The smokin’ popularity of Kansas City’s Burnt Finger BBQ has been less of an explosion and more of a slow char, said Megan Day — culminating in a new line of fully cooked barbecue products set to debut Aug. 14 on the Home Shopping Network.
“Classic 10-year overnight success,” joked Megan, one half of the married pitmaster team behind the Burnt Finger brand, which rose to national prominence in 2008 with husband Jason Day’s viral “Bacon Explosion” recipe.
“We are beyond excited and extremely proud to be bring our Kansas City-style flavors to a national audience. Kansas City is the barbecue capital of the world,” she added. “It’s an overwhelming honor to be the brand breaking through at this level.”
The duo are set to appear on air — 8 a.m. Aug. 14 with HSN “Food Favorites” host Sarah Anderson and noon Aug. 14 with “Food Favorites” host Alyce Caron — to discuss their entrepreneur journey and the new product line, which features frozen retail products that will arrive to customers’ doorsteps ready to heat and eat.
Among the offerings available for purchase in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend: a 4-pound re-sealable pouch of seasoned and fully-cooked chicken drumsticks; three fully cooked and individually packaged slabs of seasoned and sauced baby back ribs; a 4.5-pound seasoned and fully-cooked pork butt; and Burnt Finger BBQ sauce and all-purpose seasoning combos (featuring original and spicy options).
“Year after year, we received requests to expand our line of barbecue meats,” Jason said, noting previous direct-to-consumer success in recent years with the Bacon Explosion (still available through Burnt Finger’s own website). “Launching with entertainment and lifestyle retailer HSN will allow us to serve up new delicious offerings and meet a whole new audience of barbecue lovers.”
News of the Days’ brand expansion comes just a year after Megan successfully competed on Food Network’s “Chopped Grill Masters,” now regularly appearing on national TV to promote the barbecue lifestyle. She and Jason also have appeared on the “TODAY” show, The Cooking Channel, CNN and Fox & Friends.
The family’s life as pitmasters — wherein they’ve racked up countless awards, including numerous state championships, as well as overall Top 10 finishes at the American Royal, Memphis in May, and World Food Championships — was captured in “Smoke & Ribbons: a docQumentary,” which streams free on Amazon Prime.
“We were originally known for the Bacon Explosion, so that’s how people found us,” Megan said. “But once they started following along and watching our successes on the competition circuit, they wanted to try the meats that were continually winning awards.”
The couple traveled to HSN’s studios earlier this month to train for the Aug. 14 on-air launch, touring the set and learning how to demonstrate the products with producers directing them to the right camera angles, she said.
“We’ve been exploring this for several years now, but hadn’t found the right way to make it happen — or at least with the quality and integrity we demand,” Megan said. “It’s been fun to finally reach that point and have a major retailer like HSN see the vision.”
Burnt Finger most recently partnered with Kansas City-baked Minsky’s Pizza for a limited-time collaboration: the Bacon Explosion Pizza — a julienned version of their classic creation with Minsky’s barbecue sauce and pickles.
“It was fun, delicious, and garnered great media coverage,” Megan said of the promotion, which ran late-January through February across the metro. “We learned a great deal about creating a food service product and the logistics of delivering to a multi-location customer. They took a chance on us and our unique product. In the end, it was deemed one of their most requested offers.”
Watch a trailer for “Smoke & Ribbons: a docQumentary” below or view the full film on Amazon Prime here.