North Carolina Vinegar Bbq Sauce

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Eastern Carolina Bbq Sauce Recipe #5 Vinces Carolina Sweet Heat

Eastern North Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce – North Carolina Vinegar Pepper BBQ Sauce Recipe

I put an all call out for a good Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce recipe via a . Gotta love my readers! Vince Collier offered up this one, so Im sharing it here.

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or white grape juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Combine ingredients in a non-reactive bowl2. Wisk until sugar dissolves and pepper flakes begin to settle3. It is best when left to sit a day or two.

North Carolina Vinegar Sauce

Two years ago I went through a truly transcendent experience, one involving the introduction of vinegar to pork. While visiting two of my most favorite people in world in Eastern North Carolina, it was a given we’d be hitting up some local joints like Allen & Son and Ed Mitchell’s The Pit. There I learned, without a doubt, just how well dressed up vinegar could enhance the flavor of barbecued pork.

My instant enthusiasm led me to the purchase of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, a tome of all things North Carolina barbecue. Captured within those pages was an original recipe for North Carolina vinegar sauce, which I made during my next pulled pork cook, and with just a little cut down on the salt, it tasted pretty good to me.

Little did I know that the evolution of the sauce had come such a long way from that dated recipe, and Serious Eaters let me know it in no uncertain terms. With the breadth of comments that post elicited, I’ve been able to piece together and refine a sauce that I finally feel confident enough is in proper shape to present to the finest smoked swine and the interweb masses at large.

With a couple sugars and salt in the mix, I thought it would be best to give the sauce a quick boil to help dissolve the solids. I believe this step ended up being pretty crucial, since the sauces that got the heat treatment ended up tasting a little more vibrant and cohesive in the end.

A Must For Pulled Pork

I cant stress enough how good this Carolina vinegar sauce is for pork, especially pulled pork. Every BBQ restaurant I visit here in North Carolina serves it up automatically with every order of pulled pork. Its pretty much essential in North Carolina. They dont mess around with their pork here!

Check out some of my recipes for making awesome pork:

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Eastern Carolina Bbq Sauce Recipe #1 Old

This recipe comes directly from the ReedsHoly Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, and I again urge you to check out this book either in Kindle or Hardback form, as its an amazing read.

  • 1 Gallon Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/3 Cups Crush Red Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Salt

Mix the ingredients and let stand for at least 4 hours. This one requires no refrigeration.

Reed then goes on to explain that the Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce recipe used at the the famous Skylight Inn Ayden, NC makes things even simpler by using Texas Pete instead of crushed red pepper.

East Carolina Mop Sauce Recipe

North Carolina Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce

Jump to Recipe |

I was stationed in Eastern Carolina during my time in the Marines, and I fell in love with this style of BBQ mop sauce and hush puppies. Oh, those hush puppies, dang!

Anyway, Im serious when I say this sauce has a Pavlovian effect on me. Simply writing about it makes the top of my head start to sweat, just like Im eating some East Carolina vinegar BBQ.

This sauce is incredibly easy to make. You can have a jar ready to go in about 15 minutes, but like other sauces, I find its better after it sits overnight. Before we get into how to make this Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce, lets answer a few questions that seem to always come up when talking about Carolina BBQ.

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Us Southerners Are Crazy Over Bbq Sauce

Depending what part of the South you are in, you will find a mustard based sauce, sweet and tangy sauce, tomato based sauce, the brown sugar and molasses sauce, the smokey spicy sauce I could go on and on

In the Carolinas, you can not have pulled pork without vinegar based barbecue sauce.

However, we also like to have the sweet and tangy sauce on hand!

My Southern friend Karrie Holland makes a really good sweet and tangy sauce for the crock-pot. If you want to create your own Sweet & Tangy sauce, check out her Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce recipe.

If you are going to purchase the sweet and tangy sauce, skip the chain, massed produced stuff.

Our favorite store bought for the sweet tangy sauce is Cackalacky Sweet Cheerwine Sauce 33.8 Oz . It is made locally, here in North Carolina and when we put it out at our cookouts, the jar goes empty.

What Is North Carolina Barbecue Sauce

This North Carolina vinegar barbecue sauce isnt your typical barbecue sauce. Its a thinner consistency than most barbecue sauces thats adept for mopping meat while its on the grill or smoker or for dipping and dousing meatespecially richer cuts of meatthat youve pulled off the heat .

Vinegar barbecue sauce is actually a classic North Carolina thing. As Matt Moore, author of The Souths Best Butts, explains, North Carolina is a state that has the battle lines firmly drawn when it comes to barbecue, not to mention barbecue sauces. If you were in eastern North Carolina, this sauce would be almost translucent and accompany a whole-hog feast. If you found yourself in western North Carolina, your pork shoulder would arrive with a ruby red sauce that packs a vinegar punch. Weve combined the best of both worlds for a veritable North Carolina sauce that pairs well with pulled or chopped pork.

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How To Make Carolina Vinegar Bbq Sauce The Recipe Method

Heat the Ingredients. Heat all of the ingredients to a large pan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. You can also use the microwave to warm it for 30 seconds, which is a common practice. Whisk it all together.

Meld the Flavors. Transfer the vinegar bbq sauce to a mason jar or bottle and let sit for 1 day to let the flavors meld.

Boom! Done! Your Carolina vinegar bbq sauce is ready to serve! Shake it up and serve as desired. Makes about 2 cups, a bit more if youre making the Western NC version. So good, isnt it? Spicy, vinegary goodness.

Is There Ketchup In Barbecue Sauce

Eastern North Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce- Episode 59

As I mentioned earlier, thats the difference between the sauces in North Carolina. Eastern Carolina sauce uses no ketchup, none, nadda. Central and Western Carolina sauce does contain a small amount of ketchup. Not nearly as much Kansas City style sauce or St. Louis style sauce, but there is ketchup used in most BBQ sauces.

Not a fan of ketchup? No problem. There are plenty of mustard based sauces that also go great on pork ribs.

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What Is North Carolina Bbq Sauce

This sauce is based on vinegar and hot sauce instead of on tomatoes and sugar. It’s delicious, and for those of us on a keto or low carb diet, it’s the perfect solution. We get to enjoy flavorful bbq without the extra carbs found in tomato-based barbecue sauces.

I’ve been struggling with tomato-based rib sauces for a while now. Tomato-based barbecue sauces tend to be very sweet. Too sweet, in my opinion.

I do have an excellent keto bbq sauce recipe on this blog that is not so high in carbs. But for anyone on a keto diet, every carb counts. This sauce is by far the best option for keeping the carbs down without sacrificing the flavor.

Eastern Carolina Bbq Sauce Recipe #4 Barn Goddess Carolina Q Sauce

I reached out to my good friend Lori Frazee for her go to Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce Recipe. Shes an amazing pitmaster, and I really respect her culinary skills. Youll notice she kicks up the spice a bit with this one!

  • 3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Red pepper flake
  • 2 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/8 Cup salt

Mix together and heat until sugar and salt is dissolved. This sauce can be served hot or cold. Shake well before using.

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Carolina Ribs With Vinegar Based Bbq Sauce Recipe

It is important not to rush with this recipe. You do need to start the day before by preparing your vinegar based BBQ sauce, which we will use as a marinade. Allow the baby back ribs to take on all those wonderful flavors in the marinade over a 24-hour period. Less time is OK but the more time our Carolina ribs rest in the marinade the better. If I use the oven I add a little liquid smoke to my marinade to impart some excellent smoky flavor to my Carolina ribs.

Apporoximately one hour before cooking commences, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and prepare your woodchips and smoker, if you are using a BBQ smoker, or pre-heat the oven.

I cook my North Carolina ribs for 6 hours at a very low temperature of 220 f . Remember low and slow is the name of the game. So, my advice to you is not to plan to eat your North Carolina ribs too early. That is unless you are a very early riser in the morning!

For the smoker, you will also need about four cups of good smoking wood chips. Which are the best wood chips to use for the smoking the ribs? Try a mild wood chip such as- hickory,cherry or pecan wood chips for a smooth taste that wont overpower the ribs.

I like to serve the Carolina ribs with coleslaw. I think the coleslaw is a wonderful balance against the vinegar based BBQ sauce.

Ketchup Add Or No Ketchup

Eastern North Carolina

From what Ive read, this recipe is East North Carolina-style and has no ketchup in the mix. West North Carolina style BBQ sauce has ketchup added, making it redder and sweeter. I myself enjoy them both, especially on my Pulled Pork. You pick and see what is your favorite.

The top one in the photo below is East North Carolina style and the bottom one is West North Carolina style sauce.

Carolinians it seems are one camp or the other when it comes to the ingredients in their BBQ sauce. Some wont use it if it isnt clear , some only use the redder, sweeter version.

Then theres South Carolina! South Carolina has a Mustard BBQ Sauce and I love it on my South Carolina Ribs.

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Tips For Making East Carolina Mop Sauce

The Pepper: I love the depth of flavor added by using smoky pepper flakes. You can absolutely use crushed red pepper flakes if thats what you have on hand.

The Hot Sauce:Texas Pete is pretty standard in Eastern Carolina and I love it, but again if you have something else on hand or prefer a different hot sauce, use that.

The Strength: If this sauce is a smidgen too vinegary for you, add an extra ½ cup of water.

Tips For Cooking Pulled Pork

The secret to my husband’s beautiful Pulled Pork is Time, Patience, Babysitting, Salt and Pepper, and a Green Egg. Here are tips he gives for cooking juicy pulled pork:

  • Salt and pepper heavily a Boston Butt Pork Shoulder. It makes a juicy tender cut!
  • Heat your Green Egg Grill to 220 to 250 degrees. Cook the pork shoulder real slow until meat temperature gets to 195 to 200 degrees. The grill’s temperature can go up and down, so this requires babysitting.
  • When the meat is the temperature your want, wrap it in tinfoil and lets it rest.

Note: Wrapping the pork in tinfoil is very important to keep the moisture and juice to settle in the meat. If you cut it too quickly, the juice will run out of the meat and the pork will not be as juicy and tender.

We know from experience. When you see that beautiful meat, you loose all patience and want to tear into it immediately.

But as the saying goes, “The best comes to those who wait!”

If done correctly, you can pull the pork apart easily with a fork, hence “Pulled Pork.”

*This post contains affiliated links.

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Youtube Soul Food Ray Mack’s Kitchen And Grill

Ray Mack, was born in Durham North Carolina and stills reside in Durham North Carolina. He has been married to a wonderful woman for 22 years. He is a father of six and also has four beautiful granddaughters and another grandchild on the way. Ray Mack says his mother is a cooking woman and he learned some techniques from her. He also states that all of his Aunties can burn in the kitchen. He learned from the best.

Great Video On Eastern Carolina Bbq

How to make North Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce for Pork

To round out this post on Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce Recipes, I wanted to share the following two videos. The first features Michael and Bryan Voltaggio as they visit Wilbers BBQ in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The second is a video from featuring the history of Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC.

Wilbers BBQ Goldsboro, NC

Skylight Inn Ayden, NC

For the record: The first public sale of Whole Hog BBQ took place in Ayden, North Carolina, in the 1930s.

184 years later, Sam Jones is carrying on the family tradition of cooking Whole Hog BBQ as the 7th Generation pitmaster of his familys BBQ restaurant, The Skylight Inn. Since 1947, The Skylight Inn has become an icon in the BBQ world for selling one thing and one thing only: chopped Eastern Style North Carolina Whole Hog Porkserved on a bun or in a tray with cornbread.

As Sam Jones says, when the customers arrive at Skylight Inn, theyve already made the decision of what theyre gonna be eating for lunch, its just a matter of how much of it theyre gonna have. Munchies.Tv

Wilbers BBQ and the Skylight Inn both meet the test for making authentic North Carolina BBQ. To qualify for True Cue NC certification, a restaurant must meet the following criteria:

At present, the folks at believe there are no more than fifty or so restaurants in North Carolina that serve True Cue .

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A Short History Of Carolina Barbecue Sauce

The history of BBQ sauce in the U.S. can be traced back to the four types of barbecue that are usually used in basting.

The four types of barbecue in historical discovery order are vinegar, pepper, mustard, light tomato, and heavy tomato.

Barbecue sauces emerged with the introduction of barbecue, which dates back to the 1500s.

This is when the Spanish settlers introduced the pig to American Indians, and the Indians in turn introduced them to the art of slow cooking.The first barbecue sauce was a very simple vinegar, with salt and pepper sauce.

Its origins can be traced back to the coastal plains of North and South Carolina.And back to the Scottish settlers in Williamsburg County, South Carolina.

The second barbecue sauce to emerge was a mustard based BBQ sauce, and its known today as South Carolina style barbecue sauce.

It was greatly influenced by the Germans living in South Carolina from the 1730s to 1750s.

The third style of barbecue sauce recipe found in the Carolinas is the light tomato based BBQ sauce.

Its the same as the vinegar and pepper sauce with a small amount of ketchup to add a bit of sweetness.

Barbecue sauce is like a beautiful woman. If its too sweet, its bound to be hiding something. Lyle Lovett.

Lexington in North Carolina is most famous for this sauce, and its also found in the upper middle part of South Carolina.

It is also popular in the South Carolina Pee Dee region, which is the upper coastal plain area of the state.

Why Its So Popular In The South

BBQ sauce is most popular in the South, because its related to the first colonies who came to settle around the 16th and 17th century.

The Indigenous people had been using barbecue methods to cook meat way before colonists first came to the United States.

The word barbecue comes from the Spanish word barbacoa, which means to preserve meat by drying or roasting slowly.

Nowadays, barbecue is popular throughout the United States, for its strong cultural and historical importance.

Barbecue styles and traditions vary depending on the region, but are enjoyed all over the country.

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Eastern Carolina Bbq Sauce Recipes Defined

The origins of North Carolina BBQ sauce recipes derive from a history of basting meats with salted acidic marinades and mops dating back long through the ages. In the US and specifically in the early years of British colonization along the North and South Carolina coastlines this basting or mopping liquid was known as katchup .

Not to be confused with the tomato version we think of today, the first printed ketchup recipe dates back to Eliza Smiths 1727 recipe found in The Compleat Housewife, or Accomplishd Gentlewomans Companion shown as follows:

Take a wide mouthd bottle, put therein a pint of the best white-wine vinegar then put in ten or twelve cloves of eschalot peeled and just bruised then take a quarter of a pint of the best Langoon white wine, boil it a little, and put to it twelve or fourteen anchovies washed and shred, and dissolve them in the wine, and when cold put them in the bottle.Then take a quarter of a pint more of white-wine, and put in it mace, ginger sliced, a few cloves, a spoonful of whole pepper just bruised, let them boil all a little when near cold, slice in almost a whole nutmeg, and some lemon peel, and likewise put in two or three spoonfuls of horse-radish then stop it close, and for a week shake it once or twice a day then use it: Tis good to put into fish sauce, or any savoury dish of meat you may add to it the clear liquor that comes from mushrooms.Eliza Smith

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