Are Grilling Sauces And Barbecue Sauce The Same Thing?

When it comes to outdoor cooking, many people use the terms "grilling" and "barbecuing" interchangeably. However, they are quite different, so the sauces used for each also differ significantly. 

Grilling is a high-heat cooking method that involves cooking quickly over direct fire. It is often used for thin cuts of meat, such as steaks, burgers, and hot dogs. On the other hand, barbecuing involves slow cooking – heating food at a low temperature over a longer period. This is usually best suited for larger cuts of protein, such as ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder. 

The sauce you use will depend on the cooking method and the type of meat you are using. A lighter grilling sauce may be more appropriate if you are preparing a thin cut of protein, such as a steak or a burger. However, a thicker barbecue sauce may be more suitable if you are barbecuing a larger portion of meat, such as ribs or pork shoulder. Because the two types of food preparation involve a differing level of heat, grilling and barbecue sauces must differ in their ingredients.

One has less sugar

Grilling sauces are typically thinner and contain fewer sweeteners like sugar, molasses, or honey. The high heat of the cooking process of the same name can cause these ingredients to burn and become bitter, which can negatively impact the flavor of the food. As a result, these sauces are often used as a marinade or a finisher for meats and are typically applied toward the end of the process.

Barbecue sauce, on the other hand, is thicker and contains a higher amount of sweeteners. It's meant to be used as a glaze or a finishing sauce for slow-cooked meats. The sweetness in the dressing helps counteract the smoky and savory flavors that develop during cooking. Additionally, barbecue sauce often contains spices and condiments, such as mustard or vinegar, which add complexity to the overall flavor.

So consider which food preperation method is best for the dish and choose the appropriate dressing accordingly. By understanding the differences between grilling and barbecue sauces, you can achieve the best possible results for your outdoor cooking endeavors.