Barbecuing is as much an art as it is a science. The ability to cook savory meats and vegetables over an open flame is far different than cooking on a stovetop. There is no better feeling than when my child proudly proclaims, “My daddy cooks the best barbecue in the world!” One aspect of good barbecuing is mastering the glaze. No, I don’t mean the painting technique; but in a way the food is our masterpiece. A glaze can add a lot of flavor to an otherwise bland meal, but it’s a delicate balancing act.
What is a glaze for BBQ?
A glaze is often a thick or syrupy solution that goes on top of the meat with a brush, it can be drizzled on the meat or the meat can be dipped in the glaze. Many times the glaze is sweet and savory to balance out the often salty taste of the meat. We can make the glaze ourselves by mixing a few ingredients, but there are plenty of ready-made glazes available in stores from honey glaze to barbecue sauce. Unlike marinades, glazes are meant to be placed on the meat when cooking and not hours earlier or even the night before.
How to Brush a Glaze
When it comes to brushing a glaze on meat, or even vegetables for that matter, timing is everything. Add the glaze too late and the flavor doesn’t set in making the glaze more of condiment like ketchup or mustard. Add it too early and it either burns off or creates a hard crust that that’s inedible.
My favorite way of glazing is to simply brush a few coats on the outside of the food once the meat is nearly cooked. If you’re cooking something like spare ribs, then it’s best to use a thicker and heavier glaze such as barbecue sauce that will really stick to the meat. For something like chicken, a lighter glaze is often more appropriate. Then, let the heat evaporate the moisture and thicken the glaze on the meat.
A Quick Glaze Recipe
The great thing about a glaze is it doesn’t have to be cooked, just mixed. For an easy barbecue glaze, mix the following in a bowl:
- 5 ½ ounces of ketchup
- 5 ounces of tomato paste
- 2 ½ ounces of Tennessee whiskey
- 1 ½ ounces of apple cider vinegar
- ½ ounce of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ ounce molasses
- A dash of salt
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Celery seed
Your glaze is complete.