In a large skillet, brown the sausage/tofu/or meat of your choice, onion and garlic. Place this mixture, the barbecue sauce, sugar and all the beans WITHOUT draining their liquid into the slow cooker/dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper and optional ingredients of your choice . Cover and simmer for 1 hour on high or 3 hours on low.
Note: Low is best! You can scorch the beans on the bottom when cooked on high.
This is always better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to blend. This can be canned, frozen or refrigerated for days.