Barbecue Sauce Recipe: North Carolina Vinegar Sauce (2024)

  1. Wilfred Reinke I am slowly learning about the different sauces,styles and their roots. this was really interesting to me. I passed this post on to my friend @cyndiallison that lives in NC and knows here sauces.

    It will be interesting to get her take on it.Posted Tue, Aug 3 2010 10:52AM

  2. Bryan Koen Oh, this looks delicious. I miss pork.Posted Tue, Aug 3 2010 11:18AM

  3. Josh @Wilfred Reinke Thanks! I'd love to get a local expert opinion.

    @Bryan Koen I'll have your own pork butt waiting for the day you start eating meat again.Posted Tue, Aug 3 2010 2:09PM

  4. Chris The fact that you added any ketchup will get you beat up by East NC diehards (ha ha). But my BBQ experience was from Bladen County and theirs is more of a cross with a Piedmont (Western NC) style sauce, including some ketchup. So I'd be fine with your revised sauce. Posted Tue, Aug 3 2010 11:47PM

  5. Dave Great pics! I love Carolina sauce as a finishing sauce for pulled pork. I'm also growing to love their mustard based sauces for pork and chicken. Posted Wed, Aug 4 2010 7:45PM

  6. Ben Chris is correct. Typically, Eastern NC sauce only consists of vinegar, sugar, salt and hot sauce/peppers. So the ketchup is a no-no for Eastern NC style, if you want to stay traditional. I live in the piedmont, west of Charlotte, so our sauces normally consist of vinegar and ketchup. I smoke my own pork butts for pulled pork about 14-18 hours, and I think it's better than anything I can get locally. My go to sauce has:
    1 cup cider vinegar
    1 cup ketchup
    3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
    1 Tbsp molasses
    1 Tbsp yellow mustard
    1 tsp salt
    1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
    1/4 cup de-fatted pork pan drippings
    No cooking, just mix and throw it on. This is still a thin sauce, but not as thin as eastern NC style. Everyone who has tried it has loved it on pulled pork with coleslaw on top and a toasted bun.

    Mustard based sauces are typically from SC, and is a whole different ballgame.

    I definitely will be giving your sauce a try, as it appears to be a good one. Besides, I'm not a purist. I tend to like stuff that tastes good, irregardless of whether it crosses the line of tradition or not.
    Posted Fri, Aug 6 2010 10:31AM

  7. Ben Cops What's texas pete sauce and what can I substitute for it in the UK? Franks hot sauce? Tabasco? Posted Sun, Aug 8 2010 4:26PM

  8. Josh @Ben Cops Texas Pete is a hot sauce born in NC and made from cayenne peppers. You can certainly substitute another hot sauce, like Tabasco, but Texas Pete has a flavor and history unique to NC, which is why I used it here.Posted Sun, Aug 8 2010 10:07PM

  9. JoshGrillsItAll Have you tried the mustard/vinegar sauces from South Carolina? Most famous is Maurice's. Posted Sun, Aug 22 2010 3:35PM

  10. Sophia I just became a big fan of pulled pork about a year ago. Now I love collecting pulled pork recipes. Thanks for posting this! I made Crockpot Old South Pulled Pork on a Bun recently and it was delicious! Keep up the great work here!Posted Wed, Aug 25 2010 10:50AM

  11. jennifer I moved to MD from NC last year and MISS BBQ!!! No one here does it right. Had to drive to Hursey's in Burlington NC last month while visiting a friend to bring 5# of it home. It's under lock and key, and won't be casually doled out to just anyone!

    Posted Tue, Mar 8 2011 10:48AM

  12. wes I'm from SC, too, where have sort of a sauce schizophrenia, based on region, but I've always been partial to the eastern NC and SC vinegar based or the midlands SC vinegar/mustard base. I think you got it right here except for the addition of the ketchup and the Texas Pete -- ketchup doesn't belong east of Durham at all, and you don't need the premade TP (or tabasco or even crystal, my favorite for flavor) if you steep the crushed reds in the vinegar/sugar/salt. We call it a mop sauce, and then put on the table Crystal or TP or Tabasco for extra heat. Posted Fri, Sep 2 2011 12:31AM

  13. cheri Made the Carolina Tang sauce yesterday. Was a bit hot for me so added another TBL dark brown and 2 TBL white sugar. Mellowed it out some for my taste buds that love hot but can't handle too hot anymore.
    Was fabulous, my family enjoyed it immensly even though we usually eat my dad's Tennessee sauce on our pork. Thanks so much-it's a Keeper! Posted Mon, Oct 24 2011 11:42AM

  14. Texas Craig I hate to admit it, but this Dallas-born and raised boy had to modify the original recipe - it was TOO Hot!

    I used a different hot sauce, so that might have been the reason, but I doubled (at least) the brown sugar, and tripled the ketchup - was still a little bit too vinegar/spicey, but I thought I'd chalk it up to the experience...

    we in the western-most Southern state prefer our bbq sauce sweeter and with more tomato...remember, it's just a preference, not a requirement...

    thanks for the recipe to try!Posted Sun, Jan 8 2012 9:07PM

  15. Jonathan Rice You forgot the most important thing.. 1 half a stick of butter.. I have been eating carolina sauces all my life and cooking it at firestations all over NC. That's the secret of good sauce for chicken or pork. Try it and tell me what you think...Posted Fri, Jan 27 2012 1:51PM

  16. ken benson (kinny binson) my parents owned restaurants for 35 years my daddy's family is originally from benson, nc. but he grew up in fayetteville nc. I opened a restaurant in tyrone ga. called barbeque junction where i served a wide variety of sauces hence "the Junction" the house sauce was a half gal of cider vinegar, a qt or so of water,1/4 cup of salt, 3tbl sp granulated garlic, 3tbl sp onion powder, 5 tbl sp crushed red pepper brought the mix to a boil on the stove then put in the fridge over night. Smoked 6 cases of butts 8-10 lb avg ea. in a pit covered with roofing tin along with 2-3 inside round beef roasts 18-20 lb average . it took 9-10 hrs for the butts to 170 degrees the beef to 130 degrees. I mopped the meats every hr or so with this carolina sauce. it gave me a 2 inch deep hickory smoke ring all the way around the meats. Only hickory wood. picked, pulled and chopped the pork drenched with the sauce then added what ever other sauce the customer wanted or sliced "naked" my personal favorite...couldn't use tomato, sugar or butter or the meats would char before they cooked thru. The beef was chilled and thin sliced for barbeque, fajitas, philly's, italian(chicargo beef) or stroganoff.....kb Posted Wed, Apr 18 2012 10:46PM

  17. Susan Patenaude Lived in the Chapel Hill/Durham area for about twelve years, but wasn't sure where the line of demarcation was for the sauces. I gues I was stuck in the middle. Not sure why those in East NC have such disdain for a little ketchup--just brightens up the sauce and adds a little body and complexity, IMHO. Not the end of the world! I'm making some crock-pot pulled pork right now and I added some Buffalo Salsa Chipotle from Mexico in place of the Texas Pete in my sauce. I'm hoping the smokiness of the chipotle will make up for the lack of smoke flavor in my meat.Posted Tue, May 22 2012 5:04PM

  18. Seline Eastern North Carolina Style is strictly east of Raleigh. Sorry, but what makes it truly "Eastern North Carolina Style" is the absence of Ketch-up or any tomato based product. If it has tomato of any kind in it - it's not Authentic Eastern North Carolina Style.

    A Proud Born and Bread Eastern North Carolinian Posted Thu, Jul 12 2012 9:50AM

  19. J Luffman I live in the NW part of the state, and we have amazing 'que here. The best I've had omits the molasses and flakes. I use a similar recipie for anything smoked or grilled. I make a thicker sauce for my grill, the thin for a long cooked smoked something.Posted Mon, Jul 16 2012 3:49PM

  20. James I put a pork butt in the smoker an hour ago and thought I would find a NC style sauce to go with it. Looks like this is the one...I'll let you know how it turns out. My brother is a judge on the Memphis BBQ scene and I'm using a rub he gave me for the pork. I wonder how the two will go together... Memphis meets North CarolinaPosted Sat, Aug 18 2012 11:33AM

  21. James Josh, thanks for the recipe, it turned out great! I don't know what is or isn't authentic about this since I've never been to any part of NC but if this is how pork is done there then I'll have to make a trip one of these days.Posted Sat, Aug 25 2012 11:26AM

  22. p3orion OK, for those trying to figure out the regional argument:

    1) Eastern NC sauce
    Primarily vinegar and crushed peppers, with salt and varying amounts and types of sugar. Very thin, usually clear. When used as a mop, butter is often added. NO TOMATO ALLOWED east of the capital (then again, Raleigh is full of relocated Yankees now anyway, so that's confused things, but we'll try to get y'all up to speed.
    2) Western NC sauce
    Still heavily dependent on vinegar, but a bit more relaxed about some tomato sauce. Usually a bit sweeter and thicker than Eastern style. Crushed red pepper is not usually used, the heat (if any) coming from cayenne or Texas Pete.
    3) South Carolina sauce
    Mustard based. Fairly sweet, tangy from the mustard rather than vinegar. A good example is Maurice Bessinger's, based in Columbia. This style carries south and west into western Georgia and eastern Alabama.
    4) Piedmont style sauce
    The Piedmont is the region in between eastern, western, and South Carolina, so it's not surprising that the typical sauce there is often a combination of all three styles. Good sauces, but usually with a lot more ingredients.

    All of these are meant for use on pulled pork, which is what God meant when He said "Let there be Barbecue."

    Rib sauces are thicker, with a base of ketchup and sugar (molasses, brown sugar, whatever.) That same style sauce will be used on pulled pork up and down the Mississippi (Memphis style, Chicago style, etc.) They usually start with dry rubs, too, and get some or all of the heat from that rather than the sauce.

    Texas sauce is a lot like Memphis rib sauce, except it's sometimes a bit hotter (the south-of-the-border influence) and may have a bit of added mustard or black pepper (the German influence.) Then again, down there they think barbecue is beef brisket, so Texans may be beyond saving.Posted Wed, Sep 12 2012 10:52AM

  23. cheri Cracker from Florida with Northern and Southern roots. Makes no matter wether you want to bicker where the sauce is famous or what part of which state....FACT IS that Josh's "Carlolina Tang" sauce is an awesome blend for pulled pork! It all comes down to taste not whether tomatoes are allowed or not. Thanks again Josh for all of your BBQ triumps and sharing. Hope to be able to join one of your get-to-gethers someday. Posted Wed, Sep 12 2012 12:35PM

  24. Flip Just got a smoker and a 130 lbs of pork. The smoker has been running non stop since Sunday. Bacon, ribs, and tonight, rump roast. Started searching for some sauces for the pulled pork, and think it's the coolest thing, all the differences in sauces even from county to county in the Carolinas- to this kid from the Adirondacks, it's all good. We were on a two week vacation in Florida, and on the way home, stopped at Duke's BBQ, which was in my top 3 favorite restaurants (and we visited some great places) and will be trying to come close to those great, thin, vinegar based sauces. Definitely trying all the variations here. Posted Tue, Oct 16 2012 6:39PM

  25. Bob I doubled the recipe with slight changes, including ditching the ketchup, and substituting cayenne pepper for texas pete and kicking up the heat a notch and it was a hit at our annual bonfire party last night:

    4 cups apple cider vinegar
    3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
    2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 teaspoons kosher salt

    I added this to a 4 quart crockpot full of diced roast pork. (Just used the crockpot on low to keep it warm while serving)

    We thought we we never go through that much since we had pulled pork with other sauces, but we ran out early while the other options did not "sell" as well. If you don't want it with as much kick, reduct the red pepper and cayenne by a teaspoon each, and increase the brown sugar by a tablespoon back to the original proportions.Posted Sun, Oct 21 2012 7:44AM

  26. Doug Just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I wanted to make my first homemade sauce for some pork that we cooked Imu style (we are living in Hawaii for the year). I usually like Texas style with a kick but this was my first homemade trial. We are going to a friends house for Thanksgiving and we are bringing the pork. I followed the recipe that you gave and it is super yummy. I used to live in Chapel Hill and Greensboro so am no stranger to NC style Q and your recipe hit the spot. ThanksPosted Thu, Nov 22 2012 7:40PM

  27. Doug Just one additional note - I think it would be totally complete to add some slaw to this:-)Posted Thu, Nov 22 2012 7:41PM

  28. JT Sorry folks but there is NO sugar and CERTAINLY NO ketchup in Eastern NC bbq sauce... It's just white and cider vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper... If your going to do anything add a couple of whole peppers (select hotness to your taste)... The peppers are more about the flavor and not the heat so... So mix it up, shake it up and eat it up... and, remember the longer it sits the more the flavors will be released... Just cooked a shoulder today so I'm enjoying some right now... :)Posted Fri, Nov 23 2012 6:34PM

  29. Phillip I grew up near Winston-Salem, where Texas Pete is made, so I tend to drown just about anything in it. If I remember my T.W. Garner history correctly, TP was originally conceived as a buffalo wing sauce, so I find the sauce it was designed to mimic, Frank's Red Hot, to be an acceptable substitute for those horrific occasions when I have a plate of hashbrowns and scrambled eggs but am out of Texas Pete. When I eat NC BBQ I apply the sauce to the pork and basically just dump a bunch of TP on everything on the plate.Posted Wed, Dec 19 2012 5:00PM

  30. p3orion Phillip, I agree that Texas Pete is great on just about anything, but you're mistaken about it being conceived of as a wing sauce. Texas Pete has been around since 1929, when it was first mixed up by Thad Garner, who was at that time the owner of the Dixie Pig BBQ in Winston Salem.

    That was long before buffalo wings were invented in Buffalo, New York some time in the '60s, with another couple of decades before they caught on nationwide. Until well into the '80s, wings were practically throw-away cheap, because there was so little use for them.

    By the way, you're right about Frank's being almost as good as Texas Pete, but Frank's Wing Sauce is even better than original Frank's as an all-purpose hot sauce. I like the "natural butter-type flavor" that's listed on the label as one of the ingredients, although for the life of me I can't decide exactly what "natural butter-type flavor" actually means. Posted Thu, Dec 20 2012 2:43PM

  31. Maggie Hello there, just emailing from Glasgow, Scotland as I have just 'boiled', yes boiled some pork and it looks a bit on the pale side and lacking in taste although I did put in a few carrots, onions, bay leaf etc., Anyway rather than have it with plain old gravy I noticed your receipt, liked the sound of it and have made it. I will have to serve it up tonight as I cant wait but I will let you know how it goes down with the rest of the family. Wish me luck. Many thanks, Maggie.

    Wishing you a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2013 with lots of love, laughter and delicious food.Posted Thu, Jan 3 2013 10:02AM

  32. Maggie PS For the red pepper flakes, I have used chillie flakes, hopes thats OK!!!!!!!Posted Thu, Jan 3 2013 10:06AM

  33. p3orion This is off the barbecue topic, but since there are a lot of North Carolina carnivores in attendance, I thought this would be a good place to post this question: does anyone have a good livermush recipe?

    For those of you who do not know, livermush is a mixture of pork liver, pork broth, cornmeal, red pepper and other spices which is all cooked together, then allowed to cool into a brick shape. It can be eaten cold, but is much better sliced and fried (in bacon grease, ideally) and served as a breakfast item.

    Livermush is similar to the scrapple of Pennsylvania (and no doubt evolved from the recipes of the same German settlers) but has relatively less cornmeal than that, I believe. It's found primarily in western NC, but is impossible to get in Georgia, where I live now.

    I've finally found a local source for fresh pork livers, but I have no idea how to go about making my own livermush. I'd love guidance from somebody on how to make some that's similar to the store-bought Neese's or Carolina Pride I remember from when I was a kid.Posted Thu, Jan 3 2013 12:15PM

  34. Eddie The above comments about no ketchup in Eastern NC dip are correct, but you have so little in there I can't imagine it will supply much more than color. Leave it out, and you would have an "authentic" Eastern dip. Not that I stand too much on authenticity. For example, I don't do whole hog in my backyard. Allen & Son uses butts, but I don't know about anyone East of Chapel Hill doing that. For backyard, I do butts with eastern dip.

    I found my favorite vinegar recipe at Weber's site:
    1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
    2 Tbsp granulated sugar
    1 tsp Tabasco sauce
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    Kosher salt (to taste)
    Ground black pepper (to taste)
    (Bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes)

    Of course I prefer Texas Pete to Tabasco. It's not quite as hot as Tabasco, so I raise it up closer to 1 tablespoon Texas Pete. I'm not religious about measuring the flakes, either, but I probably double them. I also tend to use turbinado or demerara sugar rather than white.Posted Sun, Feb 3 2013 9:30PM

  35. Danielle Tried this sauce and loved it.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING IT! I made a couple changes to reduce the carbs. Making a 4 cup batch, I used 1 packet of Raw Sugar and 1 teaspoon of molasses (as I was out of brown sugar). After simmering for a few minutes and cooling, I added several packets of Splenda and adjusted the salt to taste. It was absolutely excellent. I'm on my second batch in two days! I plan on using it as a low calorie, low carb sauce for my salads and veggies too. Posted Thu, May 2 2013 9:46PM

  36. Al I don't care where the darn sauce is from,if it is it!Posted Tue, May 7 2013 3:22AM

  37. Cheri Well said AL! But Josh's fixings really got me hooked. His style and tastes are just too awesome for words. ONE OF THESE DAYS I am going to join a cook out in NY! Posted Tue, May 7 2013 8:27AM

  38. darren Just made your sauce last nite and added tablespoon of honey ...deliciousPosted Mon, May 27 2013 9:53AM

  39. Fred NOT an eastern NC BBQ sauce. I've lived there all my life and have never had one that contains ketchup. Still, it looks pretty good and, sans the ketchup, pretty close to authentic. I need some sauce right now, as I have some pulled, smoked pork but no sauce, so I'm going to try this one. Posted Wed, May 29 2013 4:09PM

  40. Steve Yes! You've got in down correctly. I was raised in Winston-Salem and Texas Pete is a complete MUST. Nice post!Posted Sun, Jun 2 2013 12:35PM

  41. Melba Wells Growing up in the 30' & 40's, in Central Texas, my dad made what I would call NC barbecue sauce--just vinegar, red pepper, black pepper and salt. No sweet stuff for us!. Occasionally, somebody would slip a can of beer in the sauce. How good it was on beef, pork, mutton and sheep which was cut up in chunks, big as your fist. The next day, the sauce was ever so good on a slice of bread and any left over meat.Posted Mon, Jun 3 2013 3:50PM

  42. CJ Anyone have recipe for pit chicken? I have seen the recipe made in 5 gallow bucket with chicken dipped and the cooked/marinade over block fire pit.Posted Tue, Jun 11 2013 3:02PM

  43. John McClancy As a son of tobacco road and traveling consultant, I visit and write reviews of BBQ houses all the time. This looks like a great recipe, sans tomatoes.

    For the record, Eastern-style que should really be shredded, not just chopped. At home, I braise pork shoulders in a crock pot with milk and garlic cloves. Then slice, shred and mix in sauce. Tenderest pig you ever et'. Don't forget the slaw, which is another argument all by itself. Posted Wed, Jun 12 2013 12:57PM

  44. Hermione Hairpie I've got some Carolina BBQ Sauce coming out of my "suzy" right now. ;) Posted Thu, Jul 4 2013 1:02AM

  45. Adella I agree -- there's nothing that ruins an Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce like catsup! bleh! vinegar, water, butter, salt, and pepper (red & black) -- wonderfully simple and and simply wonderful. no need to mess up a great thing.Posted Sun, Jul 7 2013 10:00AM

  46. Jodie He calls it NC sauce, so the argument about whether this sauce is authentically eastern is irrelevant. I'll be trying this recipe but I will not be adding ketchup as I've got eastern roots. We just can't do it without it feeling wrong. I'm displaced in the Midwest now and I don't have a smoker, so I'm going to try a stovetop tea smoke and then cider vinegar steam in the oven. The crockpot method was just not good enough last time! Topped with creamy slaw on a steamed bun, I'm drooling in anticipation. Posted Tue, Jul 16 2013 5:14PM

  47. cheri Jodie, forget the 'roots', time's are a are tastes and variety! Josh's version of Carlolina vinegar sauce, whether it be Eastern, Northern, Western, Southern or his own NY style is truely awesome.

    I am a BBQ sauce on the right meat with the right sauce kinda' grill person. I love messy pork sandwiches with regular RED sauce that my aunt used to serve EVERY Sunday in Tenn after church. She cooked it for hours in sauce and we only had the pork the bun grilled in a sandwhich press. It was just so yummy and the ONLY WAY I knew how to eat a good pulled pork sandwich until I found this sauce. This gave me a whole new outlook on how to enjoy a pulled pork sandwhich tasting the meat AND the sauce.

    Get the grill out for your meat, not the stove not the crock pot, although with this sauce on it, it probably would not matter. The sauce is good, get over the 'no-ketsup' THANG! Posted Tue, Jul 16 2013 7:30PM

  48. charlotte stephens Can I base babyback ribs with this saucePosted Sun, Sep 29 2013 5:21PM

  49. BBQGuru Inclusion of tomator kethcup clearly marks you as an amatuer and not to be taken seriously as a BBQ Pitmaster!Posted Thu, Oct 10 2013 6:36PM

  50. cheri WHATEVER, BBQGuru, or so you call yourself. GET OVER IT! I have tried many of Josh's recipes and they are Awesome, he goes where the BBQ 'masters' or so you call yourselves are too afraid to alter tradition. This 'Carolina Tang' sauce is awesome regardless of a little tomato included. You are the amateur in not allowing your predisposed position on BBQ to be expanded. Try it, you just might like it.
    Al says
    I don't care where the darn sauce is from,if it is it!Posted Thu, Oct 10 2013 7:57PM

  51. CarolinaExPatriot I am from Jacksonville, NC (doesn't get too much more eastern than that) and all of the posts that have denounced ketchup are correct: no respectable pig cooker east of I-95 would add ketchup.
    This is pig cooking EC style: Get a 1/2 gallon jug of cider vinegar from the Piggly Wiggly, take out 2 cups and set aside. add about a cup of dark brown sugar, a half bottle of Texas Pete, 1/2 cup salt, a 1.5 oz bottle of McCormick crushed red pepper flakes and a shot of bourbon to the cider vinegar jug. Add another shot of Bourbon to the cook. Set aside mixture (unrefrigerated) for no less than 24 hours.
    About 9 hours before tailgating at ECU have the pledges wake the Brother cooking the pig, Have them make sure the cook is well stocked with the alcoholic beverage of his choice and as he tells them stories about the good old days, have one of the pledges go over and squirt down the pig with the mixture as it roasts at least once an hour.
    Serve with beer, good friends and football.Posted Sun, Oct 13 2013 2:31PM

  52. Brandi I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet or not, but I saw that some people substituted a different hot sauce for the Texas Pete. The thing about that is Texas Pete isn't just any ole regular hot sauce. It's a bit hot, but it's flavorful more than spicy in my opinion. If you substitute it with Tabasco, which is just plain hot, the result will be extremely hot. I'm not a fan of Tabasco, because I feel that it is simply spicy hot without any flavor. Louisiana hot sauce or maybe Frank's hot sauce would be a better option. Texas Pete is the best, though. Posted Sun, Oct 20 2013 11:46PM

  53. p3orion Good call, Brandi. When I was in Texas and (ironically) couldn't get Texas Pete, I found that Crystal is a pretty good substitute for it, too.

    But definitely not Tabasco. It has its uses, but doubling for Texas Pete is not one of them.Posted Mon, Oct 21 2013 2:23PM

  54. Daniel Here in Salisbury,NC. Our BBQ is the best in the country. Don't get any better. The sauce y'all got is off. No Texas Pete.Posted Sat, Dec 28 2013 1:06PM

  55. Mike I'm from Wilmington NC. Like most have already posted, there are MANY VARIATIONS to the "NC Vinegar Based Sauces." There really is no "right or wrong way" to do it. Basically, it all depends on WHO'S uncle or granddaddy came up with which version and THAT is the deciding factor. I say experiment a little and come with whatever version you like best. Just make sure vinegar is the main base. My own personal version has apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, Texas Pete, and a small amount of Heinz 57 steak sauce --not ketchup-- for a dash of color. However, I do think I will try what some have suggested and add just a touch of brown sugar to the sauce. That should round everything out and sounds about right. Now... back to that 8lb. butt that's slow cookin' in the oven. Shucks, I'm hungrier than a tick on an scrawny dog!!Posted Wed, Jan 1 2014 5:52PM

  56. Sheri Aakre I was so glad to find this recipe and the other comments helped too. I am from Virginia but lived in South Carolina and Georgia. Then we got transferred to Rhode Island. Boy did I need a good sauce recipe. I made this and a South Carolina style for tailgating and the Carolina was a hit! They gobbled it up. My husband made me hide some for home it was so good! Needless to say it has become a staple for our pork butt day's. Thanks for taking the time to break it down to help those of us that had only eatin it. Until now make it taste right.Posted Sat, Mar 8 2014 11:06AM

  57. jerry v Well I live in va but born and raised in eastern nc my grandfather and relative's raised hogs and cooked them in a pit.I use his sauce and I have never in 50 yrs ever put or heard anyone put ketchup in the E N C sauce.Posted Thu, Mar 13 2014 10:51AM

  58. Mike's Carolina BBQ Sauce Seasoning Excellent info here. I discovered Carolina Sauce in 2013, and my taste has been changed forever away from tomato based sauce. Vinegar and mustard go so well together in a BBQ sauce. Thanks.
    Posted Tue, Mar 18 2014 3:52AM

  59. Ann No sugar or ketchup! That's the only way I ever had it in ENC!Posted Thu, Mar 20 2014 4:36AM

  60. Scott Best sauce for pulled pork. I use nothing else since finding this recipe. The only alteration I make is in the 'hot sauce'. I prefer something with a little more kick (Addiction Bhut Jolokia / Marie Sharps). Just about any thin vinegar based sauce will do.

    5 stars on this sauce! Posted Sat, Apr 26 2014 3:49PM

  61. Cheri Here ye, Here ye, Scott I so Agree. Josh does an awesome job in sharing his taste buds! This sauce hit the spot on my pulled pork sammys! Posted Sat, Apr 26 2014 4:39PM

  62. Paul This is roughly the same recipe that I use except with the addition of onion and garlic powder. I found that I like the flavor more if I bring the temp up almost to boil and then turn it off. The longer it stays in the fridge, the better it gets. I get so many compliments every time I cook, it's almost embarassing. I cook and sell bbq as a fundraiser and it's common to have people tell me that it's the best they ever had. Of course smoked pork is going to have a better flavor than one cooked in a gas pig cooker. When you bring the internal temp to 200, it allows the collogen and connective tissue melt down and turn almost sweet. The only downfall to smoking is that you may have it on the smoker for 12-15 hours. Posted Thu, May 8 2014 2:45PM

  63. Catherine Looks like a nice middle of NC sauce! I am doing VA BBQ and NC BBQ in a few days - do you know how many lbs of pork are seasoned by 2 cups. Feeding 100%u2026. Scary!Posted Sun, May 18 2014 2:42PM

  64. Catherine oops! That was 100 people! Sorry!Posted Sun, May 18 2014 2:44PM

  65. protomeat This recipe is pretty much exactly a Piedmont or Lexington style North Carolina barbecue finishing sauce. The reason the tomato ketchup is not used in the eastern style is cause the Eastern is a purist style the meat is supposed to stand on its own....... And the other reason is Eastern Carolina sauce is meant to baste the hog throughout the barbecuing process if the sauce contains sugar the hog will burn during the hot smoking process.

    When I do Eastern Carolina barbecue I prepare it the purist way and then I have several different finishing sauces I make which people can or cannot choose to use. Personally like to use just a little bit of Piedmont/Lexington style finishing sauce.

    I grew up in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.Posted Wed, May 21 2014 5:00AM

  66. ashley gray My step father use to do easter Carolina pig pickens be for he past away my he r.i.p. he never let any one watch him make is sause but I do know that he DID use brown suger in his sause as do a lot of the other men so you are WRONG if you day they don't use suger. As for the texas pete it may not be made in Carolina but it's in most everyones sause up here with brown suger.... I grow up doing pig pickens an tasted 100s of sause to know.Posted Sat, May 31 2014 12:11PM

  67. p3orion Ashley, I don't think anyone said Texas Pete was not from North Carolina; it's made in Winston-Salem. If a NC-style sauce is going to have hot sauce in it at all (rather than just red pepper flakes) Texas Pete the THE only one to use if you're going to be authentic.

    Proto, as Ashley says, there are some eastern NC sauces that contain a bit of brown sugar (at least I think that's what she's saying.) You're right that sauces with a lot of sugar, like most rib sauces, would burn if used throughout the cooking process, but the small amount in a basting sauce does OK, especially considering the temperature on a long cook will probably be less than 250 degrees.Posted Mon, Jun 2 2014 3:18AM

  68. Hoss I have been using this sauce for years. The only change I make is to add 1 heaping tbs of chili powder. It darkens the sauce and gives it a bold flavor that really compliments the meat. I always try and use fruit wood when I smoke my pork butts with peach being my favorite. This weekend I am going to use a combination of peach and bourbon barrell oak wood. Posted Tue, Jun 10 2014 8:43AM

  69. GG Never, ever, ever use raw vinegar on Eastern NC Barbecue. Please cook the sauce. I had a very expensive barbecue dinner at The Pit in Raleigh, and immediately knew that the original owner had not really disclosed his true award-winning recipe. It had that nasty raw vinegar. What a waste of a good pig..The vinegar sauce must be cooked, or you don't know what you're doing... imho !!!Posted Mon, Jun 16 2014 2:12PM

  70. cheri GG this Carolina Tang sauce is brought to a boil and laid to rest a bit before putting on the pig, and is truly tasty. I made this sauce again last night for a family bbq sandwich night. Some of my pop's Tennessee tomato based sauce cooked on the pulled pork and some of the Carolina Tang on naked pulled pork. The vinegar sauce was the winner and oh so tasty. Thanks again Josh for sharing your recipe. Posted Mon, Jun 16 2014 8:27PM

  71. Texas Mike I've noticed some people calling the so-called Eastern recipes BBQ sauce. Uhm, flavored vinegar is not BBQ sauce. Heck, it's not even a sauce. Looking up the definition of "sauce" #1 says: thick liquid served with food, usually savory dishes, to add moistness and flavor.

    Now then, adding ketchup (which I have zero problem with) and brown sugar, etc...could certainly make this into a BBQ sauce but vinegar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper...alone is TECHNICALLY not a sauce.

    Either way, as someone else mentioned, who cares if it has ketchup or not, if it's Eastern or not....all that matters is that it's good. Just reading this recipe and many of the comments, I know this concoction is good and I will be trying it.

    And if Carolinians think only Pork is BBQ, they don't know much about BBQ. Us Texans will BBQ you a leather shoe and you'll eat it and say it's good.....let alone brisket.

    Seriously though, BBQ pork, chicken, beef, veggies, seafood, etc, etc, etc... It's all good!

    Oh, and if you don't use wood, it ain't real BBQ. I guess charcoal comes from wood so maybe it counts a little bit. ;)
    Posted Mon, Jun 23 2014 7:08PM

  72. ATL Pirate I am a Greenville, NC native and truly miss a good pig pickin' and all the sides and fellowship that goes along with the event. My favorite BBQ joint growing up was always B's. Thanks, Josh for giving me a sauce recipe that at least closely resembles one that my dad cooked up. Even though it is not authentic or purist as a classic ENC sauce, it's close enough for me! Posted Sat, Jul 19 2014 11:57AM

  73. cheri ATL Pirate thanks for the 'Fresh' outlook from a NC native. Most seem to just put their high horse on and nose up, instead of having open minds! Great sauce even if a NY'orker developed it. Being of Southern roots, Tennessee and Florida, myself I find that Carolina Tang Sauce truly enjoyable and a pleasant change from ANY BBQ sauce on pulled pork. Onward to the grillin!Posted Sat, Jul 19 2014 1:29PM

  74. Jeff Great recipe! I use this all the time on my pork butts since finding it last year.Posted Tue, Jul 22 2014 1:19AM

  75. Jordasche Kingston Hello. Your sauce looks and sounds great, thank you for sharing. I'm going to try it, and I hope I don't screw it up. I'm a natural health consultant, so I plan to use unrefined coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar, and I'll make my own ketchup. I am really excited to try a high fructose corn syrup free bbq sauce. Thank you, again. Posted Mon, Jul 28 2014 1:42PM

  76. Scott There is noi substitute for making your own sauce, but I have to say, being born and raised in eastern NC, the most authentic vinegar sauce in a bottle has to be Grendeddy Daves "Hawgwash" based out of Wake Forest, NC. It's got the spice, sweet, and salt to make some of the best NC BBQ ever in your back yard.Posted Fri, Aug 1 2014 12:47PM

  77. DR LR BARYQUE Pretty good sauce, mine is similar BUT I add A handful of my special rub I save while rubbing pork. I add my rub and it's irresistible Posted Fri, Aug 1 2014 9:29PM

  78. Peterrabit All this hoop about sauces when the most important thing and I say again IMPORTANT to cooked pork BBQ : first is good selection of meat,then your RUB,and finally SLOWCOOKING with wood of your choice that will give you the smoke flavor you injoy Sauces are made to enhance the flavor of the meat not to cover up it's taste....Good BBQ can stand alone and be great....If used, you what your taste buds like....Don't hide the good taste of the meat.....Posted Tue, Sep 9 2014 12:25PM

  79. Meautentot Dude, I am a NC girl. I was born in Tarboro, lived most of my life in Durham/Chapel Hill, and am settled in Asheville. I've had the gamut of BBQ across the state, and a fair sampling of SC. I feel like you hit the nail on the head as far as a blending of all takes. Definitely more vinegar than Western, but that's as should be! My good friend Adam and I made this the other night and he said "Well, I'll suffer that yankee for this sauce. He appreciates good barbecue, and that is, of course, the great mediator."Posted Fri, Sep 19 2014 7:20PM

  80. Becky The only time I was in North Carolina was a one-hour layover in Charlotte (and a lovely airport it is, by the way!), so your regional arguments seem completely pointless to me.

    If it tastes good, *eat it*, even if it isn't the way it's "always been done".

    In the Midwest, meat has "always been done" with a package of Lipton's soup mix, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a dollop of ketchup.

    This may be tradition, but it isn't worth saving!

    Innovation is not a bad thing, and it doesn't strike at the roots of your regional identity.

    I certainly can't understand the vitriolic denigrations from people who won't try anything new ever. You aren't a master if all you do is copy someone else.

    Josh, keep on posting your recipes, and ignore the haters.

    Posted Thu, Oct 23 2014 7:14PM

  81. plasterers bristol Yummy sounds delicious this, thanks for posting this up.

    SimonPosted Tue, Nov 11 2014 6:27AM

  82. Dean Too many folks like to split hairs these days. As my great grandpa told my grandpa during the depression "shut up and eat!" Posted Fri, Jan 9 2015 11:22PM

  83. Cahelie Jolly You don't have a clue about "Q" .This potion you have created resembles Lexington, NC style BBQ sauce, which no real lover of E. North Carolina BBQ can abide. Go to Kings, Wilber's, Parker's or Scott's for real Q and learn.Posted Sun, Jan 11 2015 11:04AM

  84. p3orion Don't look now Cahelie, but there's a lot more to North Carolina than just eastern NC, and their barbecue is as good or better. Josh never said this was supposed to be an authentically (or exclusively) eastern NC sauce; his recipe very nicely captures the flavors of both eastern and western Carolina styles.

    Post your own recipe, and when people are still using and praising it five years later, then you can criticize Josh's.Posted Sun, Jan 11 2015 1:46PM

  85. Protomeat I commented earlier - I also wanted to add that any of you eastern nc purists that think the known eastern nc pit masters are using simply vinegar crushed red pepper black pepper Texas Pete and salt - you're probably wrong.

    You probably are just following the base recipe that everyone knows is good.

    Great chefs and cooks play with flavor profiles in subtle ways to create their own unique spins. These spins are often what becomes a guarded secret in a recipe.

    For example there are many ingredients that are also tangy besides vinegar.

    Adding hints of other things (lemon juice etc.) can actually enhance an eastern nc sauce in subtle ways that if used in small enough increments would not be detectable and are the basis of secret recipes that chefs won't even let on that they are using.

    Some pit masters use smoked paprika among other things in the eastern carolina sauce. They just didn't tell you about it.

    For my finishing Piedmont sauce I don't use any ketchup - I prefer tomato paste a little roasted garlic.
    I don't use anything with high fructose corn syrup which most ketchup includes. Also putting texas Pete is basically pointless if you actually understand how to season things.
    Posted Wed, Feb 4 2015 1:37AM

  86. a This is way too hot!! I know my way around a kitchen and followed the recipe to the tee despite knowing better than to add this much heat! And it about burned everyones mouth off! I'm from NC born and raised right by lexington and this is far hotter than anything iv ever had. added half a bag of brown sugar a lot of ketchup and a cup water and strained out the red pepper just to make it edible.Posted Thu, Apr 2 2015 4:10AM

  87. p3orion A Says-
    I know some folks have less tolerance for pepper heat, and there's no accounting for taste, but wouldn't it have been easier just to start over?Posted Thu, Apr 2 2015 9:06AM

  88. carpetbagger This is NOT "NC pepper vinegar sauce". That was just the vinegar, salt, black pepper, and chili pepper he said in the beginning. This is some kind of bastard hybrid. "Ketchup and brown sugar" is Texas or Kansas City. That makes this NC blended with a huge dollop of Bullseye. Like what's on your plate at the end of playing with all the sauces on the table at Famous Dave's. This can only be correctly called "National Chain Busboy Sauce". And butter is only for making tossing-sauces stick to pre-cooked large oily pieces like Buffalo wings, it has absolutely zero relationship to "barbequeue". You might like these things (a lot) but that doesn't suddenly qualify them to be called something they're not.Posted Sat, Apr 25 2015 7:14PM

  89. p3orion Don't be a pretentious ass, Carpetbgger. The pure pepper vinegar sauce you seem to think is the only "real" NC sauce is indigenous to the eastern parts of the state, but once you get to Raleigh, there's still almost 400 miles of North Carolina to go. The western piedmont and mountain regions were settled by different people with different tastes, and some very good barbecue made there may often contain both sugars and a bit of tomato, and yet is every bit as much a "genuine North Carolina barbecue sauce" as the eastern sauces. If that offends your highly developed barbecue sensitivities, do what most people do and recognize that there are BOTH eastern and western North Carolina sauces.

    As for butter, Josh never mentioned it anyway, but some folks DO (and legitimately so) add it to a mop sauce, since modern pigs are generally much lower in fat than what were raised some decades ago. Again, it's a matter of taste, but just because you disagree doesn't mean you should fancy yourself the official arbiter of what deserves to be called a "North Carolina sauce."Posted Sun, Apr 26 2015 12:58AM

  90. Martin P I don't care what anybody says about this sauce. I think its great!Posted Fri, May 1 2015 5:24PM

  91. Ann Except for the brown sugar, this is how I make my sauce. My sister was married on the beach in NC though she was living in Seattle. She'd attended UNC Chapel Hill and was quite fond of NC 'Q!). Well, naturally, she had a whole BBQ pig catered for the wedding party. I brought homemade NC BBQ sauce with me from FL. The caterers were very impressed and mine was especially spicy. The big jug of it didn't last long! Making some sauce right now. Need to get some buns for my BBQ sammiches!!! Drooling already!!Posted Sat, May 2 2015 10:29AM

  92. Ann I want to add... fresh habaneros really puts some bite into this sauce. This sauce is actually good for dipping grilled wings into!!! Also as a marinade!!! Hell, you can use it on practically anything!!!!Posted Sat, May 2 2015 10:35AM

  93. steelerguy Made the sauce Ben in posted in comment 6, minus the pork drippings...those were all sacrificed to the wood Gods. It was excellent! I don't give a crap about east or west or people who think if you don't cook in TX it is crap. This was a simple and great sauce with equal parts tang and sweetness. Will be my new goto pulled pork sauce base (personal touches are what makes it your own).

    Thanks Ben!Posted Sun, May 3 2015 6:00PM

  94. kellee It was awfull !!Posted Tue, Jun 2 2015 12:57PM

  95. Donna Wow. People have some strong opinions about their BBQ sauce! I'm just a NC born gal who was transplanted to California in her youth. My granddaddy had a BBQ pit out back of his house and that fabulous taste was deeply engrained in my memory. I recently went looking for that taste. Although not quite pitch perfect, this recipe comes close. I've asked my brother who is a great cook to critique to see what he thinks might improve that famous taste. I added a little less vinegar and more hot sauce and red pepper flakes to my second batch. Love this on pork. Yum. Posted Mon, Jul 6 2015 10:57PM

  96. TK The argument over sauce reminds me of the Woody Allen movie "Radio Days" where his parents argue heatedly over the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean -- which ocean is better? Sit me down at any table in any region in this county where the pork is smoked, pulled and enjoyed and I'll try any of your local sauces to compliment it. I tried Josh's in an emergency and to no surprise it works! Thanks!Posted Thu, Jul 9 2015 12:20PM

  97. Ben Would this be good on st louis ribs? Posted Thu, Jul 9 2015 7:59PM

  98. ann @Ben Of course as long as the ribs were not cooked slathered in bbq sauce.! Also great with chicken!!!! Posted Thu, Jul 9 2015 8:46PM

  99. Teri I love that the comments on this recipe are still active after four years! Shows how much people love their pork sauces. I lived in Raleigh for 16 years and had a sales territory of Chapel Hill to the coast, so I had the true pleasure of eating at every little mom and pop Eastern NC joint I could find (Ralph's in Roanoke Rapids, Olde Tyme in Raleigh, and the little one in Williamston were my favorites).

    But I moved away a few years back and my current state has nothing even close. I was on vacation in OBX last week and had my first ENC BBQ in years, it was heavenly.

    So tonight I'm craving it and while I don't have a smoker, I have a few kitchen tricks up my sleeve so I looked up sauce recipes since I haven't made any in over five years. I think I only used vinegar and red pepper flakes before, and I liked it, but thought I might be missing something. After reading through ALL of the comments here I've decided to add a little garlic and possibly a bit of sugar but that's it.

    Thanks for all the comments! I've found a new website that I'm sure I will love as a "low-carber"!Posted Fri, Jul 10 2015 6:33PM

  100. ann @p3orion Love liver mush also called liver cheese
    Posted Fri, Jul 10 2015 6:48PM

  101. p3orion Got a recipe for it, Ann? All that I find call for "one pig's liver" rather than a weight. I can sometimes buy sliced pork liver in the grocery store, but I have no idea how much to use, since I don't know what a pig's liver would weigh.Posted Sat, Jul 11 2015 5:49PM

  102. Marge I use to live in Goldsboro NC and I used to go to Wilbur's Barbecue resturant. Yummy!!!! The best place to get a good ole southern dinner, the pork was delish and so was the rest of the chicken, hush puppies and so on and so on. Posted Fri, Jul 17 2015 10:33PM

  103. pavedngold Something just isn't quite right! I buy a pork tenderloin, rather large one and cook it in Georges hot carolina sauce. Then I put one half upfor oulled pork the third day after. I can't put my finger on it, but something is wrong. Maybe it is the ketchup and lack of butter? I have the recipe somewhere, but hubby's been digging through my recipes and I couldn't find it so I tried yours. It is good but whoa! Gotta bite to it we're not familiar with. Still quite yummy!Posted Sun, Jul 19 2015 4:15PM

  104. p3orion Tenderloins are usually pretty lean. I suspect there isn't enough fat content in most for it to really "pull," which requires rendered fat to break down during a "low and slow" cook, allowing the meat fibers to pull apart. You can still chop it, and the flavor's probably still good with the sauce (especially if you smoke the meat) but I think that texture difference is the "not quite right" you're noticing. Try switching to a butt (now called a shoulder-blade roast in some markets) or a picnic, and save the tenderloins for quick cooking.Posted Sun, Jul 19 2015 4:49PM

  105. Fully Alive I was born in Farmville and graduated from ECU (Go Pirates!). Grew up on Parker's Barbecue (Wilson). They're still around and in Greenville too though it doesn't taste like it used to. My "go to" now us Smithfield's Chicken and Barbecue in the east and Lexington in the Piedmont. Eastern NC is a no ketchup land BUT this is good sauce - kinda reminds me of Peter's Beach Barbecue Sauce. I could drink that stuff straight from the bottle!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Got some pork cooking right now!Posted Wed, Jul 22 2015 3:24PM

  106. Roger W I have lived in NC all my life, do many BBQ competitions all over the U.S., catered my fair share and have cooked everything from rabbit to bear to deer and back again, over open pits, closed pits, grills and smokers.

    North Carolina actually has 3 types of sauces which are:

    Western and:
    Lexington Style

    To suggest that mustard sauce is one of our sacred sauces is blasphemy!!!
    Posted Sun, Jul 26 2015 3:29PM

  107. Perch Teri mentioned one of my favorite BBQ places ever, Ralph's in Roanoke Rapids. Out of the way unless you live there or are fishing the Roanoke River striper run, I don't think I've had much better. They have a lady there who does nothing but cook hushpuppies all day, for goodness sake, and hushpuppies show up on the table when the waitress brings the water. While many places in the south can whip up a mean hushpuppy, Ralph's comes close to perfection, and with that fantastic BBQ to go with it, I'd highly recommend going out of your way to find them. I am trying to figure out what sauce to serve with my 6lb butt tomorrow. I'm leery of the ketchup, not because I'm philosophically opposed to the ketchup, per se, but because I really love the flavor you typically find in that true Eastern NC BBQ. Lexington style is good, and I won't deny there are many good sauces out there, but for my taste, that simple Eastern taste is what made me fall in love with a BBQ sandwich. And you can keep your coleslaw as well. If the meat is good, and the sauce is good, and the bun is fresh, well, that's heaven and it's good enough for me.Posted Tue, Jul 28 2015 3:17PM

  108. Sesi Miller I make my NC sauce pretty much the same way as this, it tastes just the same as the sauces from my two favorite pig places in Washington, NC, "Boss Hogs" & Hog Heaven,.. pretty much identical to Hog Heaven's Hog Wash sauce... I'm from Virginia, so I make it like theirs... Good enough for me.. "Hog Wash" lol... Posted Fri, Aug 7 2015 7:16PM

  109. Sesi Miller BTW~ George's Original is really good too...hard to find up around here though... I just make it now anyway....Posted Fri, Aug 7 2015 7:21PM

  110. Greg C George's is not to shabby I sometimes use it as a starter but my favorite is Wells Hog Heven. It has a more earthy taste that I enjoy. But an absolute must when brewing up my homemade sauce is a top quality apple cider vinegar and I believe there is non better than Braggs. Give it a shot.... you'll love it. ..Posted Fri, Aug 21 2015 2:53PM

  111. GregC Darn auto correct. . Lol. Make that Wells Hog Heaven. :)Posted Fri, Aug 21 2015 2:58PM

  112. BillS Great sauce! Hadn't been to E NC in a while and wanted a little taste to show wife what it was like... She is from TX and I'm from SC (mustard based)...I'm hoping she likes it but I've already tasted and it is awesome, despite the no ketchup critics.

    Thanks for the research and posting recipe. I'm sure all the experimenting was painful. Posted Wed, Aug 26 2015 3:04PM

  113. steve p Well I read all the posts and I guess I might be a little old fashioned. Pulled pork? enc style is minced. Butts? Enc style is whole hog. If you are out of state and want to make a good substitute I can tell you how to do it and you dont need a pig cooker. Contact me at and I will tell you what I think the secret is. I aint telling everybody but if you are desperate for that taste I will see if I can give you a few tips.Posted Sun, Aug 30 2015 9:19PM

  114. Pigskin Barbeque This is very similar to the vinegar sauce I make.
    I love it on pulled pork but I also love it on shredded barbeque chicken and as a mop sauce for ribs.
    Thanks for sharing!Posted Sun, Sep 13 2015 9:58PM

  115. Nicole Kaldahl My husband lived in east NC during college & has tried his hand at Eastern style before... I am Texan that loves her Texas BBQ, have a bit of a competitive streak & I enjoy the praise I get when my wanna-be food critic hubby gives it. I smoked a pork butt & used your recipe. In Texas, I could not find Texas Pete at the store. So after much deliberation, I bought Chulula. That was the one change & because I had to.
    I presented dinner & told my husband I tried making the sauce... He started out telling me he "bet it wasn't the real Eastern NC style & that I did like he had". He also let me know that the pork was "so smoky" flavored that he probably wouldn't be able to tell anyway (giving me a reprieve?). His back glances to me while eating it, I couldn't tell if he hated it or I got it right. He started quizzing me on the ingredients, I failed to mention the ketchup part to him in fear it would taint his opinion (based on the comments posted here). He said this was it, THIS WAS THE SAUCE THAT HE TRIED TO MAKE. I did confess the ketchup ingredient, days later when I had heard non-stop compliments about it and he asked for the recipe. Thank you for sharing your recipe. It's spot on. Posted Tue, Sep 22 2015 12:25PM

  116. p3orion Hi Nicole-
    I had trouble finding Texas Pete in Texas too, but I seem to recall H.E.B. started carrying it shortly before I moved back east. Until I could get it again, I used Frank's or Trappey's, both of which are a bit closer to Texas Pete in flavor than Chulula. However, I doubt the difference is really noticeable with only 2 Tbs mixed into more than 2 cups of other ingredients.

    In any case, "nothing succeeds like success," and it sounds like your sauce was very successful, if your husband finally begrudgingly broke down and asked for the recipe. I'm not sure you should have given it to him; it's not uncommon to have a "secret" sauce, and it might have been better just to leave him wondering enviously at your barbecue mastery!Posted Wed, Sep 23 2015 9:20AM

  117. RK Sheesh. He never calls it a "traditional ENC sauce". He calls it GOOD. Welcome to 'the melting pot'.

    I usually add de-fatted drippings to a western (KC or STL) sauce to thin it enough for pulled pork, but it tends to be too rich and sweet. So, I'm going to try the vinegary thing. This one sounds better than clear stuff to me. But I doubt I can find Texas Pete in Minnesota. Thanks to those who offered alternative ideas.Posted Sun, Sep 27 2015 10:23AM

  118. Nicole Kaldahl Lol my husband "RK" is from MN as well. They have individual packets at Chik-Filet, I think. P3orion, there is an HEB in the big city 15 miles from here, I'll grab some. They say a samurai sword maker retires when he makes the perfect one. Giving My RK the recipe, it's also like giving him enough rope to hang himself. He will take this proclaimed perfect sauce & change it, to "improve" it. He hadn't learned by now he just f**** it up. Mark my words! Ha! Thank you!!Posted Sun, Sep 27 2015 4:01PM

  119. p3orion Yeah, well I can sympathize with him. When you take a sauce that's darn near perfect and yet change it anyway, the point isn't really to "improve" it, but to get it to where you don't have to admit you got it from someone else.

    "Where did I get this recipe? Oh, this is my OWN recipe..."Posted Sun, Sep 27 2015 4:50PM

  120. Nicole Kaldahl Here I've been thinking it's purely men never being satisfied with what they have. You've convinced me it's arrogance & pride. ;)
    He made the perfect chili, I even let the fact there are beans in it slide (Texas chili (competition) does not allow beans. But being born & raised here AND an open mind...). I took him to Tolbert's (they started the Terlingua chili cook off) & told him it was the 2nd best chili I've ever had. From there, he tweaked his (which was perfect, #1) the last two times & it didn't get ate. Kinda like that quote in "Mystic Pizza", "You don't monkey with tradition".
    Anyway, this sauce is the best as is. Sorry to get off point. Haters are gonna hate. But it got two lip smacking thumbs up from King Gastronome. Those that want to split hairs & trash it without trying it, more for me! %uD83D%uDE1CPosted Sun, Sep 27 2015 5:38PM

  121. Tree I spent my formative cooking years in Eastern NC. There are more "Thou Shall's and Shall Not's" with BBQ rules than any topic known to man. Been making variations of Moore's similar sauce for 30 years. I never measure a thing and its never the same twice- yet pretty close every time. "Seat of the pants navigation." You'll know when you get there.

    My .02: MUST let it simmer and 'come together'. (another shall!)

    Cracks me up when the Know-it-All's have to rescue everyone from themselves and explain the rules of BBQ. I say try it all at least once.

    Good luck with whatever you put in. Bourbon (more than just a little too) makes a nice flavor profile too.Posted Thu, Oct 15 2015 2:15PM

  122. Like 'em with and without ketchup Grew up in NC between Raleigh and Wilson in a small rural area near Middlesex. When I was a kid, my family and many others in my neighborhood raise hogs. Pork was a huge part of our diet. We BBQ'd a whole hog at least 3-4 times per year and smaller parts in between. The vinegar sauce we almost always used didn't have any ketchup or sugar in it and it was delicious. Since then, I have tried sauces from many different places in the U.S. but my favorite still is vinegar based sauce and my favorite place to get a BBQ sandwich from is Parker's BBQ (Wilson and Greenville). I can't tell you exactly how its made, but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't have any ketchup in it and probably only a little sugar, if any.
    However, I have had vinegar sauces made with ketchup and sugar and I like some of them also. In fact, my second favorite vinegar sauce recipe comes from a cousin of mine and it contains sugar and ketchup. It was the absolute best sauce I have ever had poured over a hot hog at a pig picking.
    As far as I'm concerned, either way can be good. From what I have seen, traditional Vinegar sauce doesn't use ketchup. But if Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt, and Texas Pete are the foundation, I think it can pass as NC style Vinegar Sauce.
    By the way, many would consider Eastern NC as the area around and east of Interstate 95. I think of it as the cucumber and tobacco belt.Posted Mon, Nov 16 2015 4:45PM

  123. Cheri Nice to hear someone speak with an open mind about this sauce and others. If it's good it's GOOD!Posted Mon, Nov 16 2015 4:49PM

  124. Mopping sauce versus BBQ sauce Trouble is, most folks don't know the process of whole hog, pit cooked cue. The watery consistency of the mopping sauce is applied throughout the smoking. Through this overnight process, the hickory smoke and vinegar that is watered down soaks slowly into the meat; its not supposed to be a glaze. After this long process, you don't need what folks think of as barbecue sauce today. The meat is chapped or pulled and carries plenty of flavor without the sugary, tomato based thick glazes that most have to use because the meat was cooked incorrectly in the first place.Posted Thu, Dec 3 2015 1:07PM

  125. p3orion That's true if you want whole-hog barbecue, but some of us prefer the premium cuts like butts and picnics (and also prefer ending up with less than 50 or 60 pounds of the finished product.)

    Besides, you forgot one of the most important aspects of whole-hog pit-cooked 'cue: the Jack Daniels that slowly soaks into the cookers during an overnight cook!Posted Thu, Dec 3 2015 4:02PM

  126. Mopping sauce versus BBQ sauce p3orion is right about the bourbon being passed around overnight. Back in the 50s a pig pickin was a family and community event, but even more, it reflected the lengthy history that went well back into the 1600s. I'm 66, but my research into my early ancestor revealed that he was a sea captain and buccaneer who first owned the land near Charleston called SeeWee. The area they later moved to was mostly Scottish and English around what is now Williamsburg and Florence county. He obviously learned about cue as a resident of Jamaica. In that area of SC there is a great similarity between the process and the use of mopping sauce that is shared in the eastern areas of SC, NC, and Virginia. We never used sauces when the meat was cooked as the flavor had so totally permeated the meat with a perfect balance of smokiness, mopping sauce, salt and pepper. The key thing was the flavor of the free range hogs the came first and foremost. Back then it was the process, the event, and the technique that all led to a perfect barbecue. Too, like todays flavorless chicken, pork that was naturally raised had FAR more flavor. Even today, I don't want the sauces or rubs to be the primary flavor. Beyond that, each of the states had many small regions with a world of difference between each, but when I see the new machines and mass marketed sauces it makes me glad to have been raised when I was. Posted Sat, Dec 5 2015 11:41AM

  127. In conclusion Over the many past decades I have heard countless debates about NC barbecue. I've even seen folks get red in the face debating exactly how the meat should be cut, whether to use cider or distilled vinegar and how much water, whether to use red or black pepper, etc.. Then comes the sides and how to prepare them, such as plain white bread on the side or a bun ...if bread is used as all. Some want cornbread. Some want hushpuppies, but then they argue over whether to include onion. Then there is slaw which can be the traditional red or white, Of course there is the issue of whether the slaw should go on top od the cue. Others want pinto beans on the side, or greens. The other sides and styles are endless.

    The one thing that does make me want to scream is hearing South Carolina barbecue lumped into the category of mustard based sauces. Plain beach water, vinegar, and pepper came hundreds of years before that nasty concoction and is the basis of barbecoa that was brought from the islands and served as a staple among the buccaneers even when they moved to the east cost of the south. The mustard came later with German immigrants and was popularized around Lexington.

    Liver mush is still made and very popular around Shelby. In Atlanta it can be found in Ingles groceries. I made it once simply using pork liver, corn meal, a pack of gelatin and chicken stock, sage, salt, pepper, and some red pepper seed. The key is the proper balance of meal and liver. Don't use a blending/chopping machine that introduces too much air. Even some commercial brands have far too much meal. Liver pudding has more liver than liver mush. I think it is best when steamed until the block (a bread pan) has set. Tried to use the oven once, but it came out too dry. Then be sure to cook thoroughly and let it set. I won't eat commercial souse or scrapple as they use the cheapest possible ingredients ...and I have seen it made in those processing facilities.Posted Sun, Dec 6 2015 12:38PM

  128. p3orion Conclusion, I'd sure like to have your livermush recipe. No one has even heard of it here in western Georgia. The only recipes I've found online all call for "a pig's liver," as if that's a useful measurement in this age of buying it by the pound.

    I agree that "liver pudding" is more of a northern thing, with too much liver for the taste I grew up with in NC. I'm wanting to end up with a finished product along the lines of Neese's livermush, which even though they call it "liver pudding," is more like the livermush made by Valleydale and other manufacturers.

    As for SC barbecue, I agree that, historically, the mustard base was predated by a thinner mop more similar to eastern NC sauce, but you're hard-pressed to find anything NOT mustard-base in much of South Carolina now. I'm afraid Maurice Bessinger warped their taste buds forever.

    Posted Sun, Dec 6 2015 1:26PM

  129. p3orion I have to say I like Neese's scrapple too, especially doused with some pepper vinegar. However, I can't imagine it's something I'd want to see made (it's called "head cheese" for a reason.) There are some things I just don't want to know...Posted Sun, Dec 6 2015 1:29PM

  130. countryliving Check out the internet for "Scrapple" recipes. I have found several where you boil pork neck bones, pick the meat from the bones and strain the stock, put the meat pulled, use salt, pepper, poultry seasonings. Bring it back to a boil and add cornmeal and cook until it is very stiff. Pour it into loaf pans lined with foil or wrap. Place in refrig overnight, dump from pans, slice, dip in flour and then fry it until golden brown on both sides. I would think other pork "parts" could be interchanged.Posted Fri, Jan 1 2016 11:21AM

  131. p3orion Thanks, Country, I guess I'm just going to have to just take one of those scrapple recipes and tinker until I can convert it to livermush. I never heard of anyone dipping livermush in flour before frying it, though; that must be strictly a scrapple thing.

    I agree about interchangeable "pork parts," except that you want be sure there are enough un-meaty parts like snouts and ears, so that you end up with some gelatin in the broth, and don't have to count on loads of cornmeal to hold it all together.

    And I think we can all agree that "Interchangeable Pork Parts" would be a fine name for a southern rock band.Posted Fri, Jan 1 2016 12:58PM

  132. p3orion On second thought, I don't think I can use anything from these scrapple recipes. One had no pig in it but a single ham hock with all the skin and fat removed. Another was made with sausage and sweetened condensed milk.

    My ancestors would come back and haunt me...Posted Fri, Jan 1 2016 1:03PM

  133. countryliving My mother used to fix what we called "fried mush". She would use whatever pork she had on hand. I personally prefer the meat from the neckbones. The flour dipping gives it a nice crispy, golden finish.

    I did find this recipe that might give you a start in what you are looking for.

    I made up some BBQ yesterday in my crockpot for New Year's using the recipe above which a slight adjustment for personal taste. Made great BBQ sandwiches.Posted Sat, Jan 2 2016 9:14AM

  134. countryliving Found these also: Sat, Jan 2 2016 9:17AM

  135. countryliving Sorry, forgot to add the website earlier -- Sat, Jan 2 2016 9:23AM

  136. p3orion Thanks, Countryliving. Those look like good starting points. For some reason it didn't occur to me to look for "liver pudding" rather than "livermush," even though Neese's (one of the favorite brands I recall eating) always called theirs liver pudding.

    I'm going to make some today, which will delight my daughter (and horrify my wife, who wasn't brought up on it.) Thank you, and have a Happy New Year!Posted Sat, Jan 2 2016 11:56AM

  137. ann i broke my arm and have leftover pulled pork. no way i can eat that much less handle with one arm. thought about tossing with nc sauce then freezing. don't want to end up with dried out pork after spending 8 hours slow roasting a loin with bacon fat and dry rub. i'm having to do everything with my non-dominant arm. i live alone. if i had 2 working arms, i be doing all kinds of things with pork...but, nooo... any way, hope everyone had a great holiday!Posted Sat, Jan 2 2016 4:06PM

  138. ann btw, from now on, bacon fat is where it's at when i roast pork. after 8 hours at 225 degrees, the 2.2 lb loin developed a nice pink color through and through and was the most tender pork i've ever had (pats self on back). did not brine this time because of the bacon fat. the fat came from a locally made, uncured, heavily peppered bacon. good bacon! exceptional. can't wait to have 2 arms again.
    Posted Sat, Jan 2 2016 4:14PM

  139. PeggyS I love these comments! There's enough material here for a book! I've never had true BBQ, being from Canada, but I love the way you guy's talk about it with passion. You're a brave man, Josh, and I will try your recipe (and a few others mentioned in the comments).Posted Sun, Jan 3 2016 8:47PM

  140. countryliving p3orion, good luck with the liver pudding. I know how it is to get a taste for something & have trouble recreating it. I was that way with my "fried mush" that I used to have as a child and found the basic recipes for scrapple very close to what I was looking for. (Of course, not the healthiest craving to develop).Posted Mon, Jan 4 2016 6:40AM

  141. Ann How long will this last in the fridge? Posted Fri, Jan 15 2016 8:00AM

  142. David I am from central NC, 2.5 hours to the mountains and 2.5 hours to the beach and live in the same county where Hurseys bbq originally opened, That being said I enjoy both styles of bbq, I think the term you are referring to is lexington style bbq and eastern style bbq. I am going to try this sauce out this weekend and I will let you know how it compares to some of those I've had, thanks for sharing.Posted Fri, Jan 15 2016 10:45AM

  143. p3orion If you have to ask how long it will keep, then you're not eating enough barbecue!

    However, my sauce is pretty similar, and I have had some in the fridge for six months (I made way too much in one of my batches) with no appreciable loss of quality. You might lose some of the pepper "punch" after a while, but that much acid from the vinegar is going to prevent actual spoiling, especially if kept cold.Posted Fri, Jan 15 2016 10:47AM

  144. tbearsghia Being from the middle section of NC The Piedmont Triad Area
    (Greensboro High Point Winston Salem). The best barbecue sauce I have ever had is King's Barbecue Sauce was in Greensboro, NC.
    Unbelievable! Mr & Mrs. King were educators that had this restaurant on Phillips Ave. Oh my the ribs cooked and the chopped barbecue with cole slaw made your mouth water just thinking of it. Now that they are deceased. The son, James T King out of Greensboro sells the "Secret Sauce" on Facebook. If you get the chance try it m'm m'm good!
    PS: I have been across the country trying barbecue when I ate meat and by far there is nothing finer than North Carolina Barbecue.
    Posted Sat, Feb 6 2016 2:39PM

  145. Celestine I have hit the mother lode with this NC boba sauce recipe. I lived in Charlotte years ago, and that sauce has still been on my taste buds......the sauce, pickles, and slaw.

    I am from Georgia, and trust me, we have good sauces there as well. But, there is nothing like a Carolina vinegar based sauce. I, as well as a couple of my siblings think that we inherited our father's cooking gene. I am in the process of planning the menu for an upcoming event, and pulled pork sandwiches will be on the menu one day.

    I peruse sites all the time, and my taste buds know what they know. And even if I have to adjust flavors, regardless of regional distinctions, I can do that well. So excited about using this one as my base. Thank you. Posted Sun, Mar 20 2016 1:41PM

  146. Cookie I have taste pulled pork also known as chopped bar-b-que with vinegar based sauce from the Viginia line to the South Carolina line, and i have found no place has better vinegar based pit cooked pulled pork than McCalls 1st and Wilburs 2nd, both located in GOLDSBORO NC.Posted Sun, Mar 27 2016 10:18PM

  147. JT NC native Yes, Great!!! From Fayetteville, NC area.... Just no tomato products for this. I raised hogs as a kid on up and this is how its made Eastern NC area and south. Of course, we slow roasted the entire hog outside for 24 hours. Haha.....

    Add a side of coleslaw, hushpuppies, potato salad, and baked beans!!!Posted Mon, Mar 28 2016 2:53PM

  148. Alan Gruesbeck Would this sauce be as good if I made a lot and froze some of it?Posted Wed, Mar 30 2016 5:50PM

  149. Tom I used this recipe as a brine for pickled eggs. They were crazy good after a two week soak in this sauce!Posted Sat, Apr 2 2016 5:43PM

  150. Phyllis Harwell High I.was born in Asheville, dad from Lincolnton, but raised in D.C., now in CA. Had BBQ all over. The best North Carolina BEST EXAMPLE of traditional sauce is @ Stamey's, in Greensboro & elsewhere. It's even in the Cole slaw. No mayo!!! It is not spicy so skip the Texas thing for NC authenticity. A dash tomato or mustard ok, but we always used Worcestershire too with apple cider vinegar...Posted Sun, Apr 3 2016 7:35PM

  151. Tom Grew up in SE VA, and spent lots of time in coastal NC - sampled BBQ in both. One of my favorite places was in Smithfield VA where I had family, it had a nice eastern NC style sauce. Been to, and helped with, a number of pig pickin's through the years. Obviously I am not a purist, because I think the tiny amount of ketsup is ok and adds nice color without impacting flavor much. One recipe I enjoy also has white pepper, that probably doesn't fit the ENC purist either. Texas Pete, or Frank's, never Tabasco. Minced or shredded? A lot of places I've been to offer either, I prefer shredded. Slaw, yes. But there is great slaw and there is cabbage with crap. Posted Fri, May 13 2016 6:13AM

  152. p3orion Tom, I like your idea of using this or similar sauces for pickled eggs. I bet they were good! Maybe even cut them in half after the soak and make deviled eggs from them to go with the 'cue? What a great side dish!

    As far as the great tomato controversy, I also am willing to add just a little to my sauce to tweak the color. But I use V8 juice, which adds a little depth of flavor too, without really CHANGING the flavor. It also gives it some red; mine is pretty dark otherwise, because I use sorgham molasses instead of brown sugar.Posted Fri, May 13 2016 9:34AM

  153. jethro Like it all eastern bc and e. VA are the best try 50/50 w brown sugar and molasses and instead of Texas petes(sorry garners) try Panola gourmet sauce from lousianaPosted Tue, Jul 19 2016 6:58PM

  154. Mark There was a comment on this board that there was good BBQ sauce in Georgia. The only sauce fit to eat in GA is mine and that is because i am from Raleigh NC! Georgian's put too much sugar in their sauce.

    As for the debate of Eastern Carolina sauce and the use of ketchup... Many in the east add a small amount of Ketchup to their mop sauce to make their finishing sauce. The recipe that initiated this threat is almost identical to what i use, which is what my father used and my Grandfather used... Its about as traditional and authentic as it comes.Posted Mon, Jul 25 2016 5:06PM

  155. p3orion C'mon now, Mark, there's at least one other good sauce in Georgia: mine! And for the same reason, that I grew up in NC.

    But you're right about the native sauce here. Worse yet, in far western GA, it's mustard based, like the central SC sauces. Cross the border into 'Bama and it has MAYONNAISE in it (the horror!)

    I suppose they have their purposes, the "Bama white sauce is pretty good on chicken, But it just ain't "barbecue."
    Posted Mon, Jul 25 2016 5:25PM

  156. Bbqlover Some of your recipes are good , but a true Carolina BBQ lover doesn't put ketchup mustard or molasse in their sauce.You just don't. The person asking about Neese's Liverwurst you can go to their web site and order what you want and they will deliver it to you.. Neese's has always been the best.
    Posted Fri, Aug 5 2016 1:49AM

  157. mike owen I was born and raised just outside Raleigh, where the traditional vinger-base is called 'devil's dew), I have ended up here in Western Tennessee, where despite being fairly near Memphis I've discovered a pit BBQ very near to me in Paris called Trolinger's that's been doing the classic Carolina and vinegar slaw recipes since 1917 .. they even make a great vinegar slaw that tastes just right to this old tarheel.Posted Tue, Aug 16 2016 10:07AM

  158. Jacobward really good recipe wee cooked it on weber spirit sp-320 linkPosted Thu, Sep 1 2016 12:25PM

  159. L. Chance It still amazes me how people come out of the woodwork to tell how wrong someone is when they share their ideas and opinions, even with the caveat of "this is my opinion, you have yours too". Try the guy's recipe, or don't. This whole, you should know better than do such and such, "you're not traditional, you're so wrong" is so idiotic and a symptom of the degradation of morality and politeness in today's modern society.

    I followed his recipe, modified the peppers to piquins, the hot sauce to a real good Mexican one we like and have on hand, and it turned out great. Put it over smoked pork loin. Good sauce. Thank you for the recipe!Posted Sun, Oct 16 2016 4:29PM

  160. p3orion Chance, I agree with you about the coarsening and loss of civility in our society, but I'm not sure this thread is an example of it.

    There's a fine line between passion and fanaticism, and some folks tiptoe that line pretty closely when it comes to 'cue. Of course everyone is free to make and enjoy whatever sauce they like. What's set a few people off is Josh's apparent blasphemy in calling a very good sauce that happens to include a tiny bit of ketchup an "eastern NC sauce." That opinion prevails anywhere east of Raleigh, and by the time you get past I-95, "them's fightin' words."

    The good folks of eastern NC have centuries of evidence that they make some of the best damn barbecue in the world, a fact of which they are justifiably proud. They fiercely resist anything that might lead to a lessening of that status, or perhaps worse yet, blur the line on what qualifies as that ENC barbecue and "hurt their brand identity." To that end, they have made a tacit communal vow to oppose any tomato-based product in any "true" Eastern NC sauce.

    I love me some good beef brisket when I am in Texas, but I also exercise a curmudgeonly refusal to call it "barbecue", in honor to my Carolina roots. "NO KETCHUP!" is the same thing, just dialed up a notch.

    Eat what you like, enjoy the sauce you make, and appreciate the common ground we DO share: that barbecue is one of life's great joys.

    Oh, and also that it ain't supposed to have no dang cows in it.Posted Tue, Oct 18 2016 7:43AM

  161. Scott P3orion,
    Your stance on Texas 'cue is fightn' words, sir. Smokin a 20lb brisket 18-20 hours is the epitome of what BBQ is - curmudgeon tendencies be damned.
    As a Texas native (bread and buttered here) pork, in all of its glory, shapes and sizes is a favorite of mine to throw on a smoker & is considered 'cue. However, to state that brisket, beef ribs, shoulder clod, rib roasts, tri tips etc aint 'cue (or aint supposed to be), is a personal affront to the BBQ gods (and they could punish you with thick billowing white smoke in your rig should you not repent).

    All affronts aside - I absolutely love this sauce. Any left overs goes on to dress collard/mustard/turnip greens. Top notch, A , 5*!

    Posted Tue, Oct 18 2016 11:25AM

  162. p3orion Scott, I am perfectly swilling to concede that Texas beef is delicious. And it could even be credibly argued that smoking a brisket and ending up with an edible product takes more finesse (and perhaps, more skill) than does a more forgiving piece of meat like a pork shoulder.

    But suffice it to say that the much-revered Davy Crockett, though he died at the Alamo, originally came from Tennessee, and would quite likely have agreed with ME!Posted Tue, Oct 18 2016 4:50PM

  163. Nicole Kaldahl Hahahaha I hate to chime in, but I was told I came across as "smug" when I said "Texas" to a man that asked where I was from in a hotel lobby. He was from Tennessee & quick to mention the Tennessee boys that pitched in, back in the Alamo days. I was in Moscow at the time & my shock of running into a fellow American was confused with Texas arrogance.
    Tennessee, what have you done for me lately? ;) %u2764%uFE0FPosted Wed, Oct 19 2016 12:34AM

  164. Scott %u201CYou may all go to hell and I will go to Texas... for the cue'.%u201D Davy Crockett
    Abe Lincoln told me to believe everything you read on the internet. Posted Wed, Oct 19 2016 10:19AM

  165. p3orion "Tennessee, what have you done for [Texas] lately?"

    Losing to A&M was a nice start...Posted Wed, Oct 19 2016 5:42PM

  166. Nicole Kaldahl I love your sass, you sure sound like you're from Texas!
    No Gig 'Em in this house... Hook 'em Horns! ;)Posted Wed, Oct 19 2016 10:54PM

  167. okjoesdc1 Oklahoma Joe's BBQ The Best BBQ in America. Mind blowing best bbq sauce recipe. As one of the most decorated barbecue champions in the world.
    how to make a best bbq ribs
    we start with
    Premium Cuts & Fresh Ingredients
    We take pride in using the freshest ingredients, the best quality farm raised beef, pork, chicken and turkey always prepared daily and wood smoked in-house. Our bread is baked daily, sauce home-made and only the world's finest aromatics are used in our award winning rubs.

    Then we add our own
    Award-Winning Sauces & Dry Rubs
    As one of the most decorated barbecue champions in the world, Joe Davidson's award winning sauces and dry rubs are the standard in modern day BBQ. Made in-house at our Kansas City facility, all of our rubs, sauces and blends have an award winning history that dates back nearly 30 years.Posted Sat, Nov 12 2016 8:30AM

  168. p3orion Anybody else put off by the frikkin' COMMERCIAL that has suddenly appeared on this longstanding forum? Heck, it's not even about pulled pork!

    Even though OKLAHOMA Joe is actually in Kansas City MISSOURI, he's still about 1200 miles too far west for this discussion of EASTERN NC barbecue.Posted Sat, Nov 12 2016 10:38AM

  169. Nicole Kaldahl So much so I wouldn't frequent the place, even if they were right next door. Dumb ass.Posted Tue, Nov 15 2016 9:28AM

  170. Lash Wow,I honestly say I'm amazed.I cooked it on my weber sp-320 i recommend it guys. Check it out - LinkPosted Thu, Dec 15 2016 8:25AM

  171. James Taylor I live in Wilmington, NC but was raised in Wadesboro, NC. We went to Albemarle, NC to Whispering Pines Restaurant for BBQ. It was serves chopped or sliced with no sauce. There was vinegar based sauce available. But the slaw was to die for. It is vinegar based with .. well, here is the recipe.

    Lexington Slaw

    6 lb. Cabbage, grated (fine or coarse, your choice)
    2 lg. Green peppers, chopped fine
    (4 oz.) jar pimento, chopped and drained
    1 pint apple cider vinegar
    2 cups sugar or sweetener
    ¼ cup salt
    ¼ tsp. red pepper
    1 quart tomatoes, mashed. I use 2 cans of petite diced and squeeze by hand

    Put cabbage, peppers, pimento, and tomatoes in large container. Put vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper in blender and pulse until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cabbage and mix well. Jar up and store in refrigerator. Keeps forever.
    And I do mean forever. Some times I just add more cabbage and keep going.
    Posted Sun, Feb 5 2017 12:10AM

  172. sue fortier I have Tyrell County, North Carolina roots from my mom and our whole family loves Eastern Style Bar BQ! Stopped often at Wilson's when traveling through that area and many years in Southport, too.We live in Maine and it is a treat to visit NC and have some good ole pulled pork sandwiches!
    Thanks for the entertainment while reading the comments. We are all proud of our regional cooking ( chowders and best lobster roll here on the Maine coast)...My mom and grandmother would feel proud of their traditional recipes, but were never rude.
    Thanks, Josh for the light-hearted intro and recipe!Posted Wed, Mar 8 2017 11:49PM

  173. Howard I'm following the great ketchup debate with great interest. Please forgive me for the sin of buying bottled bbq sauce, but I found something called Scott's bbq sauce in Harris Teeter up here in Delaware, it worked wonderfully dressing a slow roasted shredded butt and it appears to be both Eastern NC and red in color enough to require matchup to properly emulate it. Is Scott's not Eastern? Is this the same sauce? Thanks, carry on.Posted Sat, Mar 11 2017 12:12PM

  174. Bryan I don't care where the recipe comes from, good BBQ is good BBQ... I'm a Texas native and I found this sauce to be an amazing compliment to some pulled pork. My only deviation from the recipe was using Cholula in place of Texas Petes, and I added a bit of bourbon to the sauce as it was boiling.Posted Thu, Mar 30 2017 4:40AM

  175. Rae Lammers I have been making this recipe for about 2 years now..Everyone loves it's! I even make a big batch at Christmas for gifts. This sauce is awesome!Posted Sat, May 13 2017 10:08PM

  176. Toni Sounds good but no catsup! Raised on the outer banks and catsup will get you disowned!Posted Sun, May 28 2017 3:20PM

  177. Clemustine Sinack Ok.... born and raised in NC wilson NC. Bills BBQ( God rest his soul) and Parkers BBQ. It's SIMPLE. No brown sugar, no red of any kind except for the red pepper flakes. It's a simple recipe and this city twist is working my nerves.!!!!! The reason it's so popular is because of the simplicity. Plain and Simple!!!!! Ahhhh!!! Posted Fri, Jun 2 2017 7:32PM

  178. cheri strachan This is plain and simple vinegar base and quite awesome. give it a try before you snub your nose! all the hoopla about no this and not that.....what counts is the tastePosted Fri, Jun 2 2017 7:38PM

  179. CLC Amazing that this started in 2010 and is still going.

    I've tried just about every type of BBQ sauce and see no need to stick with just one.

    Just a few comments to add:

    I've been in Texas for more than 20 years and never had any trouble finding Texas Pete's. It is a staple in our kitchen and I don't remember the last time we didn't have at least 1 bottle.

    There are places here that have hot versions of their sauce, but Texas sauce does not have a "kick" compared to anywhere else. I was very surprised how mild "hot" food is here. Maybe it is hotter out west. Texans think they like hot food but most are as cluless about spicey food as they are about BBQ.

    Texas sauce usually has a very unnatural liquid smoke flavor. Works ok on brisket but in general, it sucks.

    Not sure where this 'Alabama white sauce" is coming from. I am originally form there and I don't think it was very widespread. I believe it has been made popular relatively recently by Bob Gibson's. It's ok on chicken and my wife likes it but I don't consider it BBQ sauce or "Alabama white sauce'.

    Tabasco only adding heat is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. It is only slighly hotter than Texas Pete's and is still on the milder end of hot sauces. Tabasco also has a very noticable, unique, and distinct flavor that works best with foods like red beans and rice and gumbo, which makes sense considering where it comes from.

    Posted Wed, Jun 21 2017 11:54AM

  180. Yvonne Galotti I grew up out-side of Kingston NC .I am 75. We always had Kings Barbeque. It was the very best. Still miss that tastePosted Mon, Jul 3 2017 4:40PM

  181. Jay Lee Relieved you expanded your ingredient list beyond the 4 and sounded on the money, but you lost me at "ketchup." Ketchup. Please don't. To each their own, but at very least you sacrifice flavor authenticity (a little pride?). More cynically speaking, ketchup in NC vinegar sauce is not dissimilar to the so-called "Americanization" off Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican etc cuisine most Americans eat. For me, I prefer Thai food as prepared in Thailand; Greek as in Athens; NC bbq as written in Eastern NC--save the ketchup for your steak ; ) **Credentials--Chapel Hill born, Wilmington raised and Jackson's Big Oak BBQ**Posted Mon, Jul 10 2017 2:56AM

  182. p3orion Keep in mind that although eastern North Carolina purists are perfectly within their rights to indulge a fanatical insistence on NO KETCHUP, there's a whole lot of North Carolina that is NOT east of Fayetteville, and where people are perfectly willing to follow a more relevant guideline: what tastes good.Posted Mon, Jul 10 2017 9:11AM

  183. James B Taylor Credentials-Portsmouth, VA born, Wadesboro, NC raised, Time in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Wilmington(43 yrs now) BBQ choice Whispering Pines in Albemarle, NC. That's Lexington style, but I have never found a BBQ that I did not like.Posted Mon, Jul 10 2017 10:26AM

  184. Nicole Don't knock it before you try it... my "no tomato product east nc style all the way, I know east nc sauce blah blah blah" husband went nuts over this stuff, having not a clue there was any ketchup in there.... until I just had to rub it in his face after his stellar review of my (your) sauce recipe and how I "nailed it".
    Haters gon' hate.Posted Mon, Jul 10 2017 10:28AM

  185. Shay My father and his family are from Roanoke Rapids, nc... and this sauce taste actually like my paw paws, n fathers recipe ... I sure miss those BBQ,s with them at the pig cooker.., n this recipe is a dead ringer for theirs! It's so nostalgic to taste it ! If you like Eastern North Carolina barbecue this is it ! Thx u so much!Posted Wed, Aug 9 2017 9:38PM

  186. dave this is really good sauce. ketchup is a nice addition as I enjoy western nc sauce. for those of you that insist ketchup is taboo in eastern nc. you have a good point. i say if it taste good it is good. true eastern nc sauce is just a douche recipe but it is good in its own rights. Posted Fri, Aug 11 2017 8:35PM

  187. Fran This was good,but I thought it was missing something,so I poured in about 1/4 c of dark Molasses,and, a healthy dollop and f Frenchs yellow mustard..maybe 2 tbs...It was delicious ,and,added the extra kick I was looking for!.Posted Fri, Sep 8 2017 11:05AM

  188. Chris I have a similar sauce. Yet closer to comment 06. My Dad gave me his recipe. He was a Pemlico native. So Eastern smeastern. He used ketchup! He passed on us a while back. But his ongoing joke was putting "to taste" on almost everything. It took me almost 15 years to master what he did. Mine is a secret. Lol But I fixed yours and it was tasty. A little different but tasty. Thanks for sharing.Posted Tue, Sep 12 2017 4:59PM

  189. Lisa If anyone ever figures out the sauce and coleslaw recipe used a College BBQ in Salisbury, NC, you will be my hero forever. Posted Sat, Sep 16 2017 1:24PM

  190. BobbyB Someone asked about Scott's sauce, bought at Harris Teeter. Scott's is a traditional Eastern NC sauce made in Goldsboro, which is the heart of ENC BBQ country. I have lived in NC for over 50 years and have enjoyed pork BBQ all over the state. It is all good. But this is an entertaining and informative thread. Keep it open! Posted Sat, Oct 7 2017 4:56PM

  191. james taylor 190 In an earlier life, I used to travel to Goldsboro for meetings. Ate lunch at Scott's BBq, supper at Wilbur's BBq and Rolaids all the way home to Wilmington.

    189, Here is a red slaw recipe from Lexington, NC

    Red Slaw

    6 lb. Cabbage, grated (fine or coarse, your choice)
    2 lg. Green peppers, chopped fine
    (4 oz.) jar pimento, chopped and drained
    1 pint apple cider vinegar
    2 cups sugar or sweetener
    ¼ cup salt
    ¼ tsp. red pepper
    1 quart tomatoes, mashed. I use 2 cans of petite diced and squeeze by hand

    Put cabbage, peppers, pimento, and tomatoes in large container. Put vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper in blender and pulse until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cabbage and mix well. Jar up and store in refrigerator. Keeps forever.

    Posted Sat, Oct 7 2017 6:29PM

  192. p3orion James, thanks for posting your red slaw recipe; I've been looking for a good one. A couple of the fractional amounts didn't go through on your posting, though: how much salt, and how much red pepper?Posted Mon, Oct 9 2017 4:41PM

  193. james taylor 6 lb. Cabbage, grated (fine or coarse, your choice)
    2 lg. Green peppers, chopped fine
    (4 oz.) jar pimento, chopped and drained
    1 pint apple cider vinegar
    2 cups sugar or sweetener
    1/4 cup salt
    1/4 tsp. red pepper or to taste
    1 quart tomatoes, mashed. I use 2 cans of petite diced and squeeze by hand
    Posted Mon, Oct 9 2017 4:54PM

  194. Roy WOW!! Being from the Piedmont region just east of Charlotte, I knew the sauce wars were strong but man. to think this thread has been going on for almost 7 years!! LOL I guess I'll add my twist as well since I cook a lot of BBQ. What everyone is saying about the true "Eastern" sauces is true you show up with any more than 3-4 ingridents in it and you don't know what you're doing, and none of the 4 or 4 better be ketchup. :) The sauce I make for all mine is very similar to the OPs. I like just a touch of ketchup as well as just a hint of brown sugar to balance the vinegar(not much still want the vinegar bite) For my basting sauces I add nothing with sugar because of the long cook time 12-14 hr this can lead to burning of the bark too much. Depending on the crowd I will add more or less Texas Pete to control the heat. Our sauces can really be broken down simply, if it's thick and sweet its from well west of Charlotte. If it's thin and tart it's from past Charlotte east. The further east or west you go the more extreme to their sauce they will tend to.
    Posted Wed, Dec 6 2017 1:45PM

  195. Dick T Born and raised in W-S, NC. Grew up on Texas Pete, by T.W. Garner Foods. Great hot sauce with a unique, natural flavor. My late father-in-law's institutional wholesale company used to sell to a lot of bbq restaurants of all sizes. A couple of them considered their %u201Csecret ingredient%u201D for Lexington Style BBQ %u201Cdip%u201D to be Bennett's Chili Sauce rather than catsup. Bennett's is a %u201Cno meat%u201D chili sauce. Posted Sun, Feb 4 2018 5:02PM

  196. cheri Dick T, not sure your comment is understandable with all the 'characters' insert. On purpose or are those fingers on the wrong keys? Just wondering because I love following the comments on this blog! . Love Josh B's recipes and wish to hell I could attend one of his Grilling Get-Togethers.
    Cheri from Treasure Island, Flor'Yda with Tenn and Illinois roots...Go figure on MY taste in great BBQ sauce. I am willing to try'em'all. Use Josh's Carolina Tang regularly on pulled pork and other meats. Posted Sun, Feb 4 2018 5:17PM

  197. Dick T Cheri, obviously we cannot use quotation marks on this site. Sorry the first post was hard to read.

    Born and raised in W-S, NC. Grew up on Texas Pete, by T.W. Garner Foods. Great hot sauce with a unique, natural flavor. My late father-in-laws institutional wholesale company used to sell to a lot of bbq restaurants of all sizes. A couple of them considered their secret ingredient for Lexington Style BBQ dip to be Bennetts Chili Sauce rather than catsup. Bennetts is a no meat chili sauce. Posted Mon, Feb 5 2018 2:48PM

  198. Mark P Ketchup is not in the Eastern NC version (as in East of Raleigh) and people will hold you down and beat you if you go anywhere near a split pig with ketchup in your hand. Put it away. But as you reach west of Raleigh, like Greensboro and Winston Salem the sauce starts having ketchup added. As you continue west through the State of NC the sauce gets more and more red. This trend continues even as you head west out of state and into Tennessee and Kentucky. It becomes more red and sweeter until you end up with whatever type of doctored ketchup KC BBQ sauce is supposed to be. Posted Sun, Mar 4 2018 11:50PM

  199. Laid Back N Livin Slow The recipe you have here is about identical to George's which isn't a bad sauce at all. It's hard to go wrong with vinegar sauces on bbq and I don't think my taste buds will ever disagree. I'm sure some of you around the Sampson county area remember Old Hickory Barbecue... some of the best bbq other than home cooked. Now, I'll often go to Smithfield's, they put enough on one sammich to make two, not to mention they have some of the best sauce around.Posted Sat, Jul 28 2018 12:09PM

  200. Reinamom Is this supposed to be a watery or thick sauce? Mine turned out very thin. Should I have cooked it longer?Posted Thu, Aug 16 2018 5:13PM

  201. Josh @Reinamom It's supposed to be thing, about the same thickness as apple cider vinegar by itself.Posted Thu, Aug 16 2018 5:43PM

  202. Mary The first time I had this style bbq was in a place called Magnolia NC. I ordered bbq pig. This is what came out. I fell in love I tried your sauce and it is good.Posted Fri, Aug 17 2018 8:50AM

  203. Danny Griffin Lots of great ideas here but I would like to add that Eastern NC BBQ is made from the whole hog and Lexington Style BBQ is only from the pork shoulder. I have sampled for many years from Bill Ellis, Parkers, Wilburs, Cherrys, and Ralphs for Eastern NC Style, and just in the last 2 years have added Smithfields into that rotation. The Lexington Style I have tried is served up by Stameys, Short Sugars, Fuzzies and one other(Lexington, NC name escapes me). The difference in the cole slaw is extremely different from the yellow Eastern NC version to the red Lexington style slaw. I can't pick a favorite because I love them all.Posted Thu, Dec 20 2018 3:41AM

  204. Vincent Ketchup?????? What the heck????? Why even bother smoking the pork in your all electric smoker? Might as well just go down to 7-11, buy a hot dog, and call it day.Posted Fri, Jan 25 2019 4:36PM

  205. Kip I've lived in eastern North Carolina all my life and we definitely have an authentic vinegar based pork barbecue with ketchup in the mix %u2026 it is the trademark sauce at Joe's Barbecue in Columbus County, NC.Posted Mon, Mar 11 2019 8:41PM

  206. Jim OK. Where you grew up is usually what you like best. I grew up in Piedmont NC. I have eaten BBQ from the mountains to the coast. I can't say that I didn't like most of it, some more than others.But the first BBQ I remember is what we used to cook ourselves over open pits. It was mostly vinegar, very thin, but the hickory coals give pork enough flavor it doesn't need much sauce anyway. The first restaurant BBQ I ever tasted was at A&M Grill in Mebane, NC. That was over 60 years ago. To me, it will always be my favorite. The sauce was thin but red so there was probably ketchup in it. Sadly, they closed a few years ago and I have not found any BBQ to equal it. They cooked over hickory. Their slaw also was the best. I always thought they added a little BBQ sauce to it as it was slightly pink. Stamey's in Greensboro has a similar slaw, and I love the que there.
    Allen & Son's near Chapel Hill recently closed also. The sauce there was more like Eastern style, very thin and mostly vinegar, and I know it had butter in it too, but you didn't need much on Keith's hickory roasted pork anyway. And he used shoulders exclusively, but did cater whole pig sometimes.
    My family prefers my own sauce, and my ribs. It does have ketchup in it.
    There was a newcomer near here a few years ago that claimed to be KC style. It was horrible.
    George's is made in Nashville, NC and is very good more Eastern style. Add a little ketchup to it and it is similar to A&M to me.
    So BBQ sauces can be different but basically it just ain't BBQ to me unless it is cooked on hickory. I can eat the other stuff, and I can eat other sauces, but I know what I like best, just like the rest of you.
    Oh, except that mustard sauce. I hate that.
    Posted Sun, May 12 2019 10:05PM

  207. janet sonier August 2010 to May 2019 and apparently still going strong is remarkable-and a testament to the cultural aspects of Bar-B-Que.

    I grew up in Memphis and Jackson, TN - Leonard's opened int 1922 and was/is renowned. Since the sauce is vinegar based I suspect he may have been raised in Eastern NC.

    When I moved to TX and ordered a Barbecue sandwich I was horrified to find BEEF between my bread slices. What I referred to for years as roast beef with enchilada sauce. Sorry, Texans - But I learned to love Railroad Barbecue in Fort Worth.

    The barbecue in West TN had over the years turned to tomato based. YUCK.

    I live in Connecticut now and have my own electric smoker so I can make my TN barbecue and my own vinegar sauce. I add some water to the vinegar and a LOT of black pepper, a little sorghum molasses and much more red pepper. Couldn't find a recipe any where when I started making my own in early 2000's. Sounds like I did pretty good.

    When I travel I take jalapeno's with me and next time I go back to TN, I'm taking my own sauce. ;-)Posted Sun, May 26 2019 3:39PM

  208. Lina Merlina I turn to a vampire any time i want to. i become a vampire because of how people treat me, this world is a wicked world and not fair to any body. at the snack of my finger things are made happened. am now a powerful man and no one step on me without an apology goes free. i turn to human being also at any time i want to. and am one of the most dreaded man in my country. i become a vampire through the help of my friend who introduce me into a vampire kingdom by given me their email. if you want to become a powerful vampire kindly contact the vampire kingdom on their email worldofvampir@hotmail.comPosted Tue, Aug 13 2019 3:39PM

  209. Amanda1nc First off, all the people commenting that eastern style bbq sauce doesn't have ketchup. Read the article. This is not eastern style, it's Lexington style which is not in eastern nc. It's in the piedmont which is just below the foothills. Hence Piedmont style. This sauce is spot on and those of us who like Lexington style BBQ will love this recipe! Thank you! Posted Sun, Nov 10 2019 12:51PM

  210. Jason I am definitely bookmarking this page. With all the comments and the pics, I can't wait to try it! Posted Mon, Dec 23 2019 1:49PM

  211. Ryan Brilliant! I can't wait to try this! Yummy.Posted Mon, Dec 23 2019 1:55PM

  212. Erin I was born and raised and still live here in central NC (wake/franklin counties). I was looking for the hot vinegar that you typically find on the tables at BBQ places. I had no idea this was a local thing, but I should have guessed. I don't just use it for the meat --- it goes on the boiled potatoes, the greens, green beans, and I even dip the hush puppies in it. This stuff hit the spot and even my kids enjoyed it and poured it all over just like I do. ^.^ Thanks so much!
    Posted Mon, Jan 27 2020 7:32PM

  213. Shanna Travis Love this sauce! I made this in a crock pot for a bar crowd, and everyone loved it. Ohio loves it. Thanks so much!Posted Thu, Apr 9 2020 7:37AM

  214. Kirsten My Dad lived many years in Winston Salem and for years tried to find the best sauce that mimicks the 'cue from that area. I am going to try making this for him and then slow cook a pork butt for pulled pork for tomorrow. Wish me luck.Posted Sat, Jun 20 2020 11:11AM

  215. stephen pontious Lived in Durham about 40 years ago and the very BEST pulled pork meal was from "Turnages." out on the highway. Pork was cooked for about 18 hours and the chefs were in the back, chopping it up with cleavers. It was cooked in a clear, vinegar based liquid....and I have no idea exactly what it was....but it WAS nirvana.Posted Sun, Jun 21 2020 6:30PM

  216. Nick I lived in Charlotte for 18 years and this is as correct a recipe as you will find for what is used in that part of the state. All the best bar b q joints in the area use some variation. I use this as my reference when I make mine. I can never remember the correct amount of ingredients. It’s like most home cooked stuff, don’t measure, just keep the proportion of ingredients and taste/add ingredients till it’s to your liking. This needs to be so tangy it hurts your nose to smell it. So little of it makes it to th meat that the flavor needs to be strong. I’ve been using this recipe as my starting point for years. Enjoy!Posted Fri, Jul 3 2020 10:41PM

  217. steve After all is said and done, the best damn sause was served to me just outside of Durham at "Turnages." I would kill for their recipe!Posted Sun, Aug 16 2020 5:55PM

  218. Phillipe Whooo-weee!---what a nice bunch of sentiment and what-for! As a NORTH Alabama product, we I suppose have copied the East side of the Carolina and do the "no ketchup/just vinegar and spices" alteration, 'til it come to the REAL hot stuff...then there is the butter base, and enough red pepper extract/mixes that will light the furnace. Ketchup to us is for fries/heavens, not on no BBQ!....and yeah, we do that white sauce thing on bbq chicken--some folk even dip a hushpuppy in it...Posted Tue, Oct 27 2020 11:09PM

  219. Porky We loved this hot pepper vinegar sauce. We didn’t mind the touch of ketchup, but then again we live in Western North Carolina.Posted Sat, Dec 5 2020 7:30PM

  220. Krystal May What meats can you put the sauce on. I really want to try itPosted Fri, May 28 2021 6:18PM

  221. Rob Wish I had a dime for everytime I read or saw on Youtube someone mention eastern NC bbq sauce.

    Eastern refers to east of I-95, not just east of Raleigh. All others are commonly referred to as Lexington style, but if you ask anyone living in the east we just call it wrong.

    Apple Cider Vinegar, Crush Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Salt, and Sugar. Note I didn’t list how much of each, thats because it depends on who’s making it, though it always starts with a gallon of apple cider vinegar. As for the sugar, originally it was brown sugar. The ingredients were based on items readily available on the farm and in the early 1900’s for most that was brown sugar.

    Many old-timers added a small amount of tomato paste (never ketchup) to darken the sauce a little so it could used on both pigs and chickens. A gallon of sauce was always needed because when it came to BBQ, that meant whole-hog. Which almost always meant it was a large family or church function.

    Born and raised in eastern NC, family has lived in Craven Co since 1890’s.Posted Wed, Jun 9 2021 1:44PM

  222. Chris I grew up about as far east as you can get in NC. Born and raised in Wilmington. My grandpa had a humble little place right on the Black River in Pender, CO.
    I remember him building a pit for a whole hog with a few of his buddies . My grandmother made the sauce in a 10 gallon batch at a time. I remember them being out there all night with a hickory fire burning on a steel plate and they would occasionally shovel some coals into the pit.
    The next day when it was time to eat, oh baby!
    I joined the army as a young man and have traveled the world and now that I am a father I made sure this style of barbecue is passed on to my kids. I have had barbecue across this nation and nothing quite compares to how we do it at home.Posted Sun, Jan 16 2022 9:48AM

  223. Lynn Also born and raised in Wilmington. There’s a lot of sh*t talking in the comments about what is real ENC sauce for pulled pork. IMHO most have never made the sauce themselves, so the absolute certainty expressed is disturbing. It’s kind of like Texans telling the rest of the world what chili is. Really the Texans should probably stay out of this debate. Even in Wilmington bbq joints (that’s what we call them) the sauces are different. I’ve gone as far as having my favorite shipped to me when living elsewhere. I’ve tried this recipe and I like it a lot. The so-called purists recipe is almost inedible so slow your roll. I think the author has made an excellent attempt here and deserves kudos. So thanks, I’ll use this as a guide and make my own changes as I see fit.Posted Sun, Jan 23 2022 5:39PM

  224. SarahS Well, everyone seems to like slamming Texans. But I'm a Texan. Who just moved to NC. Im amazed so many things are called Texas this and Texas that and they aren't at all Texan. Like Texas Pete's (which is pretty good) and Texas Steakhouse. But anyway, if you ask me, you smoke it low and slow and it's BBQ no matter what meat it is, and it should be delicious before any sauce at all has been put on it. I always want to taste the meat first before employing any sauce, no matter the style. Eaten pulled pork here in central NC 4 times now and still haven't tasted a hint of smoke in any of them but usually the pork is at least good. I was slayed by Short Sugar's in Reidsville. I know that stuff had to have been cooked in smoke and it was delicious but smoke flavor was missing. His sauce is very good, and very close to this recipe. Tastes mainly of vinegar and brown sugar but there's more in there than that.
    I do very miss that good old BBQ brisket though. Oh well I guess I'd have to buy a smoker and do it myself. Maybe some day I will. Posted Wed, Jan 18 2023 4:57PM

  225. Steve A pork shoulder or whole hog properly prepared, seasoned the right way and bbq'ed the old fashioned way needs no finishing sauce or table sauce. It stands on its own.Posted Thu, Sep 28 2023 4:12PM

Barbecue Sauce Recipe: North Carolina Vinegar Sauce (2024)


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