6 Best Sauces For Outdoor Cooking / Grilling

There are many sauces you can buy to accompany your grilled meats.

However, nothing beats a good homemade sauce.

There are recipes for all sorts of sauces, depending on your preference and taste. Some recipes vary according to country, and even state.

Sauces used for grilling meat can be traced back to the early settlers in the US.

They arrived from countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom. They all brought their own flavors and ingredients with them. These ultimately influenced the sauces we use today.

But which are the best?

Let’s look at some of the favorite recipes from a few US states.

South Carolina BBQ Sauce

South Carolina BBQ Sauce

This classic sauce has a tangy flavor and a distinct yellow color.

The main base of the sauce is mustard. This was introduced in this area from Germany and has remained popular ever since. It’s an excellent sauce to accompany tender, pulled pork or juicy chicken.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of yellow mustard (prepared, traditional yellow mustard, not Dijon)
  • ⅔ cup of vinegar (cider)
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste (or tomato ketchup)
  • Utensils
    ½ teaspoon of hot sauce (chipotle, tabasco or your own favorite)
  • Utensils
    ¾ cup of sugar
  • Utensils
    1 chicken bouillon cube or 2 teaspoons of granules
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of rosemary leaves (dried)
  • Utensils
    1 teaspoon of celery seeds
  • Utensils
    3 teaspoons of dry mustard powder
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of coarse salt
  • Utensils
    1 teaspoon of fresh ground black peppercorns

How to Prepare

  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl
  • Add the bouillon. If you are using a cube, crush it before adding
  • Crush the dried rosemary and celery seeds. You can either use a mortar and pestle, a blender or grinder
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    Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix well
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    Place in a refrigerator for an hour, to allow the flavor to develop, and then serve

This easy sauce requires no cooking and will keep for over a month in the refrigerator - ready for your next grilling session.

East Carolina BBQ Sauce

East Carolina BBQ Sauce

This vinegar-based sauce is perfect for cutting through the fattiness of pork ribs or a pork shoulder. It can even be used for a whole suckling pig. Used in two ways, you can baste the meat while it’s cooking, or serve it as a dip.

It will help cleanse that fatty taste you might get from these cuts of meats. It will also enhance their flavor during the grilling process.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of vinegar (distilled white or cider)
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons of white or brown sugar
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of salt
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of crushed chipotle or red peppers
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of ground fresh black peppercorns

How to Prepare

  • Place all the ingredients in a jar, seal the lid and shake well
  • Leave to sit for a minimum of 12 hours to allow the flavor to develop
  • Place some of the sauce in a bowl or cup and baste the meat using a brush
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    Warm the remaining sauce and serve with meat for pouring or dipping

Texas BBQ Sauce

Barbecue Texas Sauce

This versatile sauce is the perfect accompaniment for any type of meat.

It is particularly good for basting a beef brisket on the grill, and for dipping afterwards. Try it instead of your regular sauce on burgers and sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ¼ cup of minced onion
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • Utensils
    1 cup of water
  • Utensils
    1 beef bouillon cube
  • Utensils
    1 cup of ketchup
  • Utensils
    ½ cup of vinegar (cider)
  • Utensils
    3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • Utensils
    2 tablespoons of brown mustard
  • Utensils
    2 tablespoons of honey
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of paprika
  • Utensils
    2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • Utensils
    Salt and pepper to taste

How to Prepare

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat
  • Add the celery and onion and cook for four to five minutes, or until soft
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 20 seconds
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    Add the bouillon and water, stirring until the cube dissolves
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    Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally
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    Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally
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    Remove from the heat and allow to cool
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    Once cool, pour the sauce into a food processor or blender. Blitz until it’s smooth

This sauce can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to seven days.

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

The Kansas City sauce represents what most of us associate with a BBQ sauce.

It has the sweetness, tartness and heat that comes to mind when they think of a grilling sauce.

Tomatoey and thick, they coat meat, such as ribs, making them sticky and tasty.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • Utensils
    2 cups of ketchup
  • Utensils
    ½ cup of yellow mustard
  • Utensils
    ¼ cup of vinegar (cider)
  • Utensils
    ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Utensils
    ⅓ cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • Utensils
    ¼ cup of steak sauce
  • Utensils
    ¼ cup of molasses (dark)
  • Utensils
    ½ cup of honey
  • Utensils
    1 teaspoon of hot sauce of your choice
  • Utensils
    1 cup of brown sugar (light or dark, whatever you have available)
  • Utensils
    3 tablespoons of good quality vegetable oil
  • Utensils
    1 finely chopped onion
  • Utensils
    4 minced or crushed garlic cloves

How to Prepare

  • Mix the black pepper, salt and chili powder in a small bowl
  • Heat the oil in a large pan
  • Add the onions and cook for about five minutes until translucent
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    Add the garlic and cook for a further minute
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    Add the dry spice mix and cook for about two minutes
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    Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well
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    Simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally
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    Once thickened, remove from the heat

This sauce can be used immediately or bottled and refrigerated. It will keep for up to two months.

Use the sauce to coat ribs on the grill, or as a dipping sauce for anything fancy.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

If you want something completely different for your grilled chicken, this white sauce really hits the mark.

It’s quick and easy to make and will raise your chicken to the next level.

You can also drizzle leftover sauce on salad or coleslaw.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup of vinegar (apple cider works well)
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce (creamy or in vinegar, straight from the jar)
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of freshly ground coarse black pepper
  • Utensils
    1 teaspoon of dry yellow mustard powder
  • Utensils
    ¼ teaspoon of coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • Utensils
    ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (finely ground)

How to Prepare

  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together
  • Refrigerate for up to two hours or longer to allow the flavor to develop
  • Meanwhile, cook the chicken on the grill. You can use your favorite spice rub or just season with salt and pepper
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    Once your chicken is almost cooked, at about 155 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature, flip it skin-side down
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    Once it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, brush it all over with the white sauce and serve
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    Extra sauce can be drizzled over the meat to individual tastes

Basic BBQ Sauce

Basic BBQ Sauce

We have given you recipes for some of the classic American sauces for your grilled meat.

However, there are times when you might just want a quick and easy simple sauce. This recipe fits the bill, and it’s tasty as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • ½ cup of vinegar (apple cider)
  • ¼ cup of dark or light brown sugar
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Utensils
    1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Utensils
    2 tablespoons of honey
  • Utensils
    1 teaspoon of Stone House style seasoning (this is made from ¼ cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper and 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic)
  • Utensils
    ¼ teaspoon of hot sauce of your choice

How to Prepare

  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium-size saucepan
  • Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil
  • Reduce the heat and simmer till thickened (about 10 minutes)
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    Serve immediately or cool and place in an airtight container
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    Store in the refrigerator. It will keep or up to a week

Final Thoughts

Remember, none of these are set in stone and you can adjust them to suit your own tastes. Use the basic recipe and add different spices and herbs.

If you fancy an Indian-style sauce, add things such as cumin, coriander and chili. For a taste of Chinese, add soy sauce or five-spice powder. Mexican sauce needs more peppers and chili.

The options are limited only by your imagination.

You could also add alcohol, in the form of Jack Daniels, dark rum or whiskey. Beer and Guinness will also work. You might just need to reduce the sauce a little more before using it.

It something is too tart for your taste, cut back on the vinegar.

Too sweet? Reduce the sugar or honey. I am sure you get the idea.

No matter what your personal taste, these sauces will enhance any meat you choose to grill. Whether you use them for basting or coating your meat or serve as a side.

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