Sauces for Grilling: Info and Tips

A sauce often defines great grilling. For a superior grilled dish and to get the most mileage from a grilling sauce, follow these tips.


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Many grilling sauces use a combination of savory and sweet ingredients for their unique taste. Sweet ingredients add a fabulous depth to sauces. Be sure to put them on near the end of grilling -- sugar burns easily and may impart a bitter flavor to a sauce.

Great Grilling Sauce Recipes

Sauce Safety

  • If you wish to serve the sauce at the table, divide it before you brush part of it onto raw meat.
  • Or if you've brushed a sauce on, boil the remainder in a pan before serving to ensure its safety.

When and How to Apply Sauce

  • Sauces high in sugar can cause a sauce to burn on the meat's exterior before the meat is fully cooked.
  • Wait until the last five or 10 minutes of grilling to brush on sweet sauces.
  • Apply layers of sauce evenly to build up a glaze.

Common Sugars and Sauce Ingredients High in Sugar

  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Molasses: light, dark, blackstrap
  • Corn syrup: light, dark
  • Fructose
  • Jam and preserves
  • Spreadable fruit
  • Fruit
  • Fruit juice and concentrate
  • Catsup and prepared barbecue sauce

Other Uses for Grilling Sauces

  • Use as pizza or spaghetti sauce
  • Use in place of catsup for burgers, fries, and meat loaf
  • Mix with ground meats, cheese, and sour cream to use as a taco or potato filling
  • Spice up tomato juice or Bloody Marys
  • Blend with sour cream or cream cheese to use as a vegetable or chip dip
  • Use as a dressing for potato, corn, and bean salad
  • Enliven baked beans or bean dip
  • Add a smoky flavor to chili

Find Great Grilling Sauces Here

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