Dear BBQ Friend:
I was smoking up some chicken wings the other day and, of course, you need a good sauce to toss them in afterwards. I had some Texas Pete wing sauce, but I wanted a little more - something different. So, I looked through my fridge
and found some K Pop Korean sauce.
I tasted this stuff that came in one of my BBQ Boxes and it basically tasted like sh*#@t. Literally. It’s main ingredient is gochujang. I know people in different parts of the world have different tastes, but this stuff was nasty. It’s some kind of a cross between hot peppers and Koji which is made from mold.
Now, I want you to keep reading because you are about to learn a very valuable lesson about sauces...
I also had a bottle of Moe Mountain hot sauce which is made from ghost peppers. So, I mixed up about 6 tbsp of the Texas Pete, 4tbsp of honey, a couple dashes of the K Pop and a couple of dashes of the hot sauce. I wasn’t too impressed with the results while I was heating it up in the saucepan, but I went with it anyway.
Some of the best dang wings I have ever had! I was just as surprised as you are! And the moral of the story is this... always try your sauces out “on the meat”. It may taste fine by itself (or not), but once you taste it with some meat, everything changes. That’s because there’s all the other flavors that come with the meat that combine to create a whole new overall taste.
You got your meat taste, your rub, your smoke, and your marinade or injection all working together to create layers of flavor. And the decision to add your sauce after the fact or cook it onto your meat makes a big difference too. Peppers especially will lose a lot of their heat if they are cooked on. This is even more evident when grilling. For instance, you can create the hottest jerk marinade on Earth, but if you grill the chicken, most of that heat will be lost.
Tip: I bought some ice cream a few months ago. It had a name something like moose tracks with sea salt. Sounded good, so I bought some. I thought it would just have a sweet and salty taste. To my surprise, I could actually “feel” (and taste) the sea salt crunch in my mouth. I figured the sea salt would have melted into the ice cream, but they must have sprinkled it in at the end of the churning process when they were filling the containers. That way it didn’t melt as much.
I immediately thought if I could get that same mouthfeel on my sweet chicken and ribs, everybody (including BBQ judges), would absolutely love it. I’ve never tasted BBQ with a crunchy mouthfeel like that and I’m positive BBQ judges would reward you with high scores!