What Makes a Great Sauce for Barbecue?

Posted on: January 16, 2023

The right marinade can work wonders for any barbeque recipe. The same goes for rubs. With the evolution in the method of barbequing, the sauce has entered the scene and is shaking things up. Not just because drizzling some sauce is convenient but also for the unique flavor that it adds to the smoked or grilled food.

You can pick up a bottled sauce from any store and get the cooking done in the usual way. However, this article is for those who love to experiment with their taste buds. We will be discussing barbeque sauce preparation at home.

Preparing Barbeque Sauce

Most traditional barbeque sauces use tomato paste as the base flavor. Of course, there is room for experiments like mustard, vinegar, or honey. Once the base is decided, it’s time to add the spices to flavor it up. This blend of spices generally depends on the type of food that it will be used on. Paprika, cumin, chili powder rosemary, thyme, garlic, and basil can be good options here. To get even more creative you can also use a store-bought sauce as a base for some extra flavor.

To know if your sauce has been prepared perfectly, make sure it ticks off these factors:

Taste is not overpowering: All the spices and base ingredients must be used in moderation so that none of them overpowers the flavor of the other. For instance, if you are using vinegar as an ingredient, try to balance the acidic flavor with some honey rather than lemon juice.

Consistency is right: The consistency of the sauce must not be too thick to penetrate or too runny to slide off the surface of the meat. In other words, the homemade barbeque sauce should have a similar consistency as that of the store-bought one.

No Add-ons are required: The barbeque sauce should be self-sufficient to flavor up the food just as you desire. Once you marinate the meat in the barbeque sauce you should not need other means of flavoring it like salt curing or applying a rub. Your sauce should have all the flavors in the right proportion that is required for the barbeque.

Basic ingredients: This might sound strange but is actually important. Always try to use basic ingredients to make the sauce. This way you do not have to rush to stores often to get unique ingredients whenever you are planning a barbeque session. Moreover, you will have a clear idea about the flavor and taste of the common ingredients in your kitchen so you can balance the taste and flavors well.

Best Ways to Barbeque

Knowing to prepare the barbeque sauce is only half the job done. The process of barbeque is a big part too. One question that troubles most of us when we think of barbeque is -which one to try? food smoking or grilling. The answer is difficult because it mostly depends on what you’re looking for. Here we will explain the benefits of both smokings and grilling to help you choose the best for your barbeque party.

Food smoking

It is a slow process where the food is cooked in hot smoke and not flames. The process helps the food to absorb the smoky flavor better keeping it tender and succulent. You can create your smokehouse or buy a dedicated food smoker to experience pro-smoking.


In this process, the food is cooked in direct heat. As a result, it fails to give you a rich smoky flavor as compared to smoking. Also, grilling tends to dry up the meat, making it hard and chewy if not tenderized properly.

Tips to Choose the Right Smoker

For all those who love the rich smoky flavor in their barbeque, food smoking is the only way to fully enjoy it. However, a bad smoker can ruin the entire experience by making it a tedious task for you that involves temperature control, fuel feeding, spraying, time tracking, etc.

The good news is we have a pro-food smoker that can make food smoking a cinch. Yes, we are talking about Bradley Smoker. It comes with all the necessary features that save you from babysitting your smoker. Here are some advantages of using a Bradley Smoker that you should look for before investing in one for your home.

  • The food smoker should have automatic controls offered in a digital console that allows presetting time and temperature.
  • Auto fuel feed system is a necessity to avoid the entire messy job of frequently refilling the fuel chamber.
  • The smoker must maintain a consistent temperature and prevent fumes from burnt-out fuel. Bradley Bisquettes are the perfect solution to this problem. Bradley Bisquettes are wood chips that automatically extinguish before producing foul smoke ruining the taste and flavor of the food.
  • The smoker should have the facility to steam the food while it is being cooked. This will ensure the food stays tender and succulent even after prolonged smoking.

Here we came to the end of this brief guide on barbeque sauce and the best ways to ace it. Hope these simple Bradley tips & tricks have been helpful to you on your barbeque journey.

Interested in checking out more information about meat sauce? Check the articles below:
What is the History of Barbecue Sauce?
Famous Sauce Types Paired with Delicious Recipes

For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.