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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Carolina Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

Pork Sandwich with Sauce Lexington NC
Pork Sandwich with Sauce

In the Carolinas, we typically use a vinegar based barbecue sauce over pork. A pork shoulder or Boston butt is smoked. Then, the meat is sliced and served on a plate with sides or more often chopped on a bun. The thin, tasty, and zippy barbecue sauce is drizzled over the meat.

It does seem that Carolina style sauce is an acquired taste. Most newcomers seem a bit confused by the sauce, since it’s a vinegar based sauce and not thick and heavy on the tomatoes. I often hear folks say they don’t like it that much, but then they try it again and again. It grows on them, and then there are more Carolina BBQ sauce fans.

If you want to try out a quick and easy Carolina style vinegar sauce (also called Lexington sylte BBQ sauce), then here’s one that doesn’t take a lot of work and will give you the general idea. Some of the other vinegar based recipes are more complex, so I’ll add some of those one of these days.
 Pork Vinegar Barbeque Sauce

•           1/4 cup butter
•           1 cup vinegar
•           1/4 cup water
•           3 TBS catsup
•           2 tsp salt
•           1/2 tsp black pepper
•           1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional and can be adjusted to suit tastes)


Mix all ingredients together in a medium sauce pan.  

Heat on low until the butter melts.

Simmer for a half hour or so – on low heat.

Serve over pork. A bottle with a metal lid is typically used. Punch some holes in the metal top and use it to sprinkle the sauce. It can also be put in a gravy boat or something and spooned over.

As I mentioned this sauce is served over smoked meat. If you’re interested in smoking, then see my article on smoking meat.

This sauce is also good slathered over chicken. Just use it as a baste while the chicken is cooking.


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