Barbeque Sauce - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Barbeque is not a seasonal activity for most enthusiasts. While some less dedicated souls pack up their grills and smokers as soon as the leaves turn, barbeque die-hards are already planning the glazes for their Thanksgiving turkey and holiday hams. Although part of this stems from a pioneering spirit, a good deal of their enthusiastic appreciation for barbeque comes from knowing just how versatile barbeque, and Barbeque Sauce, can be. Consider trying any of the following tips next time you fire up the grill for a neighborhood barbeque.

Marinating with Barbeque Sauce:
Barbeque is a style of cooking that employs low heat to gently tenderize tough meat over a long, lazy day in a smoker or on a grill. Kick-start the tenderizing of your meat by marinating with Barbeque Sauce before cooking. Some Barbeque Sauces, like East Carolina's tart, vinegar-based Barbeque Sauce, are meant to soak deep into the meat for big flavor and a tender texture. You can also get great results by applying a Memphis-style barbeque rub the night before. Sweet, thick sauces, like Kansas City's famous Barbeque Sauces, are not the best for marinating because they are too thick to soak into the meat and their high sugar content makes it easy for them to burn and char on the grill. These types of Barbeque Sauces are best applied towards the end of cooking. Kansas City-style Barbeque Sauces can be used as a marinade for quick cooking items, such as salmon or shrimp, since they'll only be on the grill for a matter of minutes.

Saucing with Barbeque Sauce:
Although it might seem obvious, there's a bit of finesse to serving up perfectly sauced ribs, chops and pulled pork. Look in almost any barbeque shop and you'll notice the pit master's mop. A miniature mop is used for saucing up thick, Kansas City Barbeque Sauce because it gently applies layer upon layer of sauce. A traditional brush will drag through the top layers of the Barbeque Sauce, preventing a crust from forming. The gentle dab of the mop creates a slow build-up of smoky, caramelized layers, like barbeque candy. Thin, vinegar-based sauces are usually just squirted on using a squeeze bottle to baste the meat during cooking.

Cooking with Barbeque Sauce:
Now, should you find yourself snowed in or faced with a weekend away from your trusty grill, there's still ways to get your barbeque fix. At its root, barbeque is all about the sauce, and the Barbeque Sauce of your choice can easily be swapped in to your favorite recipes. It's a spirit of experimentation that's given us roasted chicken tossed with Barbeque Sauce on a pizza, Barbeque Sauced spaghetti, or barbeque glazed shrimp over salad. A tablespoon or two of zesty Barbeque Sauce is also a great secret ingredient for adding depth of flavor to meatloaf, potato salad, chili, baked beans or stew.

Barbeque Sauce As An Everyday Condiment:
Once you've mastered the basics of getting your sauce on, there's no reason to let a bottle of Barbeque Sauce sit idly by in your fridge. Barbeque Sauce is perfect for enhancing everyday meals. Enjoy it as a topping for a burger or hot dog, or as a dip for french fries, chicken fingers or fish sticks. And don't forget your veggies! After a few minutes in the steamer, toss green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, or cut bell peppers with a few tablespoons of your favorite Barbeque Sauce.

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