Let’s face it: Marinating is the worst. All that preparation and waiting, not to mention submerging and then extricating fleshy foodstuffs from casserole dishes teeming with nebulous citrus fruit and molasses. It all makes grilling outdoors feel a little too much like actual cooking. This begs the question: Why not seize on the trend of big-market and smaller-batch hot sauces suddenly substituting for condiments and use them to bring out the most in your smoky selections while barbecuing. In other words, stop giving your raw meat and poultry (and innocent vegetables for that matter) an arbitrary flavor bath (or slathering them in glorified molasses), and bring out their latent propane potential with a few splashes or brushes of precisely refined vinegar, pepper, and zest.
With that in mind, here are five hot sauces we recommend for when you’re BBQing chicken, steak, burgers, veggies, and fish from now through Labor Day. And unlike those aforementioned, mundane marinades, there’s virtually no way to integrate them imprudently, so long as the spice is right.