Buc-Ee's Beaver Nuggets: Here's What We Know About Them

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Should you find yourself traveling the highways of Texas under a blazing midday sun or the roads of Kentucky under a summer twilight, chances are high that you'll come across a Buc-ee's. While Buc-ee's may look like your average roadside rest stop that dots the sprawling interstates of America like an asphalt oasis, this beaver-emblazoned convenience store is the proud holder of several world records, clean facilities, and a wide selection of snacks.

According to Buc-ee's, the Southern-based chain is the record holder for "World's Largest Convenience Store" — with its New Braunfels, Texas location measuring 66,335 square feet — and "World's Longest Car Wash," where drivers get their cars washed on 255 feet of conveyer belt. 

Buc-ee's also prides itself on having not just a clean store, but also clean bathrooms. Gone are the days of worrying about grimy and bodily fluid-caked bathrooms, as the store has its own team of janitors whose purpose is to scrub the entire bathroom 24 hours a day until it's spotless (via Texas Monthly). Buc-ee's seems bent on being the "crème de la crème" of the roadside gas station, a cut above the dingy and greasy stereotypes that some travelers may fear running into.

Of course, one can't be king of the highway without offering up some snacks to starving drivers. Buc-ee's has everything, including its own in-store barbecue pit, an enormous selection of jerky, and last, but certainly not least, its "Beaver Nuggets."

Just what are Beaver Nuggets, and what makes them so popular?

What are Beaver Nuggets?

When you first hear of Beaver Nuggets, what do you think of? Do you think of chicken nuggets? Chocolate candies made in-store and playfully named after beaver droppings? While these may all be very good guesses, Beaver Nuggets are actually a cross between corn puffs and caramel corn.

According to Texas Snax, Beaver Nuggets are described as being a "delectable puffy yet crunchy corn nugget with a brown sugar caramel coating" and a "personal favorite of the Beaver himself." Think of them as being like a Cheeto but instead of being sprinkled in cheese powder, they're covered in sticky-sweet sugar dust. 

Although the classic caramel Nuggets are what most would say when asked about these puffed-up snacks, one flavor alone does not make a Buc-ee's classic. Atlanta Magazine, which describes the Nuggets as being "Pops [cereal] turned up to 11," tells us that Beaver Nuggets come in a modest but impressive selection of flavors, such as "sea salt caramel, spicy nuggets, and chocolate-dipped nuggets." Other flavors include White Cheddar Habanero and Cinnamon Sweet.

While Buc-ee's no doubt has a very impressive collection of nuggets, just how popular are they? Do people genuinely enjoy them or do they simply like the novelty of buying a snack from America's biggest convenience store?

People have good things to say about Beaver Nuggets

It would appear that for something as simple as corn puffs dipped in a brown sugar and caramel dusting, Beaver Nuggets seem to hold a special place in people's hearts. But what is it about them that makes them stand out above the usual sugary gas station pick-me-ups?

Chron starts off its review of Beaver Nuggets with a rather bold claim, calling the Nuggets "the best gas station snack" — and for quite a few reasons. Chron notes that the Beaver Nuggets are not only perfect for the cupholder (for when you want to grab a snack while you barrel down the interstate), but they also come in many varieties and flavors, you get an enormous amount for the price, and they have a satisfying sugary crunch. Bold words indeed.

Customers who purchased bags of Beaver Nuggets through Amazon raved and praised the snacks, with some claiming that the taste of the Nuggets was similar to sugary cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. While some complaints were about the price and the condition that the snacks arrived in, this could simply be due to the shipping process rather than any problems with the Nuggets themselves. 

Fans of Beaver Nuggets seem to have found new ways to enjoy them aside from eating them out of the bag. One reviewer on Yelp suggested adding the Nuggets to milk, while one baker in Texas prepared a key lime pie with a crust made from crushed Beaver Nuggets (via Southern Living).

Can you make Beaver Nuggets at home?

Let's say that you're one of the many people who aren't fortunate enough to live near a Buc-ee's. Reading this article has gotten you to think: "Man, oh, man, I really want to try these Beaver Nuggets." Now, you have a few options to be sure. You can order a bag from Amazon or Texas Snax or any other online market, but you may worry about the price and the condition they come in. What if it were possible that you could make Beaver Nuggets (or a very close equivalent) at home?

Imperial Sugar gives a recipe for Beaver Nuggets, although it doesn't so much detail how to make the Nuggets themselves as it does how to make the caramel and brown sugar coating that covers them. The coating is made up of brown sugar, maple and vanilla extracts, light brown sugar, light corn syrup, and butter. While not giving an in-depth look into how the Nuggets are made, it does offer a great recipe for making a sweet and sticky caramel coating for other uses.

If making homemade Nuggets isn't enough, you don't need to fret. Buc-ee's recently opened its first store in Tennessee (via Crossville Chronicle), hinting that the chain is slowly but surely expanding across the United States. Perhaps one day soon, we'll all be able to enjoy the wonders of Beaver Nuggets outside our local Buc-ee's without having to travel too far.