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To Sauce, or Not to Sauce? That is the Question

bclarksiclebclarksicle Posts: 71
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
It's been interesting to see how my personal tastes have changed since I became an egg owner.  Curious if anyone else has had a similar experience.  

Pre-egg, bbq sauce was a must for me.  If I was at a bbq restaurant, I'd basically douse my whole plate with sauce.  It was as natural as ketchup to fries.  Then I got an egg.  The first time I made ribs, I made 3 racks, 2 wet and 1 dry, just to see how dry would turn out.  To my surprise, the dry ribs were delicious and had a depth of flavor I hadn't experienced.  With the sauced ribs, all I could taste was the sauce.  

Pretty soon, my whole family was going sauceless for ribs.  Then I made a brisket, and experienced the same thing.  I bought a bunch of ingredients and spent a lot of time making a great sauce...only to decide that the egg-cooked brisket didn't actually need it.  

With pulled pork, I still like a nice vinegar sauce served at the table, but other than that, I'm a no-sauce guy now.  Anybody else with me?  Or is sauce still a key component for you? 

Comments

  • proline19proline19 Posts: 5
    Now your talking. Sauce just hides the favors of will cooked meats on the BGE.
  • joe@bgejoe@bge Posts: 394
    It depends on my mood...I like my 'Q both ways - but I have developed a whole new level of appreciation of what the Egg brings to the table in regards to flavor in meat.

  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
    edited May 2012
    With me,  it depends on the dish.  For Asian stir fry, the sauce is the most important ingredient in that it gives the dish it's distinctive flavor.  For a beef brisket, I like sauce, but only on the side as a dipping sauce.  I'll dip, maybe every 4th bite.  I like sauces on chickens because I don't think they have much of a flavor on their own.  The few times I've done ribs, I like to apply a sauce to the ribs about 10 minutes before pulling, but I don't use a sauce after that.

    To me, the argument that a sauce "hides" the flavor of the meat doesn't hold water.  If you put a rub on your meat prior to cooking, you are modifying the flavor of the end product of the meat also.  So, unless you want to cook your meat "au natural" without any spices, then a sauce is appropriate.

    That's just me.


    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,117
    Years ago I went to Corky's original restaurant in Memphis.  If you got a large order of ribs, you could get half dry and half "wet".  I had never even heard of ribs without sauce.  Since that day, I have never had sauce on my ribs, unless it is 17th Street Bar and Grill Sauce.

    17th Street is a very thin sauce that does not sit on the ribs, it actually soaks in and it adds another level of flavor and you can barely tell it is on the meat.

    Try it sometime.  It is the best of both worlds.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,243
    I agree, the meat generally doesn't need a sauce if you have layered the flavors well on the meat, and cooked it moist.

    However, a sauce can do some pretty cool stuff if you pick the right one. It can add a tang and a sweetness that might not be available underneath. And if not overused, it can slow the flavors down on your tongue as well. So, if I can find a sauce that can do all of the above and enhance, rather than cover, the flavor of the meat....I prefer a little sauce!

    But hey....isn't it cool we can make our own decisions?
    Happy cookin!
    Chris
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    I'm with you bclarksicle,  I like fries because they are the vessel to get the ketchup to my face.  I used to DROWN my ribs in sauce.   I've only been egging two weeks, but since I took the first rack off to taste prior to sauce, I was stunned.  I thought wow, if they are this good now, they are going to ROCK with sauce.   But the sauce, as much as I love it, took away some of the flavor.  The rib once again became the means to eat sauce.  

    So for the last two weeks I'm struggling with a new sauce recipe where I can sauce just a little, give it a little more flavor, but not lose that great basic rib taste.  I want some of that vinegar tang with a smoky depth of classic texas sauce, and yet fully enjoy what the main ingredient brings to the table.  I want it ALL! dammit, and with the egg, no reason we can't have it.  :D

    short answer: yes, the egg has changed everything.

    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    p.s.  --I'm also a 'fall off the bone' convert.  They no longer need to fall off the bone like I was always told.  That said, I'll still do some that way,  with sauce, for friends and family that like it that way, and will not argue with those who say fall off the bone is better.   As Red Green says  "remember, we're all in this together"
    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,117
    p.s.  --I'm also a 'fall off the bone' convert.  They no longer need to fall off the bone like I was always told.  That said, I'll still do some that way,  with sauce, for friends and family that like it that way, and will not argue with those who say fall off the bone is better.   As Red Green says  "remember, we're all in this together"
    I always try to cook to the crowd I'm feeding and not a competition judge.  I have a grandson who loves sauce on anything, so I always make sure he has some ribs that are drenched in sauce and the rest of us eat them dry or 17th St. sauce.
  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 235
    I have ditched sauce on steaks.  I used to be a big A1 guy, but then two things happened.  First, I switched from the cheap stuff to organic grass-fed beef (much better flavor IMO).  Then I got the egg.  The combination of those two means that my A1 sits in the fridge.  I also go saucless on a good pork chop.  But with ribs, chicken, pulled pork, I still do some sauce, but just lightly.  I like the flavors it adds on those.  But, to each his own.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,008
    Where and when I grew up, there was no "authentic" BBQ. BBQ just meant something with some sauce poured on it.

    When a few places showed up, serving ribs, they were always sauced. FWIW, they mostly did a carry out business.

    Some years later, I visited a friend who had moved to Arkansas. We went to a local place, and ordered ribs. When they were served, there was no sauce. I asked "where's the sauce?" My friend pointed to a bottle of Tabasco on the table, and replied "They would probably make something else if you asked, but I think they'd be p_____."

    Not too long after, I found out that the best place where I lived would in fact just put some sauce in a cup on the side if you asked. It was worth finding out how good their ribs tasted without anything. The down side was that if it took to long getting home, the unsauced ribs could be unpleasantly cool. For carry-out, sauce is useful.

    Most of the time, I aim at dry ribs. I do serve with a bit of heated sauce on the side, but its hard finding a sauce that adds much. If I could just figure out how to juice up those gallons of Open Pit at the store, I might "go wet" more often.
  • I do like sauce but I'm kind of in VI's camp. Depends on the cook and what mood I'm in.

    Sauce is a restaranteur's best friend. Try keeping a brisket moist for 4 hours through a lunch rush. You should need far less sauce with fresh food at home.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    my wife makes a fantastic sauce for ribs.  each time, she uses the same ingredients, but varies it depending on the mood.  it's always good.  i can't come close when i try to do it.

    i put some on ribs for the last half hour or so, to get gummy.  it's not too thin, or too thick.  smoke comes through, as does the rub, especially since there's a lot of the same ingredients.

    grew up knowing only 'wet' ribs here in NE, and i don't think it takes away from them. i also have smoke throughout most of the cook, so the sauce doesn't seem too fresh as though it's late to the party.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I sauce mine (ribs) on the egg too but i dont sauce again at the table.

  • Drphil9001Drphil9001 Posts: 24
    I have been making a Strawberry BBQ Sauce and put it on the side at the table. Ribs are done dry and then anyone can sauce to their hearts content!
  • Sgt93Sgt93 Posts: 704
    I like to sauce at times but overall, I like dry rubbed better. The flavor of the meat explodes. 
    XL BGE - Small BGE - A bunch of Webers - A bunch of accessories - Ceramic Grill Works 2-Tier 
    Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @SSgt93
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,036
    grew up knowing only 'wet' ribs here in NE, and i don't think it takes away from them. i also have smoke throughout most of the cook, so the sauce doesn't seem too fresh as though it's late to the party.
    Same.  With the egg, I've started making them half dry and half wet.  The wet ones aren't as heavily sauced as I used to do on my weber kettle.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • DIXIEDOGDIXIEDOG Posts: 108
    I like my ribs both ways but when I do sauce I put the sauce on the last 1/2-1 hr and turn the heat up so the sauce is firm....it ends up almost bark like texture....I don't like to have runny sauce on my ribs or resaucing after they are off the Egg.


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