It’s in the Sauce

Andrew Evans schools us in the art of making delicious barbecue sauce
Andrew Evan's pulled pork sandwich dripping in perfected sauce.

We love that tailgating is synonymous with barbecue — we live for the pulled pork and the hamburgers that keep us fueled for the game. But no matter the cut of meat, barbecue just isn’t barbecue without a great recipe. Slathering on the sauce is an art form that  The BBQ Joint pitmaster Andrew Evans completely understands. To make a signature homemade sauce that will knock your fellow tailgaters out of the park, you need to know the key ingredients, how to work the meat, and the subtle intricacies of bringing out the flavor. Follow Evans' tips and you’ll be licking your fingers in no time!

Key Ingredients for a Solid Basic BBQ Sauce
• Worcestershire [Lea & Perrins brand recommended]
• Ketchup
• Firmly packed brown sugar
• Molasses
• Mustard
• Tabasco
• Black pepper
• Cider vinegar
*Adjust heat to your liking with a pepper sauce like Sriracha.

Barbecue Tips for Grilling Regulars:
For Shrimp: 

Marinate large shrimp (shell on) with lemon peel, crushed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, chopped Italian parsley, salt, and pepper for one hour. Flash grill on a super-hot grill. Serve with anything!
For Steak:
Grill flat-iron steak after marinating in an IPA beer with onions for two hours. Grill steak and onions together after seasoning with salt and pepper
For Salmon:
Divide your grill in two with fire on one side. Put pieces of salmon on the side with no fire and hot smoke with apple chips at 250 degrees  until the fish registers 160 degrees internally.

Barbecue Sauce Tips

If you’re going to put onions in your sauce, make sure you get them really brown.

If you have peppers, like chile flakes, adjust the heat by literally applying heat. If you serve the sauce raw and uncooked, it will have a subtle spiciness but not a burn. If you cook it and simmer it for 20 minutes or so, it will have a real burn. So you can make a slightly spicy or extremely hot sauce out of the same base by just applying a little heat.

Creating balance in your sauce is key — you don’t want a sauce that is just sweet. Balance it by adding vinegar. If vinegar isn't available, you can substitute it with lemon juice.

You can also infuse garlic into your sauce by heating the sauce with freshly chopped garlic. Strain it out once cooked and you’ll wind up with a really nice sauce that’s subtle but flavorful — especially for meats like brisket.

To get depth of flavor in sauces, try this trick: Grab a few different store-bought sauces. Add one to your base for a more intense and complex taste.

Take your sauce to the next level by mixing in black currant or blackberry sauce. Cherry preserves or peaches will work, too. You can’t recognize the flavor, but it makes it really rich.

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