Have you ever planned an epic barbecue, realised your guests are just a few minutes away, dashed to the fridge and found yourself missing the marinade for your meat? Disaster! In this situation, you’re probably wondering if there are any other types of products you can substitute for a traditional marinade, like BBQ sauce.
The short answer to this question is — yes. Of course you can use a BBQ sauce – whether it’s Texas BBQ sauce, smoky BBQ sauce, or any other kind – as a marinade! However, the two are different types of products and understanding the similarities and differences between them will help ensure your barbecue goes off without a hitch and your guests go home raving about your food.
BBQ Sauce vs. Marinade — What’s The Difference?
The main similarity between BBQ sauce and marinade is that both can be used to add flavour to your ingredients, whether you’re grilling steak or frying vegetables. No one wants to settle for a boring old steak. Provide friends and family with an authentic barbecue experience with sauces that come from all four corners of America.
Now to the differences. Let’s start with the point at which you apply the product. A sauce can be applied at any time during the cooking (or eating!) process. You can add it whilst cooking to create a glaze or just before you serve for an added hit of flavour. You can slather a sauce on top of your meal or serve it as a condiment on the side. Really, there are endless options available to you.
By contrast, a marinade tends to be applied prior to the cooking process — up to 24 hours, in fact. During this time, the marinade soaks into the meat, both tenderising and adding flavour. Be careful not to leave your ingredients marinating for too long, particularly if the marinade contains acidic ingredients. You may end up with a mushy, disintegrated steak! Between 12 and 24 hours should be plenty of time.
Given that both marinades and sauces tend to be made from a mixture of acid, salt, fruit, vegetables, and spices, they can be used interchangeably without too great a risk to the overall flavour palate.
What To Look For In A BBQ Sauce
Whether you’re planning to use BBQ sauce to marinade meat or as a traditional condiment, there are a few key attributes you should look for in your chosen product.
As is the case with all sauces and condiments, the fresher the better. Just because it comes in a bottle, doesn’t mean the freshness of ingredients won’t affect the overall flavour.
BBQ sauces come in a broad range of different flavours. Whilst most (if not all) will be delicious, some do complement certain ingredients better than others. Take Gentry’s BBQ Bird on Fire Wing Sauce, for example. As the name suggests, it’s perfect for chicken wings — particularly if you enjoy a combination of sweet plus heat!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Rob’s Frog Sauce is best served on an amphibian friend. This tangy rib glaze tastes good on basically anything, from pork to beef to chicken.
Few types of BBQ sauce are as versatile as Peach Cranberry Habanero Rib Candy. While it’s traditionally used as a finishing sauce for ribs, its light texture means it can be successfully applied throughout the cooking process. If you’re searching for a BBQ sauce that can also be used as a marinade and offers a unique flavour, look no further.
Finally, in addition to the flavour palate, consider the thickness of your BBQ sauce — particularly if you’re planning to use it as a marinade. Certain ingredients, like molasses, are extremely thick and likely to result in a heavy, concentrated sauce. Vinegar, on the other hand, is a far more diluted base ingredient. The acidic nature of vinegar can also have a tenderising effect, so be careful not to overdo it.
BBQ Sauce From The Barbecue Company
Few suppliers of BBQ sauce can match the range and flavour of The Barbecue Company. Whether you’re an experienced barbecuer or planning your very first afternoon grill, The Barbecue Company has everything you need to impress friends and family. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive range of BBQ sauces, which can be used for everything from topping a rare-cooked steak to marinating a set of buffalo wings.