Thursday, September 20, 2007

BBQ Rants: What sauce to use?

If you are the type of competitor that likes to play it safe, you should use the type of sauce that is most popular in the area that you are competing in. If you are in the Carolina's, use a vinegar sauce. If you are in Kansas City, use a tomato based sauce. Should I go sweet? Should I add mustard? See what the locals are doing.

But if you want to go a little deeper into BBQ gamesmanship, look for the kcbs blue shirts. What will the ratio be of women to men judges? As a rule of thumb, women prefer sweeter sauces and men prefer saltier sauces.

Want another edge? Find out who won the previous 3 years and try to find out what type of sauce they used. Does this event tend to reward risk taking? Do they encourage conformity? Use the Friday night set-up time to chat up your neighbors. BBQ enthusiasts will be some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.

Remember, the taste of the sauce isn't the only contributing factor. Feel free to bring food dyes with you. There is no rule about not using a dye in your sauce. Want a rich, brick red color? Go for it. Want to lighten up the color? Go ahead. Trust me, food dye would be last on the list of 'odd' additives to BBQ at competitions.



Rusty said...

I agree. Why do some people go to all the trouble of smoking their own meat and then use a commercial rub or bbq sauce?

Eric Devlin said...

It certainly seems counter-intuitive, Rusty. Maybe they think of it as one thing that they DON'T have to worry about.

Competitions can be stressful. I can understand taking a 'shortcut' once in a while.