of delicious smoked sausage and beans.

Howdy folks, and thanks for stopping by the website! Out on the trail, there always comes a time when you are down to just a few canned goods. There are ways to dress those canned goods up and make them taste better – and it is in that spirit that this recipe came to fruition. Using bacon, chilies, dried beans and all-beef smoked sausages, this recipe makes a large, tasty pot of beans and franks that will feed a dozen people and have them all coming back for more.

Better Ingredients

The first tip I have for anyone trying to improve the flavor of a classic canned meal is always to use better ingredients. A fresh onion and some chilies will start the recipe off with an added boost of flavor that just can’t be found in a can.

You can feed a lot of people with a pound of dried beans. Using more than one variety of bean will add depth of flavor, as well. For this recipe I’m using great northern beans and pinto beans. If you prefer kidney or navy beans, go right ahead!

Finally – use thick-cut bacon and all beef sausages. Mystery meat hot dogs are ok in a pinch – you can always add flavor to those by grilling them before you add them to the bean pot.

The Bean Pot

I’ve made many a pot of beans in my life – and I’ve got a few tricks that will maximize flavor and take your beans to the next level. Start by cooking the bacon, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown.  Next, sauté the onion and chilies, and season well with ground mustard, smoked paprika, and Original Seasoning. Add some brown sugar and ketchup. This will be the flavor base for your meal.

Use four cups of beef broth to fill the pot and bring to a boil. Add the beans and simmer for about two hours.

TIP: Have a saucepan of beef broth or water hot on the stove to add liquid to the beans as they cook. 

Beef is Better

I prefer to buy skinless sausages and franks. The casings tend to crinkle up when cooked in liquid for a while and I simply prefer not to mess with them. I’m cooking these beans outside on the grill, so grilling the hot dogs and sausages before I add them to the pot will add a LOT of flavor.

Cook for about two hours or until the beans are fork tender. Shannon and I love to serve these up with some fresh cornbread. It’s delicious, filling, and will feed a whole lot of folks without breaking the bank.


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Kent Rollins lifts a ladle full of delicious smoked sausage and beans.

Franks and Beans - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12


  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon chopped
  • 1 poblano stemmed seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons Kent’s Original seasoning or salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • cup ketchup
  • 4 to 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • 1 pound Great Northern beans
  • 2 pounds smoked beef sausage links
  • 1 tbsp Kent Rollins' Chili Seasoning


  • Add the bacon to a stockpot over medium-high heat. When it begins to brown, stir in the poblano and onion. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the mustard, Original seasoning, smoked paprika, brown sugar, ketchup, and 4 cups of beef broth. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the beans, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the beans from the heat and strain 1 cup of beans out and place in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir the contents back into the stock pot and place over medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, place the sausage on the indirect heat side of a hot grill. Smoke for about 20 minutes, with the lid closed. Remove from the smoker and let cool slightly before slicing into bite-sized pieces.
  • Stir the smoked sausage into the beans and season with the chili seasoning. You may need to add more water or beef as the beans cook. cover and cook for about 40 minutes to an hour, or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally


If you're at an elevation above 5,000 feet, you can soak your beans in cold water for up to 4 hours.
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