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Looking to replicate pulled pork “bbq sauce”…


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 9, 2010
So my manager brought into work some pulled pork he made on his stick burner. It was absolutely incredible, and was better than any pulled pork I’ve had here in Memphis at any of the well known bbq restaurants.

The pork was moist, and just had an incredible flavor profile in addition to the pronounced smoke. So I asked him if there was any kind of sauce on it, since it was still incredibly moist. He said it had some of his homemade bbq sauce on it. I was intrigued because if there was a “bbq sauce” on it, you couldn’t tell by visually looking at the pork. There was nothing thick or sticky on it. Nothing dark in color like you’d expect a regular bbq sauce to be. So I asked him about it and without giving me his specific recipe he said he starts out by sautéing a Fuji apple with some brown sugar until it cooks to mush. Then he said he adds molasses and his spices. He didn’t go into details and I felt weird asking him for his specific recipe. Does anyone know what kind of “bbq sauce” he may have been making to add such moisture and sweet flavor, all while not adding really any color or thick sauce texture to the pork?

I myself have made a “finishing sauce” given to me on these forums which was vinegar, apple juice, and brown sugar based with a bunch of spices. I usually use this on my pulled pork to add back moisture and give it an extra flavor profile. My same manager tried mine once and didn’t like the flavor as he felt it was too vinegary. I never felt like it tasted too vinegary but I guess some people might pick up on it more? 🤷🏼‍♂️ So I’m just curious what his sauce may be…if it’s just another variation of a “finishing sauce” since you couldn’t visually tell there was anything really added. I would straight up ask him for the full recipe, but I could tell in his eyes he didn’t really seem to want to divulge too much. 🤣


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jan 18, 2020
I would start by catching all that liquid gold from the pork butt cook in an aluminum pan, id Probably add apples to that pan as well so they could cook down with the butt. Then strain that and de-fat it and add sugar and whatever else for flavor. I make a “bbq juice” that is very thin and is more of a dunking sauce, it does have a small amount of vinegar and is a universal sauce , but you can also start your base with the juice from the butt that would be specific for pork.

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