Wet Sauce vs. Dry Rubs: When to Use Each for BBQ

When you talk to BBQ enthusiasts, you’ll find that there are many things that they don’t agree on, but the wet vs. dry debate just might be one of the biggest. The difference between wet sauce and dry rubs really comes down to a case of preference, but there are also some general guidelines that will help you make your choice. Keep in mind that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Many people use both a wet sauce and a dry rub at different stages of cooking to excellent effect.

Do certain meats work better with wet or dry?

Generally speaking, wet sauce is better for meat that is going to cook for an extended period of time, while dry rubs work for things that will cook slowly. For example, a wet sauce may be suited to ribs you intend to cook for hours, while dry rubs are good for fish you throw on the grill. These rules of thumb don’t always apply, however. If you are smoking meat, the cooking time will always be long, but you can use a dry rub during the process.

What is the difference in cooking styles?

Dry rubs are put on meat before cooking. Sometimes, they are allowed to sit on the meat before the cooking process even begins. Wet sauces are typically not applied until near the end of the cooking process. These sauces tend to have sugars that will burn if cooked for longer periods of time. However, sometimes, people using dry rubs use mop sauces throughout the cooking process. These sauces are wet but used sparingly and are not usually as sugary. Some people simply spritz the meat with apple juice or beer during cooking as a mop sauce.

Can I use both?

BBQ fans often use both. Put the dry rub on first, use a mop sauce during cooking if you want, and put the wet sauce on at the end. You can also serve a wet sauce on the side, to keep both dry and wet fans happy.

Why solve the wet sauce and dry rub debate yourself? Let Steamboat Smokehouse do the work for you, with BBQ cooked low and slow. Order takeout or delivery or find out more about the menu by calling Steamboat Smokehouse in Steamboat Springs, CO, at (970) 879-7427.