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When someone mentions barbecue,  images come to the mind like cooking at the backyard grill, friends gathering and cooking meat slowly over wood and smoke that adds flavor to the food.

Start your barbecue with your favorite fresh ingredients from Joe’s Butcher Shop in Elmer or Niblock’s Pork Shop in Quinton. Both locations are Xspero Merchant partners.  So when you use your Xspero app to make your meat purchase, 20% goes to your favorite charity – without costing you more!

Different cooks have different preferences and styles in their cooking. Some prefer rubbing the seasoning prior to cooking and some prefer to soak the meat first in special marinades. The preparation and ingredients for marinating may differ. However, no perfect barbecue will taste as good without the perfect barbecue sauce.

Barbecue sauces can generally be categorized by what they are based on. Common examples are tomato, vinegar and mustard-based sauces. To give the barbecue its distinctive taste and prevent the meat from burning easily, barbecue sauces are often applied to the meat while being cooked with the exemption of tomato-based barbecue sauces as those sauces tend to burn easier.

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Barbecue sauce preparation can either be sweet, sour, tangy, spicy, hot, thick or thin. The varieties are almost endless!

The basics of Barbecue sauces…

Tomato-based barbecue sauce is the most widely used. The point to remember in preparing tomato-based barbecue sauces is to cook the tomatoes very well in order for the flavor to blend with the other ingredients. Tomato-based barbecue sauces are acidic. Because of this, it has the property to breakdown all the flavors of other ingredients blending them with its own. To make it even more flavorful, prepare tomato barbecue sauces a day in advance.

Mustard-based sauces are popular in North Carolina. The mustard-based barbecue sauce is great for grilling pork.

Vinegar is a great meat tenderizer. It is even more acidic than tomatoes. Because of its acidic content, vinegar-based sauces tend to penetrate deep into the meat. To make this barbecue sauce more flavorful, experiment mixing it with chili, cider, vinegar or red pepper, sugar, salt, and all the other ingredients that you want it to have.

Remember whatever works for you and your family can be a great barbecue sauce. So start experimenting! Whether you’re adding chicken, pork, or beef to your grill make sure you stop by Niblock’s Pork Shop or Joe’s Butcher Shop for the freshest meats and sides to make your barbecue everything you dreamed it could be. Don’t forget to use your Xspero app to give to your favorite charity without costing you more!

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Don’t have the Xspero app yet? Download it today from your phone’s app store and get to giving today, because giving feels good!

Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels