If you’ve elevated your backyard BBQ from hot dogs to haute cuisine, then it’s about time you dial up the fancy-meter on your condiments too.
Basic ketchup and yellow mustard will always have their place on the table, but you can do better on your Filet Mignon and Porterhouse.
Whether you try alternative condiments, condiment mash-ups, or condiment staples from other countries near and far, there has never been more variety to choose from.
Here are a few of our chef’s favorite condiments and the proteins (and other goodies) that pair well with each:
- Dijon mustard — Ask our chef which condiment he thinks is the best of all time, and he’ll tell you it’s Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard originated in Dijon, France and at one time, had to be made in or near the city to earn the moniker. Though the term Dijon has been genericized, it still refers to mustard made from brown mustard seeds and white wine. Pair its strong, tangy, sharp, spicy flavor with any steak, all cuts of pork, sausages, burgers, and good ole hot dogs, or in this case, haute dogs. Chef’s favorite widely available brands are Maille and Edmond Fallot. Kosciusko also tops his list, though it’s more of a spicy brown mustard.
- Garlic aioli — The creamy, garlicky goodness that is garlic aioli sauce is basically mayonnaise on garlic steroids, but with subtle differences in the preparation. Pair it with hot and chilled seafood, raw vegetables and crudités, and of course, roasted potatoes and French fries. It’s super easy to make. Click here for our favorite recipe.
- Aji Verde — Also known as Peruvian Green Sauce, or Green Chile sauce, Aji Verde is spicy, tangy, and full of flavor, and good on everything, but particularly chicken. It is likewise super easy to make. Click here for our not-to-be-missed Aji Verdi sauce recipe.
- Gochujang — A staple ingredient in Korean cooking, Gochujang hot pepper paste (also called chili sauce) is thick, spicy, savory, and pungent. A little goes a long way so use sparingly on beef (but probably not hamburgers), pork, and grilled seafood for an added depth of flavor. While not entirely mainstream, you can find it in Asian markets, specialty stores, higher-end grocery stores, and online.
- Sriracha — America’s Sriracha obsession powers on unabated, but for good reason: it’s delicious and can be used on everything. You can even use it in sauces or mixed into mayonnaise to give it an extra kick. Though there are other brands, Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha sauce, with its iconic rooster on the label, is consistently lauded as best, and is one of the most recognizable condiments in the world, and. Winner winner Rooster dinner.
- BBQ sauce — Sweet and savory, BBQ sauce is terrific on basically all grilled food, and also when licked off fingers, which our chef recommends you not grill. There are as many BBQ sauce flavors and variations as there are opinions on what’s best, but our chef recommends Bulls-Eye Original, Trader Joe’s Bold and Smoky, and Sweet Baby Rays.
- Green Goddess dressing — Conceived in San Francisco, U.S.A., Green Goddess dressing is creamy, herby, and delicious on everything from meat and seafood to vegetables and salad. Green Goddess bottled brands and recipes abound, but we think our chef’s recipe is the best. Click here for the recipe.