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Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce Recipe

April Freeman
It’s supposed to be tangy and a bit spicy. In the eastern parts of the Carolinas, pit-masters often stir up a version of this Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce to squirt atop a mound of smoked, pulled pork. This sauce is vinegar-based and is much thinner and runnier than typical sauces, but it is tangy and delicious as well.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 50 Servings


  • Small saucepan
  • Wire whisk
  • Small bowl
  • Fork
  • Plastic Squeeze Bottle


  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Molasses
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ tbsp Dry Mustard
  • ½ cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Water


  • Measure the apple cider vinegar, molasses, dry mustard, butter, and cayenne pepper into a small saucepan. Use a whisk to combine these ingredients. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the brown sugar, turning the heat under the pot to medium. Continue whisking the mixture as you bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer it. 
  • In a small bowl, mix the water and the cornstarch with a fork or a small whisk. Stir these together until the cornstarch is dissolved. 
  • Slowly, stir the cornstarch and water mixture into the simmering pot. Continue whisking as you add the cornstarch to avoid its forming lumps. Simmer this mixture for about 1 minute. 
    The sauce is simmering in the saucepan.
  • The sauce will thicken somewhat. However, this sauce will not be as thick as many other kinds of sauces and that is to be expected. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and allow the sauce to cool before you pour it into a plastic squeeze bottle. This sauce is perfect to serve over pulled pork. 
  • Store this barbecue sauce in the refrigerator for up to a month. You may need to shake the sauce before you use it.
    Barbecue sauce that is prepared in three ways.
Keyword Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce, Recipe, Side Dish

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