BBQ is nothing without spices and sauces. Those who love BBQ know that these spices and sauces enhance the flavor, whether meat or poultry. Despite this, very few people know the difference between BBQ sauces and rubs and the difference in their utilization. Although the choice between a sauce and a rub is entirely up to the cook and their taste, there are some tips to save your BBQ from burning or tasting too mild or too spicy. Using a BBQ sauce or a BBQ rub, both add flavor. Some use both at the same time. However, the methods are different, and both have pros and cons.
BBQ rub combines various spices to create the best flavor for BBQ. It includes many spices, including paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, black pepper, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. People add spices as per their preference. They add a liquid ingredient if they want a wet rub. BBQ rubs are available in stores and can be made at home. You can store them for a good amount of time in an airtight container and a dry space. The use of BBQ rub has become common as people are now aware of this product, so rather than going for their casual home spices, they get a BBQ rub. Many people make BBQ rubs themselves, which is not so difficult.
Types of Rubs
Since a rub is generally a blend of various spices and ingredients, there are different ways to prepare and use it. People use it as their preference for the taste and texture they want for their BBQ. Some apply the rub before cooking, and others after cooking. Some use it dry, and others use it wet. So the rub is used as per individual preference. Below are the types of BBQ rubs;
Dry rubs are made of all the dry ingredients. No liquid ingredient is used in it, and it can be stored in a dry place in an airtight container. You can use the stored rub for up to 6 months. If you see, it is not complicated and hard to handle a recipe. It is dry, making it easy to store, and it has a long shelf life. One can even get a ready-made dry rub. These rubs are available in different varieties in the market. You can go through the ingredients and get one as per your taste. The main advantage of using dry rub is the crust it forms. It gives a nice crust and barks to your meat. If you want your BBQ crisp from the outside and juicy from the inside, you should go for a dry rub.
Wet rub includes the same ingredients as a dry rub with an addition of a few liquid ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and other sauces as per your taste. A wet rub sticks to the meat, so the spice is less likely to fall off the meat while cooking. However, since the wet rub has a sugar and liquid consistency, it might burn, so you cannot apply it at the start of the cooking process. Prevent the sugar from burning; otherwise, it will leave a bitter flavor. The wet rub is also available in the market, or you can make it at home using the same spices as in dry rub and then adding some liquid ingredients. The wet rub is only suitable if you want your meat’s sticky and juicy texture.
When to Apply Rub
The process of using a rub is very simple. For dry and wet rubs, ensure you pat down your meat with a paper towel before applying the rub to get rid of extra moisture. Then apply the rub on the meat using one of your hands and use the other to spread it over. Make sure the spices are absorbed in the meat. In a dry rub, you will get a crispy crust when the dry spices are soaked into the meat. For best flavor, apply dry rub an hour before the grilling. Make sure the quantity of the rub is neither too low to give the right flavor nor too much to fall off the grill. For wet rubs, follow the same process. However, the difference will be the texture of the meat.
A BBQ Sauce
The BBQ sauce was first made in the 17th Century to enhance the grilling experience and flavor. The sauce contained only salt, pepper, and vinegar. BBQ sauce tenderizes the meat and enhances the flavor. BBQ sauces are now different. They are made with enzymes such as fruit and an acidic item like vinegar. It also includes mustard, chili peppers, ketchup, etc. BBQ sauces contain sugar, so it is not a good idea to put the sauce at the start of the cooking process. Put the sauce at the end of the process to prevent it from burning the meat. Sugar in the BBQ sauce is essential to develop the flavor of the meat, but it can also burn in high temperatures. It is ideal for putting the sauce 10 minutes before the cooking is completed to get the perfect flavor.
Which One’s the Best
You can buy bbq rub and sauce together to get the best flavor. In fact, most BBQ lovers prefer using both to give an amazing flavor and the right texture. However, if you go for a rub or a sauce, it depends on the flavor and texture you want. Go for a dry BBQ rub if you want a good crust, and you can use the BBQ sauce as a side. Or you can apply dry rub at the start and BBQ sauce by the end of cooking for a perfect BBQ flavor.