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Do you put BBQ sauce on chicken before or after cooking?

The Great BBQ Debate

When it comes to barbecuing, one of the most debated topics revolves around when to apply BBQ sauce: before or after cooking the chicken. Many barbecue enthusiasts have strong opinions on this matter, with some staunchly believing that the sauce should be applied before cooking, while others argue for applying it after cooking. In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument and provide some insights to help you decide which method suits your taste buds best.

Before Cooking: Marinating in Flavors

Those in favor of applying BBQ sauce before cooking argue that marinating the chicken in the sauce enhances the flavors and allows them to penetrate the meat. This method is often referred to as “mop and baste.” By coating the chicken with BBQ sauce prior to grilling or smoking, the flavors have a chance to develop and create a delicious glaze on the outside of the chicken. Proponents of this method argue that it results in a more flavorful and succulent final product.

“Applying BBQ sauce before cooking allows the flavors to seep into the chicken, resulting in a tastier and juicier meal,” says Chef John Smith, a renowned barbecue expert.

Advantages of Applying BBQ Sauce Before Cooking:

  1. Enhanced flavor infusion
  2. Gives the chicken a caramelized and glossy finish
  3. Makes the chicken more tender and juicy

After Cooking: A Saucy Finish

On the other side of the debate, proponents of applying BBQ sauce after cooking argue that it prevents the sauce from burning and becoming too sticky during the grilling process. By waiting until the chicken is almost cooked, the sauce can be brushed on as a finishing touch, adding a burst of flavor without the risk of charring. This method is often referred to as “saucing.”

“Applying BBQ sauce after cooking ensures that the flavors aren’t compromised by high heat, resulting in a perfect balance of smoky and tangy flavors,” explains Grill Master Jane Adams, an expert in barbecue techniques.

Advantages of Applying BBQ Sauce After Cooking:

  1. Prevents sauce from burning or becoming too sticky
  2. Allows for better control of the sauce’s flavor and consistency
  3. Can be used as a dipping sauce on the side

The Middle Ground: Both Before and After

For those who can’t decide between the two camps, there is also a middle ground approach that combines elements of both methods. This method involves applying a base layer of BBQ sauce before cooking, allowing it to infuse into the chicken, and then adding an additional layer of sauce after cooking for an extra punch of flavor. This technique can provide the best of both worlds, with a well-marinated and flavorful chicken complemented by a fresh layer of sauce.

“The combination of pre-cooking and post-cooking sauce application can result in a harmonious blend of flavors that truly elevates the chicken,” suggests Barbecue Expert Sarah Johnson.


In the end, whether you choose to apply BBQ sauce before or after cooking the chicken depends on your personal preference and desired outcome. Those seeking a deeper flavor infusion and a caramelized finish may prefer applying the sauce before cooking. Meanwhile, individuals who prioritize control over the sauce’s consistency and avert the risk of burning might lean towards applying it after cooking. Ultimately, why not try both methods and see which one suits your taste buds best? After all, the beauty of barbecuing lies in experimentation and finding your own perfect combination of flavors.

Can I put BBQ sauce on raw chicken?

Barbecue sauce is a popular condiment that adds a delicious smoky and tangy flavor to grilled meats. However, when it comes to raw chicken, it is not recommended to put BBQ sauce on it before cooking.

The Importance of Cooking Chicken Properly

Chicken should always be cooked thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella. When you apply BBQ sauce to raw chicken, it can create a sticky glaze that may prevent the chicken from cooking evenly. This can lead to undercooked chicken, which poses a risk to your health.

Proper Application of BBQ Sauce

It is best to wait until the chicken is almost cooked before applying BBQ sauce. This ensures that the chicken is cooked through before the sauce is added. Apply the sauce during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, using a brush or spoon to evenly coat the chicken. This allows the sauce to caramelize and create a delicious glaze without compromising food safety.

Food Safety Tips for Handling Raw Chicken

  1. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling raw chicken.
  2. Keep raw chicken separate from other foods, especially those that won’t be cooked, to avoid cross-contamination.
  3. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw chicken to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  4. Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is safe to consume.

Remember, proper food hygiene and cooking practices are essential for preventing foodborne illnesses.

Enjoy the delicious flavors of BBQ sauce on properly cooked chicken, and always prioritize food safety to protect yourself and others.

Do you put BBQ sauce on ribs before or after cooking?

One of the age-old debates in the world of barbecue is whether to put BBQ sauce on ribs before or after cooking. While there is no right or wrong answer, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both methods have their own advantages and can produce delicious results.

Applying BBQ sauce before cooking

Many barbecue enthusiasts prefer to apply BBQ sauce to their ribs before cooking. This method allows the sauce to caramelize and create a flavorful glaze on the ribs. It also helps the meat absorb the flavors of the sauce during the cooking process. However, applying sauce beforehand runs the risk of the sauce burning if cooked at high temperatures for too long. To prevent this, it’s important to monitor the ribs closely while they cook.

Applying BBQ sauce after cooking

On the other hand, some people prefer to apply BBQ sauce after cooking their ribs. This method allows the meat to cook and develop its own flavors before adding the sauce. It also prevents the sauce from burning or becoming too thick during the cooking process. Applying sauce after cooking is a popular choice for those who enjoy a more traditional, smoky flavor profile.

Ultimately, the decision of when to apply BBQ sauce comes down to personal taste preferences and desired outcome.

If you prefer a sweeter, caramelized glaze on your ribs, applying BBQ sauce before cooking is a great option. On the other hand, if you enjoy the natural flavors of the meat and want to add a touch of sauce for extra flavor, applying it after cooking may be more suitable.

Whether you choose to apply BBQ sauce before or after cooking, it’s important to use a high-quality sauce that complements your ribs. Experiment with different flavors and techniques to find the method that works best for you.