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Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce in a mason jar

Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce (Carolina Style)

Easy and basic vinegar based BBQ sauce that's great on pulled pork and chicken, inspired by Carolina Style BBQ.
Course Sauce
Cuisine BBQ, Barbecue
Keyword BBQ sauce, Carolina Style BBQ Sauce, homemade BBQ sauce, Vinegar based BBQ sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Calories 302kcal
Cost $6


  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup hot sauce, (we err towards a savory style hot sauce, like Valentina)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard


  • Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar and spices all dissolve. Bring to a low simmer and cook 10-15 minutes, then turn off the heat. 
  • Strain the sauce into a bowl to remove the chili pepper flakes and peppercorns (and discard the pepper flakes and peppercorns). Then, when cool, place BBQ sauce into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. 


For more heat, add more chili pepper flakes and let it sit unstrained for a period of time.
Want to jazz up this sauce? Try adding mustard and honey!

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce 

  • 2 Cups Vinegar Based Sauce (from above)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard (I find yellow mustard a touch acidic)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat up, whisk to incorporate the honey and mustard until a simmer, then turn off heat. If you like it a sweeter style, just add more honey.


Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3687mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 2108IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 3mg