Carolina sauce

Looking for a good eastern carolina sauce recipe

This may sound silly:oops: but I honestly don’t know and have never heard of it. What is this Carolina Sauce used for? Steak, Chicken, what?
Thanks in advance.

Here is a recipe given to me while I lived in N.C.


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North Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Yields: about 1 2/3 cups

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Serve warm.

Its a very nice recipe.This means that it is vinegar and mustard based, as opposed to the ketchup and molasses based sauces of the mid and southwest.This recipe is from the folks who make the aptly-named and fiendishly delicious Pain Is Good Hot Sauces, with the famous “screaming head” labels.

I lived many years in North Carolina(too many to admit to) and this sauce it not something I have ever heard of. To the best of my knowledge all NC sauce is mostly vinegar with various things add to your particular taste ie molasses ,brown sugar, worsteshire sauce , cayenne pepper, black pepper,garlic powder. The cocoa sounded like Cincinnati to me.Sorry

Sorry it is not like what you are used to. It was given to me by a friend. He may or may not have changed it to suit his own taste. I don’t care for NC sauce anyway, so I have never made this one.


Oh, by the way their is no cocoa in it.

This is what I use.

2 cups cider vinegar
1 T salt
1 1/2 t. cayenne
1 T red pepper flakes
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 t. hot sauce (I substitute a T of the rub that I make)

Combine all and stir until sugar and salt are disolved. Cover (place in jar) and let sit for at least 3 hours so that the flavors mix.

Typically, sauces (or “dips” as they are often referred to) in the Carolinas can be subdivided into three districts.

The eastern portion of the Carolinas uses a sauce that is vinegar, sugar and chile flakes or pepper sauce. It is very thin and watery and clear with a little rusty color.

In the western portions of the Carolinas folks tend to add some tomato sauce or ketchup to the eastern sauce. Still quite watery, and redder in color, it is still mostly vinegar, sugar and chile flakes.

As you progress into South Carolina, you start seeing not only tomato sauce or ketchup, but also yellow mustard being added to the basic eastern sauce.

Remember also that North Carolina barbecue is pork, either the whole pig or at least the shoulders, barbecued long and low, then sliced, chopped or pulled.

In the rest of the country, “barbeque” can be just about anything cooked low and slow over an open flame or festering embers. Generally outside of the Carolinas it is ribs (pork or beef), brisket and sausage and the word is an adjective (barbequed pork, barbequed brisket, barbequed ribs, etc.). In the Carolinas it is a noun, pure and simple. Barbecue.

If you’d like a really good book on Carolina Barbecue, pick up Reed & Reed’s “Holy Smoke, The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue”. Not only do the authors do an excellent job of explaining the history and subdivisions of the subject, but they also include some absolutely fabulous recipes.

Old Time Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Sauce (much like Homcrew’s recipe above):
1 gallon cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons black pepper
1/4 cup salt

Combine all ingredients and let it sit for 4 hours.

That’s it! Not even any sugar, so it doesn’t need refrigeration! Other recipes might add a cup of brown sugar or maybe 1/3 cup of mollasses to the above, but they’re all pretty much like that.