Bad Brad's BBQ Pit Beans, Side Dish for a Backyard Barbecue

Five years ago, brothers Mike and Marc Pollard were looking for an outlet for their culinary skills when they came up with an idea with friend Brad Pegan – barbecue. They wanted to make not just the best beef brisket, ribs and pork shoulder in greater Detroit, but the best barbecue. Period.

Bad Brad's BBQ

"We had all this fine dining experience," Mike says. "We needed to find a direction that made sense for us and for the area." The timing was bad, he laughs: It was 2009, and the economy was in a nosedive. But the power of good barbecue won, and Bad Brad's BBQ now has three Macomb County locations, all of which start smoking that sought-after meat at 5 a.m. daily. (Note: The New Baltimore location is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Shelby Township is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday and Clinton Township is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday.)

Grilling is family fun, too. Marc's son, who's 7, "is passionate about barbecue," Mike shares. "My advice for young backyard barbecuers is to ask a lot of questions and help out mom and dad when possible, but also be careful." And always go for good ingredients – like with this yummy recipe.


  • Colander
  • 8-quart saucepan
  • 10-quart
  • ovenproof stockpot
  • Grill


  • 2 small cans white cannellini beans
  • 1 small can red kidney beans
  • 1 small can black beans
  • 24 oz. sweet barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp.
  • yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup
  • brown sugar
  • 6 oz. water
  • 3 oz. apple
  • cider vinegar
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 6 oz. leftover rib meat, chopped


  1. Open cans of beans, drain into colander and rinse well; set aside.
  2. Using a saucepot, start rendering bacon until slightly cooked. Add the onions and garlic and cook until caramelized. Add water; scrape bits
  3. off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the BBQ sauce, mustard, vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and stir using a whisk to bring everything together. Once the sauce is smooth and hot, place your beans in an ovenproof stockpot, pour sauce over beans and stir rest of ingredients. Sauce should be just over the top of the beans.
  5. Now you can smoke/grill the beans at 250 degrees for two to three hours or until sauce has reduced to your desired thickness. Use a smoker or indirect heat with wood chips on the opposite side of a grill.


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