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Developing a fusion bbq sauce

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Being originally from Michigan, and residing the past 20 years in northern Indiana, I have pretty much grown up on KC style bbq.  Sweet, a little spicy, and red.

Last week I was in the local bbq joint, and decided to try the "Carolina" style sauce. It changed my life.  But to be honest, I really liked that mixed with the their regular (more of a KC style sauce).  So the past couple days, I've been researching and began trying to knock off the restaurant's Carolina style sauce.


The sauce is not thin as water, but quite a bit thinner than the sauces I'm used to.  It's got a great tangy vinegar flavor a nice sweetness with a pleasant heat on the back end.  There are also a few red pepper flakes in the mix.  It's so good, I could about drink it :)  I could probably purchase the sauce, but when it comes to smoking meats, I really want to develop my own recipes. As a basis for the recipe, I found the following recipe here: (



  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Texas Pete's
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

It's way too vinegar-ie, the hot sauce doesn't have the right flavor, it's not sweet enough, and missing the back heat.

I added 2/3 cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Overall it was a lot better, but still too much vinegar.


Eventually, I'd like to also create a KC style sauce, and mix the two into a type of a fusion sauce :)

post #2 of 3

I do what you describe with the following two recipes. You might need to add more heat to you liking but these work for me...JJ


This I mix into my Pulled Pork...


Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...


2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice


Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.


For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...



This one everybody adds to the plate or sandwich at the table...



KC Bubba Q Juice


2C Ketchup

1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2C Molasses

2C Dark Brn Sugar

1T Tomato Paste

1T Your Rub

1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

1tsp Worcestershire Sauce


Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Makes 3 1/2 Cups.



post #3 of 3



What you're describing reminds me of Maull's barbecue sauce.  It's a St. Louis favorite, IMHO, for over 100 years.  That stuff used to flow through my veins every summer while a kid 50+ years ago.


It's a bit of a thin tomato based mop style sauce with some heat, vinegar, and just a bit of sweetness but not much.


Geez!  Up here in Iowa I miss that stuff.

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