Barbecue sauce might just be one of the most mis understood items used in grilling. Tomatoes and sugar, which are the base of most sauces, both have low burning temperatures. I get annoyed, when I go to my favorite meat market, and they have pork ribs soaking in barbecue sauce, for customers to purchase and grill. A lot of people, might believe these are grill ready, and that the sauce may make the meat moist and tender. Unfortunately, a crust of tomatoes and sugar get charred on the meat, and the meat dried out or gets tough. A lot of people lose their BBQ mojo by using this technique. Those ribs should only be slow cooked at a low temperature if you want to marinate them in sauce.
The deal is, you should baste the meat, just before removing from the grill for 15-20 minutes and while the temperature is reduced. This sets up a nice tender surface and prevents the sauce from being burned. If you feel that the meat needs a deeper and more intense flavor, you might want to apply a rub before grilling. In the near future, I will offer up more BBQ info as well as recipes for rubs, marinades, and mop sauces.
In the meantime, you have got to try this easy sauce. The sugar base is root beer, which also makes a nice, dark sauce. but I need to offer a warning: Once you start making your own BBQ sauce, you will be unable to seriously entertain the idea of purchasing store bought products anymore. It is so easy to make your own, and others will demand that you do! So, good luck and enjoy!
ROOT BEER BARBECUE SAUCE
2 cups root beer
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried onion
Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate.