Honey is one of nature's oldest and most treasured sweeteners used in a wide variety of food preparation including BBQ.

Burleson’s Honey is proud to sponsor the award-winning Meat Church BBQ Competition Team. Led by Meat Church BBQ owner and pitmaster Matt Pittman, the team travels throughout Texas and the country to reach new culinary heights in the world of competitive barbequing.

Matt says Burleson’s Honey is a key ingredient for his award-winning recipes: “Since partnering with Burleson’s Honey last summer, we’ve elevated our ribs and chicken with an even greater concentration of honey to sauce in several steps of our grilling and smoking process. Both the clover and orange honeys have worked particularly well, and tasters just love them!”

The results have been impressive: With a Grand Champion showing at Springtown, Texas’s Wild West Festival, placing first in both ribs and chicken, the team qualified for the prestigious 2015 American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City next October. Here we come, K.C.!

BBQ Tips from the Master

Traveling the roads to weekend festivals and cook-offs stokes his competitive juices and allows Matt to explore his creative side with bold new recipes and flavor profiles. But when it comes to ramping up the flavor of your own grilled and smoked meats, Matt says you don’t have to be a seasoned grillmaster to get great results. Here, three tried and true tips to ramp up the flavor in your backyard:

  • Time is essential. Good barbeque isn’t born, it’s made. If you want to develop the best flavor, you can’t cut corners on time. Says Matt: You might be tempted to skips a few steps to speed up the process, but if you allow the proper amount of time for flavors to develop, you won’t be sorry.”
  • Marinade or rub? Both, and use plenty! Matt’s partial to his Meat Church rubs, of course, but you can use your own rub or ask your butcher to recommend one. Many backyard grillers are guilty of under-seasoning meat, but salt is an essential catalyst that allows other flavors to fully develop. And there’s just no substitute for allowing the meat to absorb the deep and rich flavors of rubs, marinades and sauces.
  • Know how much and when to add the honey. “Every competition is a new day at school for me, and this is a lesson I’ve been perfecting over the last few months as I’ve experimented with different flavors and amounts of Burleson’s Honey,” Matt says. “I started using more honey, in more stages, and people started noticing right away.” To really ramp up the flavor, Matt recommends a glaze of equal parts honey and BBQ sauce, applied liberally in the final stages of cooking.

Try Matt's Honey Ribs

The following recipe uses Matt’s recommended “3-2-1” method, so named to indicate necessary cooking time in three stages:

Ingredients

  1. Pork ribs (Matt prefers St Louis cut)
  2. Meat Church's Honey Hog BBQ Rub + Honey Hog Hot BBQ Rub (substitute any pork rub at your own risk)
  3. 1 cup of apple juice for spritzing
  4. 1 bottle of squeeze butter
  5. 1 cup of brown sugar
  6. 1/3 cup of Burleson’s Honey
  7. 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (optional)
  8. Sauce if desired
  • Prepare your smoker at 250 degrees. Matt recommends hickory wood for this smoke.
  • Flip the ribs meat side down and remove the membrane off the back of the rack. This is easily accomplished by grabbing the membrane with a paper towel and pulling it off. Removing the membrane will allow the rub to penetrate into the meat more effectively.
  • Apply one heavy coat of Honey Hog BBQ rub.
  • Allow the rub to "soak in" for 15 mins.
  • Apply a coat of our Honey Hog Hot rub. Also allow that to sit for 15 mins.
  • Now that the ribs have sat for 30 mins total, flip them over and repeat the exact same process for the other side.
  • Place the ribs meat side up in the smoker. Spritz the ribs with apple juice every 45 minutes. Smoke for 3 hours or until you see a beautiful mahogany color.
  • Lay out 2 long pieces of aluminum foil. Create a bed of butter, brown sugar and honey on the foil.
  • Lay the ribs right smack in the middle of the sweet concoction. Depending on your preference you can do the same for both sides of the ribs.
  • Return the ribs to the smoker and continue to cook for another 2 hours.
  • Remove the ribs from the foil and continue to smoke for 1 final hour.
  • During this last phase you can apply a BBQ sauce or glaze if you like. It is only necessary to leave the sauce on long enough to "lock it in.” This should take approximately 20 mins.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and allow to sit for a few minutes. Then slice and eat!!
Go Texan