Grill Your Best with Chef John's Top-Rated Sauces
Get the most from your summer grilling with Chef John's best grill-friendly sauce recipes. As always, Chef John brings loads of variety, so no matter what you're putting on the barbecue, you'll find the perfect partner to elevate flavors. We're featuring steak sauces, herb sauces, white sauces, tangy vinegar and mustard sauces, and more. Give them a try. And don't miss Chef John's best grilling recipes.
Chef John's Mayo Method Steak Sauce
Here's a terrific last-second steak sauce. More than a recipe, it's actually a formula: Mayonnaise + salty ingredient + spicy ingredient + acidic ingredient + an herby element. Adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. Great any time, it's particularly excellent when the steak is almost done and you realize you're fresh out of steak sauce. "This is my patented method for quick, easy steak sauces," says Chef John.
Carolina-Style Barbeque Sauce
This quick and easy BBQ sauce is based on the tangy, peppery, vinegar-and-mustard sauces popular in South Carolina. The secret? Chunks of apple are sauteed in brown sugar. "This Carolina-style barbeque sauce features fresh apple, but otherwise it's a fairly straightforward, totally in-your-face-with-tang-and-heat recipe," says Chef John. "It is fantastic on pulled pork and molasses-brined pork chops."
Chef John's Chimichurri Sauce
"This herby, garlicky, tangy, spicy, and very green condiment is great on all kinds of grilled meats," says Chef John. Incredibly versatile, Argentina's famous chimichurri sauce is typically paired with grilled meats. Try it over grilled steak, poultry, seafood, and veggies—and sop it up with grilled bread.
Chef John's Romesco Sauce
Roasted red bell peppers, garlic, almonds, and sherry vinegar create a nutty, peppery, smoky, and acidic sauce. "One of the all-time greatest summer sauces, this Spanish classic is perfect with anything off the grill, especially vegetables and seafood," says Chef John. "It also makes for an unbelievable sandwich spread, as well as a perfect secret ingredient for your favorite potato or pasta salad dressings."
Alabama-Style White Barbecue Sauce
A classic Alabama condiment, this tangy and spicy combination of mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, horseradish, and vinegar is a terrific marinade for grilled chicken. "A devastatingly delicious marinade, basting sauce, and serving sauce," says Chef John. It was invented in 1925 by Robert 'Big Bob' Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q restaurant, in Decatur. "
Bourbon Pepper Pan Sauce
"Mastering pan sauces is one of the most important but easiest steps towards producing legit restaurant-quality dishes at home. Assemble all the sauce ingredients before cooking the steak so you can make the sauce during the 5-minute resting time for steak. The rich, sweet, peppery flavor profile also works wonderfully with pork chops and grilled chicken," says Chef John. "You can also switch up the bourbon for another liquor, since this really is just a technique recipe."
Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Sauce with a West Coast Twist
This quick condiment is the perfect partner for grilled chicken and pulled pork. "I'm not sure if using honey instead of sugar really qualifies as a 'West Coast twist,' but it does ensure that people from North Carolina can't attack me for this Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue sauce not being authentic," says Chef John.
Chef John's Grilled Mojo Beef
This Cuban-inspired mojo marinade features garlic, olive oil, orange and lime juices, and spices. "A great all-purpose marinade for just about anything destined for the grill, but skirt steak is my top choice," says Chef John.
Chef John's Grilled Lamb with Mint Orange Sauce
Here's a fun twist on the traditional mint jelly condiment for grilled lamb. "Using a blend of Mediterranean herbs and spices and a touch of cinnamon, these tender grilled lamb chops are served with orange and fresh mint sauce," says Chef John.
A sensational all-purpose sauce, it's delicious with grilled chicken or beef skewer and spring rolls. "It has a gorgeous, luxurious texture," says Chef John. "It's fantastic on any grilled meat or vegetables or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls. This is one of those recipes you're going to have to taste and adjust to your palate. Consider this a template that you can tailor to your personal taste."
Spicy Mango Sauce
This spicy Thai-inspired mango sauce partners perfectly with grilled mahi-mahi, swordfish, salmon, tuna, or grilled meats. Chef John warns, "Do not use a blender or a food processor to mince your mango in this recipe. There is more damage done to the cellular structure in a blender, which can create a noticeably different taste and texture. I'll always believe my spicy mango sauce tastes better because I cut it by hand."
Chef John's Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp
Here's one for the herb gardeners! A super quick, fresh herb sauce to drizzle on top of grilled shrimp. "This grilled garlic and herb shrimp recipe is very easy, if you can just walk out into the backyard, and pick a handful of your own fresh, green sprigs," says Chef John. "However, these are so amazingly delicious, if you don't have a garden, splurge and buy a bunch of all the herbs. And get the extra large shrimp so they can grill longer and get maximum caramelization."
Grilled Skirt Steak with Homemade Asian Barbeque Marinade
"The problem with bottled sauces and marinades is that the only words you recognize on the ingredients list are ‘high fructose corn syrup,' and ‘dehydrated garlic,'" says Chef John. "Hopefully, you will see just how simple this sauce is to make. Not only is it MSG-free, but the flavor is far superior to any of those supermarket bottles."
Grilled Spanish Mustard Beef
Smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a little crushed garlic steal the show with this marinade. It's tremendous for any thin cut of beef — skirt steak, flank steak, round steak, carne asada. Serve your grilled beef on tortillas with cilantro, hot sauce, and avocado slices.