I love barbecues. I’m a voracious carnivore and the hedonism of sitting in a sunny backyard and gnawing ribs off a bone at a barbecue – while hitting hungry hornets – is what I consider one of the greatest pleasures in life. The term barbecue, however, can sometimes seem limiting. Do all barbecue sauces really have to have the same formula and flavor profile: hot brown sugar, tangy ketchup, vinegar splash? Absolutely not.
The definition of barbecue is slowly being redefined in America. It doesn’t just mean smoked breast or flame-grilled chicken. The barbecue can be grated jackfruit. It can be tofu plates. It can be meats marinated with lemongrass, fish sauce, and tons of garlic, the same way barbecue works in Vietnam.
With that in mind, I decided to explore alternative sauces that pair well with this vast world of barbecue. I love the zipper of zesty chili oils paired with beef, the reimagined version of classic Worcestershire sauce topped with burgers, and a creamy avocado sauce with chicken. These sauces can serve as marinades or be used to finish off your favorite cut of beef. Here are some pot and bottled sauces you should pick up to reinvent your next barbecue in your backyard: