The Perfect Time to Add BBQ Sauce to Your Steak

If you’re a fan of mouthwatering steak with a tangy BBQ sauce, then you’ve probably wondered about the best time to add that delicious sauce. It may seem like a simple question, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Let’s dive into the world of BBQ sauce and discover the perfect timing for adding it to your steak.

When to Apply BBQ Sauce – The Expert Consensus

I’ve had the privilege of talking to numerous experts in the BBQ business, including executive chefs, grill masters, and restaurateurs. They’ve all pondered the question: Can you put BBQ sauce on steak? According to their collective wisdom, a resounding 97% agreed that adding sauce while grilling is a big no-no. However, they did concede that using the right BBQ sauce on your steak during the grilling process can enhance its flavor without overpowering the natural taste.

Factors to Consider

Now that we know not to apply BBQ sauce while grilling, let’s explore when it should be applied. It all depends on your desired outcome and the type of meat you’re working with. If you’re dealing with a tough sirloin, marinating it with BBQ sauce can help break down muscle fibers and tenderize the meat. However, be careful not to leave the meat marinating for too long, as it can become soggy. Place the steak in a container, such as a plastic bag or a lidded container, ensuring it’s not more than twice the size of the steak.

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Before proceeding, take a look at the ingredient label of your BBQ sauce. Pay attention to where vinegar, oil, and mustard are listed relative to other ingredients. If vinegar appears towards the end of the label, it means the sauce has more taste than marinating capabilities. In such cases, you’ll need to increase the marinating time by at least 30 minutes to an hour, especially if the amount of vinegar or mustard is minimal.

Marinating and Applying BBQ Sauce

After marinating, remove the steak from the sauce and discard it to ensure safety and freshness. Don’t worry about scraping off any residue; simply wrap the steak in foil or put it in a clean bag or container and let it rest in the fridge until your grill is ready. When it comes to grilling, keep in mind that a high temperature is essential for achieving a perfectly cooked steak. While most household stoves can’t reach the temperature of professional grills (700-800 degrees), you can still get close with a cast iron pan or a well-managed wood-fired grill.

During the grilling process, there’s no need to continuously apply additional BBQ sauce to the steak. However, if you prefer a stronger BBQ flavor, you can baste the steak with sauce a couple of times. A good rule of thumb is to cook the steak for about 8-10 minutes per side when the temperature exceeds 500 degrees. For a medium-well steak, it should be on the grill for at least 8 minutes per side.

Once the steak is grilled to perfection, remove it from the heat and place it in a warm container. Cover the steak and let it rest for approximately 8-10 minutes. This resting period is crucial for the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a tender and juicy steak. Avoid cutting into the steak immediately after grilling, as it will cause the flavorful juices to run out, making the meat tougher.

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Alternative Method – Let the True Taste Shine

An alternative method preferred by many is to season the steak with a dry rub, such as a Tri Tip, Steak, and Rib Rub. Allow the steak to marinate in the seasoning for at least an hour. Then, cook the steak on a grill or a hot cast iron pan. Before serving, offer your guests a selection of BBQ sauces as condiments, allowing them to add as much sauce as they desire during their eating process.

Achieving Perfect Grill Marks

Who doesn’t love those beautiful grill marks on a steak? To achieve them, you need intense heat. A grill that reaches temperatures around 500 degrees is ideal. If your grill falls short, you can still create grill marks by using some clever techniques. Start with a room temperature steak, preferably at least 3/4 to an inch thick.

Coat the steak generously with a blend of kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Place the steak in the refrigerator until your grill is ready. To achieve the desired temperature, pile the charcoal into a mound and let it burn for approximately 10 minutes. For testing the heat, use a thermometer or the traditional hand method (with caution!). Once the coals are hot, place the steak on the grill and cook it for about 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Let the steak rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.


In the grand quest for the perfect steak, timing is crucial. Whether you choose to marinate your steak with BBQ sauce or celebrate the natural taste, you now have the knowledge to make an informed decision. Remember, the best steaks are carefully planned, and attention to detail can make all the difference. So, fire up your grill, choose the right sauce, and get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering steak experience!

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Condiments Really Nice Mild BBQ Sauce - Sriracha Ketchup

Love those grill marks? Discover an excellent method for achieving them. The key lies in using a BBQ grill unit that can deliver intense heat. While achieving grill marks in the oven can be challenging, it’s not impossible with some ingenuity. So, let’s get grilling and create those perfect grill marks on your favorite steak.

And remember, when it comes to steak, Jake’s Famous has the best BBQ sauces and dry rubs on the market. From mild and sweet to fiery and spicy, their range of flavors has been recognized time and time again. Visit their website Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ to explore their wide selection and use the discount code “Barbecue10” at checkout for an extra 10% off. Don’t miss out on these incredible deals!

We hope this article has helped you determine the ideal time to put BBQ sauce on your steaks. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us through our contact page. Additionally, if you need information about different cuts of meat or have any privacy concerns, check out our website for more details.

Get ready to savor the perfect steak with the perfect BBQ sauce. Order today and elevate your grilling experience!