Break Out The Cocktail Sauce At Your Next Barbecue To Add Zing To Grilled Meats

The key to making a scrumptious dish sometimes boils down to having a fantastic sauce. When it comes to grilled meats, we often think of classic condiments like ketchup, mustard, and, of course, the reigning champion — BBQ sauce. One that is hardly ever considered is cocktail sauce, and yet, it's a surprisingly fitting choice for anyone looking to take those BBQ dishes up a notch.

Unlike BBQ sauce, which is renowned for its deeply sweet and savory flavor profile, cocktail sauce leans more toward the bold, spicy, and tangy side. This means it most likely won't give your meat the same effect as BBQ sauce, but that's not necessarily bad. Instead, you'll get a unique zing that is equal parts sophisticated and exhilarating. A combination of various hot sauces and aromatics, it's certainly not a lackluster choice for amping up those grilled meat cuts. The cocktail sauce will uniquely complement smoky and savory tastes; its tumultuous layers of intense and hearty flavors unfold beautifully on the palate. 

From the grill straight onto the dining table, cocktail sauce brings a sensational flavor kick, making it a perfect option for those who want to try something different without deviating too far away from familiar and enjoyable flavor profiles. 

Ways to pair cocktail sauce with grilled meats

Although commonly associated with shrimp, cocktail sauce works well with many of the best cuts of meat for grilling. Whether you like juicy beef, tender chicken, or succulent pork ribs, its fiery, tangy heat is perfect for taking things up a notch. Charred skewers dripping with this vibrant red cocktail sauce are a sight to behold. This sauce also provides a spark of heat, which can be balanced by mayo-drenched veggies and the savory notes of meat patties when used as a burger condiment. In steaks, it works as a marinade and a glaze to coat the meat in a luscious, glossy sheen of gorgeous flavors. You can even use it the old-fashioned way — as a dip — to accompany grilled seafood.

Cocktail sauce is full of wonders in more ways than one. Not only can you use it in multiple ways, but you can also make it with various ingredients. Add robust spices like cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and similar seasoning blends if you want spicy, smoky flavors to take center stage. Other condiments like liquid smoke, mustard, and Tabasco sauce will do the trick. The subtle sweetness, on the other hand, can also be emphasized with brown sugar. 

For those who like brightness, a simple squeeze of lemon juice does the trick. Don't forget to throw in some chopped herbs; their fragrance lingers in the aftertaste and makes dishes even more memorable.