Barbecued Ribs Candle

Although people have been cooking meat over fire for about 1.8 million years, the way we barbecue over a grill with a basting sauce originated with the Taino tribe in the Caribbean. Their technique for grilling over a raised grate was called “barbacoa.” This term was recorded in the journal of a Spanish explorer in 1526.

This technique for grilling meat was brought to Virginia sometime prior to 1650. We know this because one of the first laws to ever be passed in Virginia made it illegal to discharge a firearm at a barbecue.

According to food historians, the barbecue has been popular throughout American history. Steve Raichlen, author of Planet Barbecue, says that the end of the Revolutionary War, laying the cornerstone for what would become our Capitol, and the construction of the first bridge over the Missouri River were all celebrated with barbecues.

George Washington is said to have enjoyed barbecues and wrote about them in his diary. When Abraham Lincoln’s parents were married, their wedding feast was a barbecue.

I enjoy barbecuing. When you sear ribs on a grill at 500°F, a chemical process known as the Maillard Reaction begins. As the heat breaks down the protein to form amino acids, these chemical building blocks react with the caramelization of the meat’s natural sugar to create a mouthwatering aroma.

Slow cooking the ribs over indirect heat tenderizes the meat. Wrapping the ribs in foil also helps to keep them moist. If you’d like to see how I grill my ribs, I created this video about how to barbecue over a charcoal grill for my culinary students.

St. Louis style ribs

The term “St. Louis style ribs” refers to the meaty ribs that come from a hog after the belly has been removed. These ribs are flatter than baby back ribs which makes them easier to brown. Although they have a lot of bones, they also have a lot of fat which makes them quite tasty.

Last Saturday I spent several hours grilling some ribs which I enjoyed with chorizo fried home potatoes.

These ribs inspired me to make this barbecued rib candle. This candle smells of a barbecue sauce that I improvised using a mixture of brown sugar, lemon, and tomato fragrances. To simulate a grilled rib aroma, I added beef, bacon, garlic, cumin, hickory smoke, and pepper steak fragrances to the sauce aroma that I had made.

The candle itself was made using a silicone mold that I made using an end cut from a rack of ribs. Brown wax scented with the aforementioned aroma mixture was poured into the mold. After the wax had set, I popped it out of the mold and then painted it with different shades of brown and reddish brown wax. Reddish brown candle gel was then painted over the wax to give it a moist appearance. Other candle gel was used to simulate fat. As a final touch I simulated the appearance of hickory smoke flavored molasses based BBQ sauce by combining melted candle gel with black and brown dye. The “BBQ sauce” was then poured over the candle.

I’ve only made three of these candles. As with so many of my more unusual products, I created these candles as production test models; partially to see if I could do this but also because it was a lot of fun.

At least two of these will be sold through my virtual store once it’s operational starting on October 23rd.

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