Many individuals agree that the sauce on barbecued meat is like the icing on a cake. Gourmet barbecue sauces, rubs and marinades are commonly served on (or on the side of) the finished dish. Barbecue sauces, rubs and marinades are the three basic methods of seasoning and each brings its own unique element into the barbecuing experience.
Many individuals and families swear by barbecue sauce and some find it impossible to prepare meat without it. Popular types of BBQ sauce depend highly on the area, since many distinct areas have an opinion their own. Barbecue sauces can are generally based with vinegar, pepper, tomato or mustard and can offer either a sweet or spicy taste to the dish. Some barbecue sauces also use alcohol such as bourbon or zinfandel to add taste. Many BBQ sauces use a sweetener such as white sugar, brown sugar, molasses or maple syrup to add sweetness to the dish. Sugar burns easily and as a result, it is best to bring the barbecue sauces during the last stage of grilling.
Barbecue rubs can be found in two forms, wet and dry. A dry rub is often a mix of dry spices and herbs that are spread over the meat and rubbed into the surface. Wet rubs are simply dry rubs with a liquid (usually oil) which binds them together. When cooking for longer periods of time, wet rubs supply moisture to the meat so the meat doesn’t become burnt or hard. Wet rubs are usually used on dishes like fish or poultry since they don’t have as much taste, whereas dry rubs are better suited to steak and pork. Most rubs contain paprika, black pepper, ground chili and garlic powder.
Marinades are seasonings which contain acidic ingredients such as vinegar, wine and citrus juice and are utilized to tenderize the meat. Marinades can be a mix of herbs, spices and vegetables and are used to add flavor to the dish. When you soak the meat to the marinade, the meat absorbs the ingredients and the result is a more flavorful and tender dish. The meat must soak in the marinade for a good part of the day or even overnight to ensure it has enough time to consume its maximum capacity. Be sure that you read the directions before marinating because some foods (like fish and shrimp ) can become mushy and soggy if they’re left in too long.
Regardless of which kind of seasoning you choose, rubs, sauces and marinades add flavor and tenderness to all forms of meat. So give your BBQ a gourmet kick and add a gourmet BBQ sauce, rub or marinade to your next barbecue.