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>GF BBQ Sauces & Rubs

Posted on August 25, 2009 by Glutenfreeda

>What separates a good barbecue from a fabulous barbecue? Delicious sauces and rubs! The flavor of any meat, fish or vegetables can be greatly enhanced by marinating, using a rub and or basting with a sauce towards the end of the cooking process.

The terrific news is that all homemade marinades, rubs and sauces are easy to make and easy to make gluten-free.

Barbecue sauces can be made with a limitless combination of ingredients to produce traditional to very uncommon flavors. Although there are probably a million different formulas, there are five different groups of ingredients that combined together will produce delicious barbecue sauces; tomato ingredients, sweet ingredients, sour ingredients, liquids or flavorings and spices. We have a simple formula that you can use to experiment an develop your own signature sauces:

  • 4 cups of tomato ingredients
  • 1 cup of sweet ingredients
  • Up to 1 cup of sour ingredients, add a little at a time to taste
  • Up to 1/4 cup liquid or flavoring ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • Up to 4 teaspoons spice ingredients


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

Ideas for Ingredients:

Tomato ingredients

  • Gf Catsup, tomato paste, tomato sauce

Sweet ingredients

  • Gf brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup

Sour ingredients

  • Vinegars, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, wine

Liquids and flavors

  • Fruit juices, jellies, gf hot sauce, mustard, soft drinks, gf soy sauce, gf chicken and beef stock, water, Worcestershire sauce


  • Allspice, basil, cayenne, celery, chervil, chili powder, chipotle powder chives, cilantro, coriander, cumin, dill, dry mustard, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon, lime and orange zest, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, onion, oregano, paprika, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, sage, savory, salt, thyme, etc.

Be sure you right down your formulas so you can recreate your favorites!

Rubs are a combination of sugars, salts and dried spices and peppers. The prepared rub mix is ‘rubbed’ all over the meat you are going to grill or BBQ prior to cooking. For meats, we like to apply the rub generously about 4-6 hours before cooking. For fish, we apply the rub sparingly and just before cooking. Sauces can be basted on over rubbed foods or the rub can provide the flavoring by itself with terrific results!

The formula:

  • 1 cup sugar ingredients
  • 1 cup salt ingredients
  • 1/3-1/2 cup paprika
  • 2-4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons pepper
  • 3-4 spice ingredients, up to 1 teaspoon each


Blend all ingredients well.

Ideas for Ingredients:


  • Brown sugar
  • Maple sugar
  • White sugar


  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion salt
  • Celery salt


  • Same as for sauces

You can’t go wrong by following the general formulas and you’ll come up with special sauces and rubs of your own!


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