If you have to use store-bought barbecue sauce, then at least make it better.
"Many of the store-bought barbecue marinades are sweet, thick, and cloying," Chef David Burke says. "They usually overpower the delicate flavor of meats." Yet while he always recommends making a sauce from scratch, in a pinch he says you can opt for a store-bought one and then improve it. So for a light, sweet dish, like watermelon and shrimp kebabs, he suggests diluting a basic BBQ sauce with orange juice. "It gives you a basting opportunity, which adds additional flavor, but the sauce is thinner, doesn't burn as easily, and will help caramelize the shrimp," he says. He also counsels that, when working with a marinade, be sure to wipe off any additional liquid before placing it over the fire: "If you don't, you get flare-ups, which burns the outside."
Darin and Greg Bresnitz, Brooklyn-based twins who are better known under the moniker of Finger on the Pulse, have been hanging out and eating in the food scene for the better part of a decade. Each week they host Heritage Radio Network's premier food and music culture show, 'Snacky Tunes,' where culinary and sonic guests stop by to talk all things delicious.