Photo: Tara Donne
The trick is cooking both the meat and the sauce so they are done perfectly and at the same time. Sugar burns, and there's lots of it in most barbecue sauces. Slather too early, and you get a robe of char; too late, and you don't get the savory flavor from just the right amount of char. The best approach: Brush sauce on in about the last two minutes, when the meat is just a few degrees from done. Timing varies with the heat, so watch like a hawk, and move meat to indirect heat if it chars too quickly.