first step is to soak the beans overnight. I make sure to fill the bowl with enough water to allow for the beans to expand. This turns out to be about 1 inch of water over the beans.
The next day you chop the bacon, dice the jalapenos and onions and add them to your pan. Alton Brown recommends a cast iron dutch oven. I don't have a cast iron dutch oven but I do have a 4 qt cast iron skillet. I used this and it turned out just fine. I would imagine this baked bean recipe would also work well in a crock pot as long as you do the initial sauteing in a regular frying pan. Over medium heat sautee the onions, jalapenos and bacon until the onions are soft (about 5-8 min).
After the onions are soft, add the tomato paste, brown sugar and molasses to the skillet
Stir this around for a little bit and then strain the beans and add them to the skillet. Save the water the beans were soaking in and then add 4 cups of this water to the skillet. It may seem like a lot of liquid but all this liquid will reduce by quite a bit during the cook. Add the cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper and bring this to a boil over high heat.
Once the beans are boiling, cover the skillet and place it in a preheated 250 degree oven for about 6-8 hours