Vinegar Based Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Popular along the eastern side of the Carolinas, vinegar based barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet. And it adds great flavor when used to baste the meat as it's barbecuing.

This sauce is a traditional favorite in the Carolinas. It's what gives those slow smoked pork shoulders cooked for pulled pork sandwiches flavor and moistness.

Vinegar barbecue sauce can be as simple as vinegar with a little sugar and salt added. Other recipes include black and cayenne pepper, and ketchup.

Carolina Vinegar Based Barbecue Sauce

This simple bbq sauce should be made at least a day or two ahead of time for the best flavor. Here's what you'll need...

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspon of red pepper flakes

Mix the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl (glass, plastic or stainless steel) or in a glass jar until the sugar is completely dissolved.

In this recipe, I use both powdered cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes for an added kick. If you'd like something a bit milder, you can decrease the amount of cayenne used.

When this vinegar based barbecue sauce is used to flavor pulled pork, combine it with a little vegetable oil and baste it on the pork butts or shoulders as they smoke.

Add some more of the sauce to the shredded pork to finish it off before making the pulled pork sandwiches.