Western Canadians have cooked food outside for a long time, but recently specific barbecue traditions from across the globe have been rising in popularity. Along with these trends come countless “dos” and “don’ts”– it can be hard to juggle when you’re just trying to put a good meal on the table. D’Arcy’s is here to help with a guide to BBQ sauce and how to best use it to compliment your high quality meats and fresh summer vegetables.
1. Keep it simple
Don’t overthink your sauce– a dozen or so good quality ingredients can be blended into a consistent, flavourful condiment. Start with strong basics like onion and garlic. Add tomatoes, ketchup or tomato paste if desired, then accent with strong seasoning and deep flavours. Vinegars of any variety, sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, molasses), savoury sauces (mustard, Worcestershire, hoisin), spices (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika) and flavour enhancers (sea salt, soy sauce) all belong in premium barbecue sauce.
2. Season lightly, taste often
As you cook, prepare and combine the elements of your sauce, taste the dish regularly. Adjust the seasoning on the fly, but beware of overcorrection– you don’t want to push the flavours too far another way. Look for a balance of salty, sweet, sour and savoury to maintain a complex yet approachable flavour. If you can stand the heat, trying spicing things up with chilis or your favourite hot sauce.
3. Less is more
Too often home grillers think the sauce tastes good, so more sauce must mean… more good? Not quite! A conservative approach to saucing your barbecued meats and veggies will lead to a more appetizing appearance and a better, more even flavouring. Also, taste your food before applying sauce– it might be mouthwateringly delicious all on its own!
4. Timing is everything
Familiarize yourself with your barbecue heat source, including any hot or cold spots. Do not add sauce until your food is just about ready to come off, but allow it a few moments to caramelize and crisp up over the heat. The crunchy coating created by the sauce is what pro pitmasters live for– don’t miss out by taking your food off early or saucing it cold.
If you have any questions or concerns about barbecue sauce, its uses or anything else grill or BBQ related– contact or visit the experts here at D’Arcy’s today!