Blog: BBQ Sauce

4 Most Popular Styles of BBQ Sauces

By MariJo Kolze

BBQ Sauce Bottles

BBQ Sauces

When you think of BBQ sauces, you normally think of the traditional red tomato based sauce. In the same way that there are different kinds of seasonings and rubs, there are also different kinds of BBQ sauces. BBQ sauces usually contain vinegar, ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise as their four main ingredients. From sweet to tangy to even spicy, these ingredients satisfy all the taste buds. These ingredients make up the most popular BBQ sauces and go so well with a variety options of meals. For the perfect meat, you need the perfect sauce! Let's look at the four most popular BBQ sauces in the world.

1. North Carolina Style

BBQ is taken very seriously in North Carolina to such an extent that they have their own recipes divided between the western and eastern regions. The BBQ sauces in Carolina tend to be thinner and runnier rather than thick and paste-like. Since their main base ingredient consists of vinegar, their sauces are thinner and a bit more tangy.

On the eastern side of Carolina, is that traditional thin vinegar sauce. A primarily vinegar-based sauce is served with red pepper flakes, some salt, and pepper. In comparison to the Western style, this one is spicier and lighter. For those who love a strong tangy flavor on their meat, this sauce is perfect. 

The sauce on the western side of Carolina is a bit sweeter and richer, called Lexington style. They thicken their recipe by adding some ketchup and brown sugar. Adding these ingredients will help to balance out the vinegar's tanginess, and they complement the recipe well. Pork is a popular choice with this sauce since the sauce balances out the fattier pork. For your next meal, try this North Carolina style pork sandwich!

2. South Carolina

If you love mustard, you’ll love this BBQ sauce. Since mustard is its main ingredient, it gives off a tangy, spicy taste, opposed to a sweet taste like tomato-based sauces. It is very simple to make your own homemade South Carolina BBQ sauce since you only need a few ingredients. In addition to yellow mustard, this recipe calls for some vinegar, spices, and brown sugar to balance out some of the tanginess. Many people use this type of BBQ sauce as a finisher for their chicken or pork. This sauce is often used to make juicy pulled pork sandwiches. Make sure to try a South Carolina BBQ recipe if you enjoy tangy flavors and a kick of heat!

3. Kansas City

Kansas City BBQ sauces are among the most popular sauces you probably have at home. Typically, this sauce is in the form of ketchup and has a thick tomato base. Other ingredients include brown sugar and molasses for sweetness, as well as chili powder and spices for an extra zing. The combination of these ingredients results in a sweet, but tangy, flavor. Kansas City BBQ Sauce can be eaten in many different ways, but it is particularly good on beef, pork, and chicken. As a glaze for steak or a sauce for ribs, a tomato-based BBQ sauce like this is excellent. Next time you want to make tasty ribs, try this recipe! You will enjoy this sauce no matter what you use it for!

4. Alabama White

Alabama White BBQ sauces are the perfect side dipping sauce for your meal. White creamy bases aren't what you think of when it comes to BBQ sauces. Mayonnaise is used as a base, along with other ingredients like mustard, vinegar, and other spices. The vinegar and lemon juice in the sauce make it a nice texture, so it's not as thick as it may seem. With these ingredients, you can create a nice creamy dipping or topping for your meat. The majority of people prefer this type of sauce on chicken, like freshly grilled chicken that has just come off the grill or smoker. You can even use this BBQ sauce on a side dish such as coleslaw or potato salad. Check out this nice and flavorful Alabama White sauce chicken recipe!

Choosing The Right BBQ Sauce 

Choosing the right BBQ sauce all depends on what you plan to cook. For instance, if you plan on grilling chicken you might want to use a Carolina sauce to marinate the chicken, or use an Alabama White sauce to dip it in. When it comes to ribs, the classic Kansas City will give you the perfect barbecue flavor that is sweet and tangy at the same time. In addition, if you are planning to grill burgers with your friends and family, choose a western North Carolina sauce to put between the buns. With the vinegar base, the ketchup and the vinegar will come together nicely. There are of course the classic pulled pork sandwiches. Rub the South Carolina sauce between the buns and toppings to give the sandwich a sweet flavor but powerful taste. All of these BBQ sauces are delicious and will give your food a great flavor. Try them all, and you may even discover your favorite!

Read more

BBQ Rubs vs BBQ Sauces: Which to Use

By MariJo Kolze

Spices and Sauces

Every BBQ lover knows that spices and sauces enhance the flavor of their meats. Despite this, few people know the difference between the types of rubs and BBQ sauces and when they should use each. The choice to use a spice or sauce depends entirely on the cook, but there are a few tips that can help make your decision easier. While these methods may be used differently, they both add a nice flavorful taste to your meat!

Types of Rubs 

Rubs are one of the most common ways to season meat while grilling. A rub in general, is a mixture of spices and seasonings that are applied to the outside of meat before it is cooked. Depending on the cut or marbling of the meat, some meats don't need much seasoning. However, some meats may require additional seasoning, such as rubs, to enhance their taste. 

Dry Rubs

In dry rubs, various spices, sugars and herbs are combined. A dry rub typically contains ingredients like paprika, pepper, and sugar. Ultimately, it's a seasoning made from several dry ingredients. Dry rubs not only add a nice crust and bark to your meat, but it also intensifies its flavor. A popular dry rub that is great on every protein, including shrimp is The Gospel’s All-Purpose Southwestern rub. The ingredients in this rub include paprika, sugar, garlic, and other spices to give off an incredible BBQ flavor. 

Wet Rubs

A wet rub contains many of the same ingredients as a dry rub. The only difference between the two is that a wet rub contains a liquid ingredient. If your meat is somewhat dry from the start, using a wet rub is a great option. When forming a wet rub, it is important to have enough liquid ingredients to make the paste thick and strong enough to apply to meat. Oil, vinegar, mustard, and even alcohol are some of the wet ingredients used in different types of rubs. Liquid ingredients like these allow dry and wet ingredients to adhere to the meat and create a powerful flavor. For your next meal, try Kinder's original wet rub sample! 

When to Apply a Rub

The process of using both a wet and dry rub is very simple. Before you apply your rubs, you want to make sure you pat down your meat with a paper towel in order to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Then you can apply your rubs to your meat by using your hands to make sure the spices and herbs are absorbed into the meat. You'll get a nice and crispy texture when your spices soak into the meat. If you want the best flavor, add the dry rub to the steak at least an hour before grilling. However, you can add the dry rub as little as right before you throw it on the grill. For wet rubs, apply the rub about an hour before grilling, or up to several hours before if you have time. The results of a wet rub will be similar to those of a dry rub, but the meat will contain more moisture.

For cooking with rubs, it is important to know what kind of temperature and meats work best with each rub. Dry rubs can be applied to almost anything, which makes them very versatile. As they can be used under a grill or in the oven, they are an excellent choice for high heat temperatures. Dry rubs go well with protein options such as beef, pork, and chicken. When choosing a dry rub for your meat, look for ingredients such as brown sugar, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder. Utilize Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub for a smoky, sweet flavor with a kick. For a stronger blend of flavor, try Traeger's Beef Rub, which goes well with ribs, ribeyes, and other beef cuts. 

In terms of cooking with a wet rub, you should ensure that it remains as a paste on your meat, rather than turning into a liquid marinade. For this reason, you should prepare your meat at low temperatures so that it does not burn. If you cook your meat at a low temperature, your meat's crust will absorb the sugars rather than burning them. Slow-cooked pork or beef roast are some great options that pair well with wet rubs. The slow cooking allows the wet rub to create a beautiful bark on the outside while keeping the moisture inside. For the next time you cook pork, try this recipe!

What is BBQ Sauce?

BBQ sauce was created in the 17th century as a way to enhance grilling. Back then, BBQ sauce consisted only of salt, vinegar, and pepper. BBQ sauces were so popular for BBQ as they serve as a form of marinade where they enhance the flavor of the meat and tenderize it. BBQ sauces today are normally made with some kind of enzyme, like a fruit, and an acidic ingredient, like vinegar that helps break down the meat's proteins. It will also include ingredients such as ketchup, chili peppers, mustard, etc. The ingredients in the sauces are essential as they help bring flavor to the meat throughout the cooking process, as well as after. 

BBQ sauces have a reasonable amount of sugar, therefore adding the sauce towards the end of the cooking process will keep it from overcooking and burning your meat. Sugar in BBQ sauces is crucial to developing the flavor of your meat, but can burn at high temperatures. For this, you should apply your BBQ sauce of choice around the last 10 minutes of cooking so that you capture the ideal taste without overdoing it. Remember this tip next time you light up the grill, because many people forget and end up burning their perfect meal by putting on the sauce too soon. 

The choice is yours whether or not to use BBQ sauce as a marinade or dipping sauce. We recommend you try our famous Waterloo BBQ Sauce as the dipping sauce of your choice. If you want to use BBQ sauce as a marinade, we recommend you choose meats that need to be cooked for longer periods like ribs. However, if you wanted to use it as a dipping sauce, some fan favorite meals are pulled pork sandwiches or any pulled meats. Either way you choose to use your BBQ sauce as a condiment on your meal, or even as a marinade, you can’t go wrong!

Can you use both for BBQ?

To get the best of both worlds, you can definitely use both a rub and a BBQ sauce when preparing your meat. In fact, most BBQ lovers use both while cooking. When using both, apply the dry rub to the meat first before grilling it, so it will absorb as much flavor as possible. As you are about to remove the meat from the grill, then apply your BBQ sauce. In case you cannot decide between a dry or wet seasoning, your BBQ sauce can be served on the side. You can’t go wrong with either method of seasoning as they both enhance and elevate the flavor of meat!

Read more

How The Waterloo BBQ Sauce Was Invented

By MariJo Kolze

More than 37 years ago, The Waterloo BBQ began its journey. In 1984, Bette and JT Thomas opened the restaurant with the goal of providing Northern Californians with a place where they could share food and create unforgettable memories. In addition to the great food and atmosphere, the Waterloo BBQ sauce is what keeps people coming back. It wasn't until we discovered how sacred it was that we planned to bottle and sell our barbecue sauce.

Despite all odds, Bette and JT Thomas, the owners of the Waterloo BBQ, were unsure of just how far their restaurant would go when they first opened. Let alone, they didn't realize how far their barbecue sauce would go. The true creation of our original barbecue sauce was not discovered until customers began raving about it. Our barbecue sauce was so popular that people kept trying to get a hold of it. They insisted on getting the recipe and having us bottle the barbecue sauce. We had customers who would even bring their own containers to fill with our barbecue sauce. Owner Bette Thomas would fill up customers' containers in the restaurant so they could take some home. In response to high demand for our barbecue sauce, we began bottling and packaging the sauce.

One of the challenges owner Bette and JT faced was packaging the sauce for distribution. Packaging was a much more challenging task back then. The lack of advanced technology made it difficult to create SKU barcodes for the bottles as well as other bottle-related problems. There also were many qualifications and requirements that needed to be met. For instance, they had to make sure the barbecue sauce met all FDA and health requirements. Although bottling the barbecue sauce took a bit of effort, it was well worth it.

One of the best things about the original Waterloo BBQ sauce is that it is made with love and is part of our family. Bette Thomas' original Milano family recipe gives the barbecue sauce its distinct flavor. Both her biological father and her stepfather came up with alterations to the Milano recipe to make it uniquely her own. The original Waterloo BBQ Sauce is a delicious blend of Italian herbs and spices combined with the best of the fresh Northern Californian roots. The success of our BBQ sauce is continuing to grow and would not be possible without the love and support of both our family and customers.


Read more