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Marinades, Sauces, Rubs & Salsas

Eastern North Carolina-Style Sauce

If American barbecue sauces had an extreme division, this mouth-puckering condiment—all vinegar and fire—would lead the pack.


Eastern North Carolina-Style Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: 6 cups


  • 5 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons salt, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Texas Pete

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Put the vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper, hot red pepper flakes, and hot sauce in a large nonreactive bowl, add 1 cup of water, and whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve. Or, place the ingredients in a large jar and shake to mix.

Step 2: Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or hot red pepper flakes as necessary. The sauce can be refrigerated for several weeks. Bring it to room temperature before using.

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Steven Raichlen, a national barbecue treasure and author of The Barbecue! Bible, How to Grill, and other books in the Barbecue! Bible series, embarks on a quest to find the soul of American barbecue, from barbecue-belt classics-Lone Star Brisket, Lexington Pulled Pork, K.C. Pepper Rub, Tennessee Mop Sauce-to the grilling genius of backyards, tailgate parties, […]

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