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East Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce Recipe


Whole hog mopped with East Carolina Vinegar BBQ sauce
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4.35 from 197 votes
Create your own amazing East Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce and mop with this simple to follow recipe. Tangy and spicy, Low Country vinegar sauce is great for finishing fatty pork and does double duty as a baste (or mop) for adding layers of flavor to the meat as it cooks. Because it is so thin, it penetrates deep.

Course:
Sauces and Condiments
Cuisine:
American
,
Southern

Makes:

Servings: 2 cups (473.2mL)

Takes:

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (white, light brown, or dark brown)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
Notes:
About the vinegar. Seems to me that the best sauces in the area were made with distilled white vinegar, not cider vinegar. So I tried my recipe with both and I liked the distilled better. If you want to use cider, feel free.
About the hot stuff. Use the hot sauce of your choice. Texas Pete is big in North Carolina. I usually use Tabasco's Chipotle. And if you want something more interesting than crushed red peppers, get crushed chipotles. You can even make your own by smoking jalapeños split lengthwise until they are dried.
Optional. Some folks like to add warm melted butter to this recipe for richness. Butter also helps release fat soluble flavors in the peppers. Up to a stick would be fine. Do it just before serving, and warm the sauce first so the butter doesn't harden.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. Pour all the ingredients into a jar and shake. Let it sit for at least 12 hours to allow the flavors to meld. A week is better.
  • Use. You can use it as a mop when you cook, you can use it as a finishing sauce when you serve the meat, or both. In the Carolinas, it is usually used as both a mop and a finishing sauce.
  • To use it as both a mop and finishing sauce, warm it, pour a few ounces (~89mL) into a cup and paint it on the meat with a basting brush once every hour or so while it is cooking. If you use it as a mop, the sauce in the cup can get contaminated with uncooked meat juices on the brush. That's why you don't want to dip the brush in the whole bottle. Discard contaminated mop and serve untouched sauce at the table.