Secret Sauces

Secret Sauces


Grill rubs are a blend of spices and herbs used to flavor infuse different meat before you grill. BBQ rubs are usually dry, although they can be wet, or paste-like. Grill rubs can be used on chicken, steak, pork, fish, shrimp, or turkey. BBQ rubs can be an alternative for those who don’t like their meat smothered in sauce but they can also be a compliment to some sauces.

So what do folks around town use as their secret rub?


Yeah, it sounds kind of gross. But for whatever reason, it adds a REALLY good flavor to the meat and creates an kind of pseudo bark that keeps it nice and moist. Best Used On: Pork and Beef.


Brown sugar to be exact. Use that and honey and let the meat sit overnight. The sugars help to break down and tenderize the meat as well as create a great bark. Best Used On: Just about any meat.


Not necessarily a rub in and of itself, but it’s worth mentioning here. Mustard does a lot of things at once. The vinegar in mustard helps to break down the fibers, tenderizing, which helps to carry the flavors of the other rub components through the meat. It also helps to hold the rub on surface so that a better bark has a chance to form. Some people swear by it and say the mustard flavor is not even noticeable in the end product. Best Used On: Pork, Chicken and Beef.


The straight from Webster’s mouth definition is: a sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it.

Everyone who fires up the BBQ regularly has their own go to. Which one do you think sounds the best?


It seems in the Hill Country area the Dr. reigns supreme. Dr. Pepper was hands down the most common marinade submitted to us. Maybe it’s the 23 flavors inherent in every can of Dr. Pepper that people love. Or the fact that the sugars give the meat a beautiful glaze AND help to tenderize. Whatever the case may be, if you’re cook’n up some ‘que, and you haven’t tried this yet, you’re missing out on something big my friend. Best Used On: Pork and Beef.


Coke was another popular marinade we received. Some folks added chopped yellow and green onions and a jar of chili sauce for an added kick. Others would use it straight out of the can (or bottle) like Dr. Pepper. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Unless you burn the meat. But if you do that, you’re beyond any of our help. Best Used On: Pork and Beef.


For those of you who like to give your taste buds a swift tasty kick in the shorts  combine Tapitio Salsa Picante sauce, worcestershire sauce, red AND black pepper (I’m sweating already), honey and cooking oil. Marinate overnight and smoke. You’ll wake up your taste buds and then smash them into submission. Best Used On: Anything that once mooed, clucked or squealed.



While it might not keep the doctor away in this case, it WILL keep your meat moist. Using a spray bottle of diluted apple juice, conservatively spray the meat a few times in the first hour of cooking. Then more liberally in the last few hours to give you meat a nice, crisp apple coat while keeping the outer layer nice and juicy. Best Used On: Pork and Beef.


Something that surprised us was that a few people wrote in suggesting and orange or orange honey glaze for use as a sauce once you’ve worked your rub or marinate magic. Admittedly, we here had not heard of that before so we looked it up. Sure enough, seems that orange honey BBQ sauces are pretty popular. Now, we all know the saying that good BBQ doesn’t need sauce. But we’ve got to admit, some of the recipes we pulled up with a quick Google search sure sound tasty. You learn something new every day. Best Used On: Any meat you can think of. Really. There seems to be an orange honey sauce recipe to go with any kind of protein you might encounter in these parts.


The concept of this tip might make some of the readers a little squeamish. But when you think about it, it makes sense. When buying your meat that you’re going to BBQ, look for cuts that are nearing their “sell by” date. The meat is further along in its “decay” and as such, the fibers are more broken down. This apparently yields a very tender piece of meat. Best Used On: Pork and Beef. Fish and chicken need not apply.


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