The Difference Between BBQ Rubs, Marinades and Sauces

Who says that you can’t prepare your very own flavoury BBQ tasty meat at home?! With the large selection of spices and seasonings available on the market, nowadays, you have the chance to create the same exact deliciousness you have tried in your favourite BBQ restaurant. While the cooking technique can certainly contribute to the fact how juicy and tasty the meat will be, it’s the seasoning that can make it tastier. Which is why understanding the different types of BBQ seasonings is essential.

What Are BBQ Rubs?

Rubs are dried spices that are usually rubbed onto the raw meat before cooking. Although the main purpose of dry rubs is to season the meat, the dry BBQ meat rubs will create a crust designed to seal all the juices inside. The final result is meat that is crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Mouth-watering!

Usually, the basic components of these all-time-favourite BBQ meat rubs are mainly sugar, salt, black pepper and paprika, while the rest can depend on the type of meat and brand. This is because not all spices can go with beef meat. Garlic and onion are some of the other variety of dried spices that you can find in a combo along with some other specific herbs that can make the meat tastier.

bbq rubs

How to Use BBQ Rub?

An important thing to know about cooking with BBQ rubs is that they can give you the best results when cooking on dry heat. This is essential because any type of liquid can make the rib become sticky which doesn’t look very appealing. So, all you have to do is to gently massage the meat with the dry spices and put it on the grill or in the oven. It is as simple as that.

What Are BBQ Marinades?

Similar to rubs, the main purpose of marinades is to tenderise and flavour the meat before it’s tossed into the oven or on the grill. The main difference between rubs and marinades is that marinades are a combination of dry spices and liquids. The secret in having a successfully marinated meat is letting it sit in the marinade for several hours before cooking it. That way, you will allow the meat to soak the needed flavour while the marinade will make it softer.

bbq marinades

Most of the ready-made marinades contain spices, juices and acids, and the job of the last two is to help the meat break down faster. When it comes to using marinades, they work the best with pork and chicken meat. The ideal acid to use for cooking meat is wine. The wine-based marinade will help the meat become moist while adding some incredible flavours. Depending on the type of meat you’re preparing, you can use Merlot when cooking pork or even chicken.

What Are BBQ Sauces?

The thing that makes BBQ sauces different than rubs and marinades is that meat sauces should be applied to the meat during and after the cooking process. These sauces can be usually used as a marinade or as a dipping sauce during the meal. Kentucky, spicy and smoked honey are some of the many sauces you can use to add an additional flavour and taste to the meat.

How to Make Cherry BBQ Rub?

If you are one those people who love the taste of mixed sweet and sour flavours, then you should try this tasty rub on your next culinary endeavour. For its preparation, you will need:

cherry bbq sauce

-2tbs butter
-1 medium onion (chopped)
-2 garlic cloves (minced)
-1 cup ketchup
-2 cups fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries (coarsely chopped)
-¼ cup cider vinegar
-2/3 cup brown sugar
-1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
-½ tsp pepper
-2 tsp ground mustard
-1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Directions for Making the Sauce

In a large pan, fry the onions in the butter until tender. Add the garlic, cook for about one minute and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir them well and cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until the cherries become tender and the sauce is thickened. Adding a little bit of wine to the sauce is optional, but it can certainly make the taste more intensified.

When paired with the right rub, sauce or marinade, the chosen meat can taste heavenly. So, what’s left is to raise your glass of carefully chosen wine, beer or whiskey and let it pair with the taste of the meat in your mouth. Cheers and Bon appetite!