Oh, the barbeque. Whether it’s cooking burgers or vegetables, there’s something oh-so-delicious about that smoky flavor. It just says summer. Even quiet foods like zucchini or tofu can get in on the barbequing game, especially if you keep things saucy.
Tip: You can have a whole Homegrown Summer Picnic!
The Science of Sauce
What are barbeque sauces, anyway?
Marinades are sauces that you use for soaking meat or vegetables. They generally contain an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. This acid helps soften meat or vegetables that sit in the marinade, and the flavors soak through the food.
A mop sauce is a sauce that you place on food as it cooks. It’s a thin sauce and will add some flavor, but it also adds moisture during the cooking process.
A BBQ sauce often contains sugar, and because of its sugar content its placed on food during the last five to fifteen minutes on the grill. Sugar caramelizes when it meets heat, and this adds a distinctive flavor to your food. Be conscious of when you add these sauces, since they can burn if left too long on the grill.
A rub is not really a sauce since it’s not a liquid, but it also adds flavor and complements the flavors in your BBQ creations. It’s a dry salt or sugar base mixed with herbs or other seasonings that you place on food hours or minutes before you place it onto the grill. This creates a crunchy crust on your cooked food.
For Spice Lovers
Looking for the fire? If you love to live dangerously, take your tastebuds on a wild ride with a tandoori chicken marinade or if you’re more of the veggie persuasion, enjoy ample quantities of garlic and chili with this delicious spicy barbequed vegetable salad.
Sweet and Sour
Sugars like brown sugar and molasses add rich flavor to sweet and sour BBQ sauces, while white vinegar or cider vinegars add a tang. If you love sweet and sour, you’ll enjoy this low-sodium but high-flavor sweet and sour sauce that’s perfect for pork or beef dishes. This recipe combines a sweet and spicy cumin and nutmeg-based BBQ rub with a delicious sauce that’s versatile enough to visit with your vegetables as well.
The Garden Flavor
Your barbeque is healthy, right? Maybe not so much, but you can pretend by dressing up your meat, potatoes, and vegetables with a herb-inspired sauce or rub. Herbs, lemon, and garlic are the perfect marriage of intense flavors that go well with lighter flavors such as chicken or zucchini wedges. The bonus? Any marinade that you haven’t used for meat can go into a fresh potato salad or get used as a dressing in a green salad.
Not sure what to make? Here are some of the Best Recipes for the Grill.
Where There’s Smoke
Looking for the classic barbeque flavor? Create this sweet and smoky BBQ rub, and package up some extras to give as gifts to your BBQ hosts throughout the summer. It’s versatile, so it can adorn seafood, chicken, vegetables, and richer dishes. If you’re trying to get that smoky barbeque flavor without liquid smoke, try creating some of this delicious smoky barbeque sauce!
What saucy creations are you grilling this summer?
Need even more ideas for sauces? Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes has over 200 recipes!