Dry Rubs vs. Wet Rubs vs. Sauces: What Are The Differences?

Dry rub, wet rub, and bbq sauces are all different options for your grillables.In the BBQ business, we love our options. Even our toppings have options! Your BBQ meats get their flavor from the type of meat, the cut of it, and the cooking technique used, such as smoking, slow-cooking, searing, and more. Another aspect that adds the second punch to the one-two combo of flavor is what you put on it. 

From BBQ dry rubs to the marinades or wet rubs to the sauces, there are many approaches to adding additional flavor to your meal. Most people don’t know the difference between these three toppings. Let’s explore each so you can be the grill king, no matter if you are the cook or you prefer your meal at a restaurant. 

BBQ Dry Rubs

Sometimes simply called a “rub,” BBQ Rubs refer to rubbing dry spices onto meat before you cook it. This technique seasons and flavors the meat and seals the juices inside the cut. Adding a dry rub to your meat gives you a crispy outside and a delectable inside. 

Dry rubs start with a base of salt, sugar, and paprika. From this foundation, you can add any herb, spice, or blend to create different nuances in your flavoring. Get the best out of your dry rub by cooking in dry heat such as smoking, grilling, or pan-frying. 

BBQ Wet Rubs or Marinades

Many people have heard of marinades, but experienced grillers often call these wet rubs. Similar to dry rubs, marinades add flavor and help tenderize meat during the prep stage before cooking. 

The difference comes with the addition of liquid to the spice blend. The juices and acids in the marinade help to break the meat down, preparing it to absorb the flavor. The meat will soak in the mixture for several hours so all the flavor trickles inside the meat. Meats such as chicken or pork that dry out easily benefit from wet rubs. Marinades are best for limited cooking time, but longer prep time is available.

BBQ Sauces

After you finish the cooking, then look for the sauces. Sauces add flavoring just when and where you need it. If used during the cooking process, sauces would end up acting like marinades. 

Get Dry Rub and Marinated Meats Flavored to Perfection at Famous Dave’s

There you have it, the most important info on dry rubs, wet rubs (or marinades), and sauces. Go out and try it on your own when you have a grilling night. Here at Famous Dave’s, we believe in our smoking and cooking process. Our food stands on its own. To take your flavoring to the next level, try out one of our signature sauces including:

  • Rich & Sassy® Mild
  • Buffalo 
  • Devil’s Spit® 
  • Wilbur’s Revenge® 

Top 4 Tips for Fall Outings with Famous Dave's

With the recent shift in weather and the kids heading back to school (or maybe heading to their laptops for digital school), fall is finally here for the year. Some people feel the slightly cooler breeze and run indoors. Avoid that urge! Fall...

Top 5 Tips for How to Prep Your Grill for the Season

After a long winter and despite much social distancing, it is time to dust off your grill. If you have found that you put off firing up your grill for the season, you are not alone. But now is the time to start it up for you and your family to enjoy...

How to Prepare Your Memorial Day BBQ with Your Family

Memorial Day is quickly approaching. Now is the time to remember those our country has lost as well as celebrate the community and people we have at home. Starting with the community we have in our home, Memorial Day is a great family event. The...

8 Tips for Safe Winter Grilling: Do's and Don'ts

At this point, we have had a few snowfalls, the cold has been here for months, and spring is still a distant goal. Despite the weather, many die-hard barbequers have a craving that only the grill can satisfy. For our hardiest of friends, grilling is...

Operation Barbeque Relief

Famous Dave's is proud to be a Hall of Fame member for Operation Barbeque Relief A non-profit response team providing hot meals to those in need after disaster strikes The mission of Operation BBQ Relief is to provide compassion and to...
Sink Your Teeth Into This!
Like Free Stuff? Sign Up For Rewards!
Download our app and earn "BONES" for each visit, receive exclusive offers, and get a FREE burger or sandwich just for signing up! OR join the Famous Nation to receive news, offers, and a tasty gift for your birthday!
Best BBQ
Cleveland's Scene
Magazine in 2010
Best Wings
Cleveland Hot
List 2016
Best BBQ
Cleveland Hot
List 2008-2018
Couples Choice
Weddingwire:
2014, 2015, 2017