Can You Use BBQ Sauce With Dry Rub?

When it comes to barbecuing, there are two main components that can take your dishes to the next level – dry rubs and BBQ sauce. Both have their own unique flavors and purposes, but can they be used together? In this article, we will explore whether it is possible to use BBQ sauce with a dry rub.

The Basics: Dry Rubs and BBQ Sauce

Before we dive into the main question, let’s understand what dry rubs and BBQ sauce are.

Dry rubs are a mixture of various spices, herbs, and seasonings that are applied directly onto the meat before cooking. They add flavor, enhance the texture, and create a delicious crust on the surface of the meat. Dry rubs are typically used in low-and-slow cooking methods like smoking or slow roasting.

BBQ sauce, on the other hand, is a thick and tangy sauce that is brushed onto the meat during or after cooking. It adds moisture, sweetness, and a rich flavor to grilled or barbecued dishes. BBQ sauce is often used in high-heat grilling or direct flame cooking methods.

Using Both: The Pros

While dry rubs and BBQ sauce serve different purposes, they can certainly be used together to create a mouthwatering combination of flavors. Here are some advantages of using both:

  • Enhanced Flavor: When you combine dry rubs with BBQ sauce, you get the best of both worlds. The dry rub adds depth and complexity to the meat while the BBQ sauce adds a burst of tanginess and sweetness.
  • Tender and Moist Meat: Dry rubs help to tenderize the meat and create a flavorful crust, while BBQ sauce adds moisture to prevent the meat from drying out during cooking.
  • Contrasting Textures: The dry rub creates a crispy exterior, while the BBQ sauce adds a sticky and saucy layer, resulting in a delightful contrast of textures.

Using Both: The Cons

While combining dry rubs and BBQ sauce can result in delicious flavors, there are a few things to consider:

  • Overpowering Flavors: If you’re not careful with the amount of dry rub and BBQ sauce you use, the flavors can become overwhelming and mask the natural taste of the meat.
  • Burning or Charring: BBQ sauce contains sugar which can burn easily over high heat. If applied too early or cooked for too long, it can result in burnt or charred spots on your meat.

Tips for Using Both

If you decide to use both dry rubs and BBQ sauce together, here are some tips to ensure a successful outcome:

  1. Apply Dry Rub First: Start by massaging your chosen dry rub into the meat. Let it sit for at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate.
  2. Cook Low and Slow: When using both dry rubs and BBQ sauce, opt for low-and-slow cooking methods like smoking or slow roasting.

    This will give enough time for both flavors to develop without burning the sauce.

  3. Baste with BBQ Sauce: During the last 15-30 minutes of cooking, brush the meat with your favorite BBQ sauce. This will allow the sauce to caramelize and create a heavenly glaze.


In summary, using BBQ sauce with a dry rub can result in a tantalizing culinary experience. The combination of flavors, textures, and contrasts can elevate your barbecued dishes to new heights.

However, it is important to use both in moderation and follow proper cooking techniques to avoid overpowering flavors or burnt spots on your meat. So go ahead, experiment with different dry rubs and BBQ sauces, and create mouthwatering masterpieces that will impress your family and friends!