North Carolina is the home of the Vinegar based BBQ sauce. However, it didn’t stay there, it spread all across the country even though it’s not as popular as the thicker Kansas City style BBQ sauces. I’m traditionally a thick sauce fan so it’s taken me awhile to get a taste for the vinegar based BBQ sauce flavor so I invite you all to try. I’ve assembled a couple of different recipes for you to choose from so you don’t grab one and find it’s not to your liking and then never try another vinegar based sauce again.
Traditionally this type of BBQ sauce is used for pulled pork and those that love these types of sauces absolutely swear by them. So give some of these a try and tell me what you think!
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Basically, just mix all of the ingredients together and let stand for at about 4 hours for full flavor so the spices can fully soak in. If you don’t like the stronger flavor of cider vinegar, replace it with white vinegar. Or, even add another cup of white vinegar to the cider vinegar and double all the other ingredients.
Here’s a version of the vinegar based BBQ sauce that’s going to be more mustard based:
- 1½ cup cider vinegar
- 1 Tbl chili powder
- 1 Tbl brown sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ½ tsp cumin
- Same as the first recipe, simply mix all the ingredients together and let it set for a few hours for the flavors to mix and settle properly. And feel free to adjust the seasonings and the amounts of either recipe in case you want it sweeter or more or less spicy. What’s nice about making your own BBQ sauce is you can try out all sorts of versions and get the taste just the way you like it.
Sweeter version of a Vinegar based BBQ sauce
This version has honey and ketchup and is a bit like a sauce I like from a BBQ restaurant from my native Oklahoma area. No doubt the family must have brought it from North Carolina at some time in the past and modified it a bit.
- 1 cup (250 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) honey
- Now this recipe requires a little cooking. Combine the vinegar, both peppers and the salt in a saucepan and stir.
- Bring it to a boil then mix in the ketchup and honey and reduce the heat to low.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes and its done!