Barbecue sauce, when used correctly, is one of God’s gifts to man. There is nothing that will accent a perfectly-grilled slab of ribs or pork steak better than some delicious barbecue sauce. A lot of grillers will rush through the actual process of adding sauce (I mean, it doesn’t sound that complex, right?) but understanding how much and when to apply that smoky, gooey deliciousness can make all the difference.
So while it can be tempting to just slather that sauce on there and not worry about it, believe me… nothing will ruin your carefully-prepared dish more than doing the sauce incorrectly. Here are some tips for making sure that your barbecue-saucing techniques are complimenting, not ruining, your meat:
Don’t use too much
Restraint is the name of the game here. After all, you can always let guests add more sauce later, but once it’s there, there’s nothing to be done. Only use one coat of the sauce (two max) to let the actual flavor of the meat shine through. For reference, a full slab of spare ribs only needs 1/2 – 3/4 cup sauce.
Caramelization is your friend
Add the sauce right after the meat is done cooking but before you take it off the grill. This will allow the sauce to sizzle a little and, if its a sweeter sauce, caramelize. Just be sure to watch it like a hawk! Sauces will burn insanely quickly and only need a minute or two to carmelize. If you leave them on longer, they may get gummy or even burn and no one wants that.
Let your guests do it
If you’re really iffy on how much sauce you should use, or can’t decide between flavors, then let your guests do it themselves! Leave the meat flavor to speak for itself and provide barbecue sauce options to please everyone. Just make sure that you warm up the sauce in a pan or in the microwave before serving!
Add some extra zing
If you’re the one doing the saucing, then why not add on just a sprinkle of dry rub to give it just a little bit of zing? This can be especially good if you opt to skip the caramelization process and simply add it once the meat has been removed from the grill.
Skip the sauce entirely
I realize this is sort of contradictory, but if you’ve used your own signature dry rub or you smoked it properly, then you might actually not even need sauce. Sometimes, too many flavors is a bad thing. You’ve spent a ton of time making sure the meat is cooked perfectly, so why not let the meat flavor speak for itself?
If you have any great sauce tips, share them with us below!!