Lets talk about sauces, marinades and glazes.
BBQ sauces are usually intended to be applied after the meat is cooked. Perhaps most commonly used for pulled roast pork, BBQ beef brisket and chicken. A good sauce enhances the flavor of the meat as opposed to smothering it.
Marinades, totally saturate the meat and are usually used to flavor and tenderize lesser quality cuts such as Shisk-ki-bobs from blade cuts as in beef chuck and pork shoulder steaks. To be most effective meat must be marinated 24 to 48 hours prior to grilling.
Glazes are most commonly used after the meat is seared on the outside to help seal in the natural juices and to add a mild hint of exotic flavor.
There are two basic flavor combinations to both sauces and marinade, eastern style and western style. Eastern style is usually predominantly more vinegar tasting while western style has more molasses and brown sugar. Both incorporate tomato.
Glaze’s vary widely according to taste and are intended to do as the name implies. Glaze the outside of the meat.
There are a plethora of commercial BBQ sauces on the market as well as numerous pre-made marinades.
I personally find most commercial sauces to be somewhat think and overbearing. If I like the basic flavor I might thin it to my taste with either an inexpensive domestic beer or a very light flavored dry white wine.
Other times I may make more of a light baste from beer, tomato sauce, brown sugar and/or molasses. Seasoned to taste with onion powder, garlic powder salt pepper, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
Most commercial marinades are fine from the bottle but can also be personalized using spices to suit individual preferences.
A very simple western style marinade could be an indifferent red wine , soy or teriyaki, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, onion,garlic, rubbed sage and some mixed herb such as Mrs. Dash.
For a simple glaze, one of my favorites is to simply dilute a good quality honey with bourbon whiskey until it is thin enough to paint on with a brush. Brush on your glaze on each turning. Most times I use a glaze on Larger roasts that will take several hours on a BBQ grill or in a smoker.