Barbecue sauce is a valued Carolina tradition as summer winds down and fall arrives. It is associated with football tailgating and neighborhood ‘pig-pickins.’ Barbecue sauces are many and varied, and the local Carolina varieties rely a lot on vinegar and brown sugar or honey for their special flavor.
Carolina barbeque sauces are usually used on pork, cooked split on large grills and then chopped up to be served to eager tailgaters. If you can get some pork right off the pig on the grill, go at it, as you’ll rarely taste any better meat.
Carolina barbeque is a great treat not to be missed once the winds of fall start rolling around the south.
Eastern NC Barbeque Sauce
Makes about 1 ½ cups, you can upsize recipe to any amount.
- 1 1/2 cups of distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
Pour all the ingredients into a jar and shake. Let it sit for at least 12 hours to allow the flavors to meld. You can use it as a mop when you cook or you can use it as a finishing sauce when you serve the meat.
In the Carolinas it is usually used as both a mop and a finishing sauce. Just remember to use a separate bowl for the mop part of the sauce and discard it, since the cup can get contaminated with uncooked meat juices on the brush.
Traditional Carolina Barbeque Sauce
Makes a little over 2 cups, you can upsize recipe to any amount. The key is letting it sit a long time.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 2 days before using so that the flavors will blend. Shake occasionally. Can be stored for up to 2 months.
Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce
If you are cooking a pig on a grill while tailgating, this recipe makes 20 cups.
- 1 gallon vinegar
- 1 cup margarine
- 1 (2-ounce) bottles of Tabasco sauce
- 2 (18-ounce) bottles honey barbeque sauce
- 2 (14-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ½ bottle Jack Daniels whiskey
Pour the vinegar and whiskey into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring. Makes 20 cups.
Easy Southern Barbecue Sauce
- 1 bottle A-1 steak sauce
- 1 can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons onion salt powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
Combine all ingredients in a large container, mix well, and refrigerate until needed.
For many more free southern recipes see my blog A Dash of Salty