Applying BBQ Sauce on Chicken vs. Beef

We’d like to welcome Scott Lindenhurst of Sauce Authority. Scott is from Western PA and has been a hot connoisseur for years. He began his website with a few friends as they set out on a mission to look to all ends of the world to try every hot and BBQ sauce out there, then document it all!

Recently, Scott reviewed a few of Dat’s Nice sauces and offered the info on his website. When he asked to be a guest contributor to our hot sauce blog and news we thought it was a great idea. He also has a fantastic Facebook page… we’ll supply links at the end.

The following is his personal article:

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Applying BBQ Sauce on Chicken vs. Beef

When you are picking out a good BBQ sauce for the upcoming picnic or family outing, I would hope that you have put thought into what type of food you are having and more importantly what type of sauce you plan on adding to both, right?

One common misconception is that you can have the same process of applying the BBQ sauce no matter the situation – cooking on the grill, baking in the oven, etc. – which is completely untrue.

Another misconception of BBQ sauces is that people think they can use the same sauce no matter what the food item is, which in my opinion is a completely off the mark. And I’m here to tell you how to go about picking a certain sauce for chicken versus beef, and how to apply the sauce to each specific meal.

First, let’s take applying BBQ sauce to the standard grilled chicken. You must first understand that when you are putting BBQ sauce on chicken, I am a huge fan of waiting until the final 10-15 minutes of grilling before applying the sauce. I don’t want to grill the chicken the entire and keep basting it with BBQ sauce; it tends to burn a little bit and that isn’t in my forte. I am the griller who slow cooks the chicken, making sure that it is nice and juicy and just getting to the point where you start really focusing on the finishing touches. That’s when I like to start putting the first of many different layers of BBQ sauce on the chicken, giving it a thick, rich coating that will stick throughout the meal.

A key to applying the sauce to chicken correctly also lies in how much BBQ sauce you use. You don’t want to lather and baste it too much where it turns into a slop of sauce that takes away all the effort you just put into making sure the chicken is juicy and tender. I like to apply a nice solid coating and let it grill for about 4-5 minutes before turning it over and doing the other side of the chicken. After doing both sides once, I put another small coating on and let it sit for only 1-2 minutes on each side before serving. All grillers are different, but this is how I apply to the chicken I grill.

And which type of sauce to use? Well here are some suggestions for chicken. You can’t just take any old BBQ sauce and apply it to a well-cooked piece of chicken. If you are using it to lather on the chicken while still on the grill, then I would go with a BBQ sauce that is on the thick end for obvious reasons. If you use a thick sauce on the grill it tends to stick to the chicken better and doesn’t run off onto the grill. If you use a runny BBQ sauce that is more of vinegar-based or juice-based, then it tends to lack the type of taste in the end that you worked so hard for. Not what you or anyone wants. You can always serve the BBQ sauce on chicken as a dip, depending on what your guests want, but I am bias towards putting it on the last 10 minutes of cooking for the best chicken possible.

Beef is entirely different in my book in terms of applying the sauce. For the use of this article, let’s talk about BBQ beef and how to put the BBQ sauce on it. Unlike the chicken when I don’t put it on until the final minutes of grilling, with beef I make sure that I sliced the beef and mix in the BBQ sauce early on in the process, even before getting it on the grill or in the oven. It is imperative that with beef you lather it on and mix throughout so that the flavor is cooked during the entire process, rather than applying near the end. This way it marinates throughout as it is heating up and you finish with a perfect blend of sweet and tangy sauce that is perfect for nearly any BBQ beef recipe.

The right BBQ sauce for beef has a wide variety of ways to go. Unlike chicken where I whole-heartedly believe that you should apply thicker sauces to it, with the beef you can go either way. Since you are mixing the BBQ sauce from the beginning, you can have the thinner BBQ sauce that is runny or the thicker one that will provide a richer taste. Regardless, the BBQ sauce mixed in early with the slow-cooking mechanism will have the entire party raving about the BBQ beef you prepared, whether it is used as a sandwich or as a sloppy joe favorite.

As you can see, there are two totally different ways to prepare chicken and beef, as well as the sauces to use on both. These aren’t to be taken lightly, believe me! Take the extra time to figure out which works best for you, and it may take a few times, but it is well worth it. The application is huge so don’t half-ass it, and the BBQ sauce makes the perfect combination to both chicken and beef when used correctly.

Next time you have a party and your guests glow about how good the BBQ chicken and BBQ beef are, grin and know that the hard work and knowledge going into the process was all worth it!

Scott Lindenhurst of which features tons of hot sauce and BBQ sauce reviews. You can also Like Scott on Facebook at:


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