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Recently Dizzy Pig owner and pitmaster Chris Capell was asked to answer his take on barbecue sauce. The questions and responses were so valuable, we thought we’d include them as Dizzy Tips for this edition of Dizzy News.
Question: Chris, Please explain your saucing techniques. For instance with ribs, do you sauce before or after you put the ribs in the foil wrap and do you finish over a flame?
Chris: I like to sauce just before serving. Occasionally I will caramelize the sauce onto the meat, but most of the time I just want something to give the meat some sheen and prepare the palate.
Question: When it comes to your sauces, I imagine you have a "mother sauce" that has been tweaked and refined.
Chris: I have been working on sauces of my own, and I still keep coming back to commercial sauces. There are so many good ones that fit the "BBQ profile", and most can be improved with a little tweaking.
Question: Care to share one of your BBQ sauce recipes...or at least some of the key components of your sauce?
Chris: My favorite sauces include Blues Hog, Slabs, Pellet Envy's EAT "The Next Big Thing", and doctored Sweet Baby Rays!
Question:Any other saucing secrets? They would be appreciated.
Chris: For me, a sauce has one major purpose, and that is to prepare your palate for what will follow. The sauce is the first thing that hits your mouth. It will coat the tongue, wake up the senses, and get your palate ready for the rich smoked meat and flavorful spice crust that follows the initial tanginess and sweetness. As long as that sauce compliments what is underneath, you are good-to-go. Sweet Baby Rays® does quite a nice job of this. Adjust the flavors to your liking by adding vinegar, honey, butter, fruit preserves...whatever you want. Just don't use a sauce that has too much flavor on its own. You've worked so hard to build up the flavor on your meat.
Oh...one more thing. It is a GREAT exercise to try different sauces on the same meat. Have some friends over and pour out different sauces into multiple bowls. Have everyone vote on which sauce best compliments the meat. I have learned a great deal this way.
Editor’s note: You can purchase all the sauces Chris mentions above (with the exception of SBRs...but you can get that anywhere!) at our retail store in Manassas, VA. We do not sell or ship sauce via online orders at this time.