What is Meat Candy
…and how does it differ from Brisket Candy?
When I did my research on this topic, I found no consistency in the results for the search “what is meat candy?” While some people definitely refer to brisket burnt ends as meat candy, the most common result was related to Bacon Wrapped Smokies. And, when I reviewed search volumes, the most common modifiers had to do with pork belly.
So, as with so many phrases we use, the term Meat Candy has a number of definitions with these being the top three.
#1 - Brisket Burnt Ends
I am going to go out on a limb and guess that brisket burnt ends were the original “meat candy.” Ever since this Kansas Cit creation became a nationwide phenomenon in the 1970s, America BBQ afficionados have had a love affair with it. In our article “What are burnt ends?” …you can learn more about their history and ties to an article in the 1972 issue of playboy.
However, as a quick definition, brisket burnt ends are made by candying the fatty part of a brisket in a sugary barbecue sauce that caramelizes and makes it taste like meat candy. Of course, since you essentially need to smoke a large brisket for over 10 hours…only to cut off and cube the fat cap…brisket burnt ends are not an item many backyard BBQers attempt.
#2 - Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Possibly due to the time, cost and smoking challenges associated with making brisket burnt ends, BBQers turned to making burnt ends out of pork belly – the same part of the pig that produces bacon. Tim and Damian offer this dish quite often at Crossbuck BBQ and people really enjoy it.
#3 - Bacon Wrapped Smokies
Unfortunately, based on what I am observing in American culture, I fear that “Meat Candy” is actually going to be most closely associated with these little appetizers in the future. These are smoked cocktail sausages, wrapped in bacon, covered in brown sugar and then baked in the oven.
How does Meat Candy differ from Brisket Candy?
As a Le Cordon Bleu educated chef, Tim wanted to combine his Texas pitmaster skills with his French culinary background to create something totally unique to Texas BBQ. So, rather than using a KC style tomatoey barbecue sauce, he created a gastrique (French term for a sweet-and-sour sauce) using Texas’s own Shiner Bock beer instead of vinegar. The result is something totally unique.
"Brisket Candy is the perfect mixture of an intense savory and intense sweet...a flavor explosion in your mouth."Crossbuck BBQ Chef-Pitmaster Tim McLaughlin