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® 

Smokin' Deals Every Week at Famous Dave's

We all could use a break during the week. Between work, school, errands, and more, it can feel like the “go, go, go” mentality never ends. There’s no shame in wanting to break up the monotony by skipping out on making a home cooked...

Diet Friendly Grilling Recipes for Christmas

The holidays are here and this often means that your diet is thrown out the window in favor of sugar cookies and hearty meals with friends and family. Plenty of people love the idea of indulging all their cravings during the festive season. However,...

Spend Thanksgiving with Famous Dave's

Thanksgiving is known as the holiday meant to look back on everything you’re thankful for. Families, friends, and distant relatives gather around the table, enjoy a large home cooked meal, and share memories of good times and “back in...

Throw a Famous Dave's Catered Halloween Party

Halloween is just around the corner now and it’s time you started planning for any parties you might be throwing. Let’s get spooky! With the help of Famous Dave’s, you can make your Halloween party everyone’s favorite event...

Our Guide to Grilling

Grilling and hosting a BBQ is a fun and delicious way to entertain and feed your guests. However, there’s more to it than simply turning on the grill and hoping for the best. Instead, there is outdoor bbq and grilling advice to review that...

Labor Day Weekend: The Ultimate BBQ Recipes

Labor Day Weekend is the perfect excuse to throw a barbecue, so why not go all out this year? With the grill fired up you can cook up some of your favorites and maybe even try out some new dishes too. On the 4th of July, we brought you our round-up...

Guide to Making Your Homemade BBQ Sauce

One of the reasons why Famous Dave’s has become, well, famous, is because of the incredible BBQ sauce that we serve. While we cannot tell you all of our secrets about our award-winning BBQ sauce, we can share some recipes and tips for making...

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your BBQ Smoker

There’s nothing quite like a barbecue for bringing friends together and celebrating delicious flavors. The quality of the ingredients has a role to play, but the way you cook your food and look after your grill are also essential. In this...

Guide To Having A Family Rib Cook-Off

Nothing beats a tasty BBQ, and what better way to enjoy BBQ food than a family rib cook-off? If you’ve never held a cook-off before you’re probably wondering where to begin. To help you plan an amazing event, check out these five ideas...

Pick the Perfect Menu for Your Graduate's Party

With your graduate’s time in high school coming to a close, it is time to party! You have so many options to explore with the party to give them a last get-together with friends and family before everything changes. If you are on the lookout...

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...

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...

Can BBQ Meals be Healthy? [Benefit List Included]

Have you made any nutrition-related New Year’s resolutions? Are you counting calories or cutting carbs? There are many benefits of eating barbeque meals that go beyond the amazing flavors. We consider many nutritional needs when creating our...

Welcome to Our New Website!

We've added great new features and updated our content to bring you the most up to date information about our company.  Check back often for updates.

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 Ribs
"Dougfest" 2013
Best BBQ
2006 - 2017
Best Cuisine
"Taste-Fest" 2015
Best Vendor
"Taste of the Town" 2015