You watched one of those commercials featuring saucy barbecue ribs and chicken wings. The sauce on the meats dripped just right, and the food successfully cooked to perfection. This talent seems to belong just to the pit masters that excel at grilling with barbecue sauces, but you still take on the personal challenge of trying the technique by yourself.
You write down the recipe, buy the ingredients, light up the grill and then “have a go at it” at home. The difference? Perhaps that, when you try it, the results are quite shocking: a hot mess of burned up chicken skin, charred sauce and dry meat. How in the world do the experts do it?
Well, you do not need to become a pit master to cook with barbecue sauce the right way. Just follow some of these “saucy” grilling hacks, and you, too, could be the next master or mistress of the cookout.
Coat, coat, coat
Surely, you are familiar with olive oil and butter. These two ingredients are natural binders, so they help coat and protect meats during the cooking process. They also conduct enough heat to add crunch and texture to the surface of foods, making them more flavorful. Coat your meats with butter or olive oil before you start cooking. The coating will serve as the ultimate barrier between the meat and the sauce.
Watch the heat!
After coating with olive oil or butter, grill the meat. Do not place it too close to the heat, or it will cook too quickly. If you are using charcoal, place the actual metal grill, or the meat itself, farther from the main heat source so that the meat cooks more slowly. If you can manipulate the settings with buttons, just set the heat to medium.
Stick a fork or knife in the middle of the meat to determine if the thickest part is getting cooked. If it is, then drop the heat to medium-low if you can use settings, or move the meat further away from the heat if you must do it manually.
Add the sauce at the end
Now that the thickest part of the meat is cooking, try one more coating of olive oil or butter, and start topping the meat with sauce using a basting mop, baster, or brush. The meat will continue to cook naturally, even at a lower heat. However, now you can integrate both elements, the sauce, and the meat, and bring them to a common ground.
Keep adding sauce until you agree with the level of thickness. Also, keep poking the thickest part of the meat to check whether the inside is still getting cooked. It may take some extra minutes to complete the whole process, but it will be worthwhile.
- Folks who have grilled with barbecue sauces for years may have tricks to cook meats and sauces at the same time. However, try our hacks first if this is your first time attempting it.
- If all else fails, remember that there are other ingredients that you can combine with barbecue sauce to add wetness, sweetness, or tartness to it. These include raw honey, marmalade, fruit jams, apricot/orange preserves, and even coconut cream!
Enjoy your food, and eat it too! Try grilling with sauce today!