4 BBQ sauce recipes by Steven Raichlen, the undisputed master of the grill

4 BBQ sauce recipes from Steven Raichlen, the undisputed master of the grill


Author of some twenty best-sellers sold several million copies, Steven Raichlen is launching a book essential recipe for any grilling enthusiast entitled Barbecue Sauces. There are rubs, marinades, sauces and chutneys inspired from around the world.

4 BBQ sauce recipes by Steven Raichlen, the undisputed grill master

Barbecue Sauces
Steven Raichlen
Les Éditions de l'Homme

Published by Éditions de l'Homme, Barbecue Saucesis a real journey through cultures and times. Steven Raichlen, TV series host and author of numerous books on the art of cooking over the fire, sees sauces and other condiments as the signature of our identity as humans. “You might think that there are other animals that cook, like some ants that make honeydew, but humans are the only ones who season, add salt, spices and condiments to their food. You could say it makes us human,” says the author, who studied medieval cuisine in Europe.

Sauces are also a reflection of the cultures and environments where human peoples live, and it's worth taking advantage of our three meals a day to explore those traditions, he continues. “All over the world, seasonings have been invented that reflect the philosophy, tastes and products available locally. In Uruguay, for example, we seek simplicity, we like meat to taste like meat, whereas in the United States and India, it is the spices that matter, sometimes to the point where it is difficult to discern the taste. meat. »

Thrilling as a novel, Barbecue Saucesdelivers and contextualizes a host of recipes for sauces, marinades, chutneys, butters and other seasonings to accompany all types of grilling. Its detailed explanations make it possible to understand their uses, how and in what order to use these different preparations.

“In the United States, we developed the principle of perfume leveling. For example, when cooking ribs, you can start by rubbing with a rub, then, once on the grill, you brush with a glaze or beer, and finally, you serve with a barbecue sauce. You get a more complex, fuller taste,” says Steven Raichlen. 


Steven Raichlen, author of the cookbook Barbecue Sauces, suggests going through three steps to add flavor to our grills.

  • “Before cooking, when the meat is raw, this is the time to use rubs and marinades”, explains Steven Raichlen.
  • The second stage takes place when the cooking. “If you are making, for example, a chicken supreme on the grill, you can brush with an oil-based glaze, or apply wine or beer with a spray bottle. If you want to apply a barbecue sauce, I suggest doing it at the end of cooking, because the sugar tends to burn”, he continues.
  • Finally, when the meat is cooked and ready to serve, another opportunity arises, adds Steven Raichlen: “With barbecue sauces, but also chutneys, sambal sauces, salsa, chimichurri, we still have other ways to add a little more flavor. » 

Dalmatian or Tricolor Spice Rub 

Sometimes moderation tastes better. This is true of the Dalmatian mix used by new wave grillers to transform beef brisket and ribs into succulent dishes. By mixing equal parts of coarse salt (sea or kosher) and crushed black peppercorns, you get a preparation reminiscent of the fur of a Dalmatian. By adding hot pepper flakes, you get a three-color mixture. Both are sublime on grilled or smoked beef. 

  • Quantity: 250 ml (1 cup)


125 ml (1/2 cup) coarse salt (sea or kosher)

125 ml (1/2 cup) coarsely ground or crushed black peppercorns

60 ml (1/4 cup) hot pepper flakes (optional)


  • Mix the salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes, if desired, with your fingers or a small whisk. Protected from heat and light, in an airtight jar, it will keep for several weeks. 


This simple seasoning works well with grilled steak, brisket or smoked prime rib, as well as pork, lamb and veal chops.

How to grind or grind black peppercorns

Crushed or ground black pepper works well in spice rub blends. For steaks and other meats, I prefer ground grains. They can be ground by passing them through a pepper mill set to the coarsest grind. You can also do this by wrapping a few pinches of grains in a cloth and crushing them with a rolling pin or a cast iron skillet. You can also use a sturdy mortar and pestle. In France, crushed or coarsely ground peppercorns are called mignonette; it is used to prepare pepper steak. 

Dalmatian ribs 

Salt and pepper beef ribs


Although very simple, these ribs are by no means simplistic. The seasoning of salt and pepper forms a flavorful crust that does not, however, drown out the flavor of the meat. I suggest short ribs for this dish, but you can just as easily opt for back ribs or for the main ribs (in the latter case, count 6 to 8 hours of cooking).

  • Quantity: 4 servings


1 4 lbs (.8 kg) short ribs (opt for large, meaty ribs)

125 mL (1/2 cup) Dalmatian or Tri-Color Spice Rub, or as needed


Hickory, oak or other hardwood


  • Set smoker according to manufacturer's instructions and preheat at 125°C (250°F). If it is a charcoal barbecue, only use half the charcoal normally contained in the chimney.
  • Generously season the ribs on all sides with the spice blend of your choice and place them, flesh side up, on the smoker rack.
  • Smoke the ribs for 3 to 4 hours or until that they are very dark, tender and cooked through; they are known to be done when the flesh has receded about 1 to 2.5 cm (1/2 to 1 inch) from the end of the bones and the internal temperature is about 95°C ( 200°F).
  • Place the ribs on a plate, cover them with an aluminum foil tent and let them rest for 15 minutes. Serve with the barbecue sauce of your choice. 


For more flavor, set the grill for direct cooking and preheat to high. Brush the grid and coat it with oil. When ready to serve, brush the ribs on all sides with barbecue sauce and grill over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, until the sauce sizzles and penetrates the meat. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side. 

Sweet marinade with sesame and soy sauce 

This marinade combines seasonings from various Asian cultures: soy sauce and sake from Japan, oil and sesame seeds from Korea, five-spice and oyster sauce from China, not to mention the western side , the jalapeño peppers of the United States. Together they can transform poultry, meat, fish, seafood and even tofu into an exceptional grill. Opt for toasted sesame oil, prepared with roasted sesame seeds. Oyster sauce is a thick pickled condiment found in Asian grocery stores and many supermarkets. 

  • Quantity: 375 ml (1 1 /2 cup), for 900 g (2 lb) of meat


80 ml (1/3 cup) toasted sesame oil

80 ml (1/3 cup) sake, rice wine or dry sherry

80 ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce

3 tbsp. oyster sauce (optional)

3 tbsp. brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tbsp. tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 green onions (green and white parts), trimmed and minced

2 strips of lemon zest

1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

1 tbsp. tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1/2 tsp. quality five-spice powder


  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. with a spoon or by beating with a whisk. Use within hours.


This versatile marinade can be used to enhance just about any food – shrimp, fish, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, tofu. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator, small pieces such as shrimp, 30 minutes, chicken breast and fish fillet, 2 to 4 hours, ribs and whole chicken, 6 to 8 hours, and large pieces such as leg of lamb, 1 to 2 days. 

Fresh mango chutney 

For most people, mango chutney is a kind of sweet and spicy jam. This one covers grilled chicken or fish like a sauce. Opt for very ripe mangoes: keep them in a paper bag at room temperature until they are soft and fragrant. Note: If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves when peeling mangoes, as the oil from their skin can cause a poison ivy-like rash.

  • 500 ml (2 cups), for 6 to 8 servings


2 to 4 very ripe mangoes, or enough to obtain 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of puree

3 to 4 tbsp. tablespoons cold water, as needed

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 French shallots, peeled and minced

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, or more to taste

1 to 3 tbsp. Thai chili paste or chili sauce

1 tbsp. tablespoons golden brown sugar, or more to taste

Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Peel the mangoes and take out the flesh. Reduce it to a smooth purée in a food processor. Place in a colander over a large measuring cup. You need 375 ml (1 1/2 cups). If the mango is too thick for the colander, add a few tablespoons of water before straining.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the shallots, garlic, ginger and jalapeño for 3 minutes or until the ingredients are tender without being coloured. Add the mango purée and simmer for 3 minutes. Add cilantro, lime juice, chili paste, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and simmer for 2 minutes. If necessary, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. For a sweeter chutney add brown sugar, for a more acidic chutney add lime juice. Put in jars, cover, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate. The chutney will keep for several weeks. 


As this fruity chutney is of Indian origin, it is suitable for all particularly with tandooris and other barbecue cooking. Its complex flavor – sweet, tangy, fruity, tangy and aromatic – pairs wonderfully with rich grilled and smoked meats, including poultry and pork, as well as grilled and smoked salmon.