Pairing Perfection: Barbecue Sauce Blends

Denying the overwhelming increase in popularity of barbecue sauce in the United States has become much harder. A large influence on the rising popularity of this condiment is due to how many sauces are available. Registered barbecue sauce production exceeds nearly $2 billion per year in the United States. The catch? This value has no consideration for the amount of home-made barbecue sauces that are made. While some of these recipes have been passed down through multiple generations, other home-crafted recipes are just getting their start. 

With the number of options consumers have to choose from, it can be hard to determine which sauce is right for their meats. Will the same sauce used for their ribs one week support their beef brisket the following week? Can they rely on one sauce to support both their pulled pork and chicken? 

It’s true that the right sauce pairing can bring out all of the best flavors in your meat, but without careful consideration, the wrong sauce can ruin any barbecue creation. 

For those struggling with their sauce knowledge, the infographic coupled alongside this post provides an excellent foundation for sauce pairings. The resource can help barbecue enthusiasts navigate the spectrum from spicy and mild, all the way to sweet and acidic. The first thing to consider before deciding on a sauce is what meat you’ll be preparing. 

It’s worth noting, however, that there will be a bit of overlap in regards to sauce and meat combinations. Namely because consumer preferences span so far. Everyone has a unique set of flavors they prefer, but there is a sauce for everyone. Let’s take the classic Texas BBQ sauce as an example. Its strongest pair is typically the beef brisket, but most barbecue restaurants offer it as a choice of sauce for pulled pork or ribs as well. 

Multiple sauces and meats being compatible is hardly a bad thing. More often than not it provides the luxury of choice for consumers and guests alike. If you’re ever hosting guests and plan on whipping up some barbecue, offering them a wide selection of sauces for their meats is always the best choice. However, always consider which sauces may conflict with the meats being prepared and avoid serving them. Certain flavors aren’t meant to collide and could result in a ruined experience. 

Some highlights from the resource featured below are the following: 

  • The best sauce could never excuse the worst cooking execution. Preparing the meats to accompany the sauces in the way that brings out the most flavor is required to get the most out of any barbecue experience. 
  • Acquiring a broader sauce palette can only do you good. Trying new sauces and experimenting with meat and sauce combinations is key to finding your perfect pair. 
  • Local barbecue establishments are the greatest resource. Trust industry specialists. Most of these local restaurants likely have their own sauce blends offered and take pride in them. Embrace these flavors and draw inspiration from them. 

For more information regarding barbecue sauce pairings, be sure to review the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants.