Pork Barbecue Sauces

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OK, I'll get this started. Where I come from (Paducah Kentucky) pork BBQ is king. There are many good barbecue places but the most famous one is Starnes BBQ on Joe Clifton drive. This green concrete block building, "this Joint", is famous. It is usually featured whenever there is a TV show featuring barbecue coast to coast. The sauce there is especially good. Since I now live in Texas, I cannot get the sauce. I can make excellent pork barbecue (in a State where Beef BBQ is the norm) but I cannot buy the sauce. So, by trial and error, I created my own version of the recipe. Now, this stuff is an acquired taste. It is sold in bottles like Tabasco sauce. When used, it is sprinkled on the BBQ drops/glugs at a time. It is NOT a general purpose barbecue sauce. People from home do not drown their meat in sauce like they do here in Texas. Anyone like me who used to live there will smile after making a batch of this sauce and smelling it. One whiff and it will clear your sinuses. It's truly a taste of home.

It is featured in the book "The Great BBQ Sauce Book, A Guide With Recipes" by Ardie A. Davis on page 106. I bought a copy of this book on Amazon for $3.00.

So here is the recipe:

Paducah Ky Secret sauce
Aubrey Pageâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s Version

3 TBSP Ketchup (Heinz)
4 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar (1/4 cup)
1 TBSP water
1 Tsp Black Pepper (fine ground)
¼ Tsp White pepper
½ Tsp Cayenne (red) pepper (or more to taste, locals will use 1 Tsp)
2 Tsp Tabasco or other red pepper sauce

All measures are level measurements.

Mix it in a small Tupperware container and shake to mix. Store at room temperature but if you are not going to use it for a while, refrigerate or just throw it away and make fresh next time. Some folks add a little sugar but I think this is closer to the Starnes recipe in taste. This sauce is hot but not as hot as some like it. Just add more cayenne if you want it hotter like at the restaurant. Enjoy!

Aubrey Page
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Thanks for the recipe! I absolutely love to try new things especially things that are native to different parts of the United States.

I have had the opportunity to try the mayonaise based white sauce from Alabama, I grew up in North Carolina with the vinegar based barbecue sauce called "Carolina White Sauce", and then there is the lovely tomato based sauces here in Oklahoma and Texas...

I am looking forward to some Kentucky style sauce soon!
By the way... If anyone has some good Alabama white sauce recipes that you don't mind sharing, I would like to see some of that in here as well.

I had some at a cookoff last weekend and it was excellent... looked like mayonaise, black pepper, cayenne, tobasco and some other good stuff. I think it would probably be really, really good on chicken...
Hi Jeff,

Here is the Alabama White Barbeque Sauce recipe from the DR. BBQ's Big-Time Barbeque Cookbook (Ray Lampe):

1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Prepared Horseradish
1 Teaspoon Salt

I like to add an extra Teaspoon of Horseradish for a bit more bite, and use Cider Vinegar instead of the White Vinegar, but this is good stuff.
HI Jeff got this recipe of off Paula Deens show havent tried it yet.
Big Bob's Gibson's White Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well.
dip your chicken in it after cooking
Hi Aubry!
Although I now live back home in northest ohio, several years ago I lived in Lexington, Ky. At the time, I was in Industrial sales/Factory automation, and would have to travel all over the sate of Ky and W.Va. I gotta tell ya, any time I was any where near Paducah, there was only one place for lunch! One of the local engineers I used to call on introduced me to Starnes BBQ and got me hooked instantly! (Incidentally, that was the first time I'd seen anyone eat pulled pork with the slaw as part of the sandwich instead of on the side). I remember that sauce...It's been close to 8 or 10 years since I've been back, but your post has brought back a great memory! When I get home tonight, I'm gonna mix up a batch first thing! I can hardly wait! 8)

I want to add a note of thanks to Gene and Undertaker for posting the white sauce recipes. I've never tried anything like it and I think it sounds very interesting. Is it intended for any specific type of meat, or general use?


Seems like it is primarily used on chicken from everything that I have read...that is all I have ever used it on, but it might be good on something like a pork loin also. Anyone ever try this on anything other than chicken?
Great, so when you make the sauce, shake it up and then open the container, sniff it. If it doesn't bring a smile to your face then you have never been to Starnes.

No kiddin, let me know.

Aubrey Page
I did use undertakers sauce last night and it was awesone. Thanks for the great info. I will be using this for years to come.
I mixed up a batch of Aubrey Pages' version of Starnes BBQ sauce this weekend. What a treat! I smoked about 6 slabs of spare ribs using the 3-2-1 method, and served them dry with the sauces on the side for dippin'. Everyone said that the sauce offered the perfect combination of flavor and heat! I don't usually use sauce on my ribs, because I enjoy the dry rub and smoke flavor so much, but IMHO, this sauce would make the perfect compliment to a pulled pork sandwich. Thanks for the tip Aubrey! 8)

So was the imitation Starnes sauce like you remembered it? I am surprised that your guests enjoyed the sauce with spareribs as it is an acquired taste. I just think of it as a topping and finishing sauce for pork BBQ. If however you did use it as a dipping sauce, that is the right approach. Slathering it on like Kraft sauce would have been a mistake.

Aubrey Page
Yes Aubrey, the sauce seemed very close to the way I remember it. Indeed, I agree that it is better as a finishing sauce for pulled pork. I really only made it because your original post brought back such a fond but long forgotten memory.

I let my 17 year old son choose the meat this time, ( he lives with his Mom almost two hours away and I haven't seen him in about four weeks), and ribs are his favorite. Yours was one of three sauces that I served on the side for dipping. I also made a mustard based sauce that I had gotten from the net, for variety, as well as a traditional style sauce that I had left over from another cookout.

I will definitely be using your recipe again, the next time I do a shoulder!

Brian, In addition to the Starnes Sauce, how did the mustard sauce turn out? If it was good, why don't you share the recipe in this forum. Also give credit to the source so we can also explore that path. There are also mustard sauces discussed under the pork section of this forum if I remember right.

It is one thing to see a sauce recipe published and another to have someone publish a recipe with memory of how it turned out fresh on their mind.

The only mustard sauce I have ever tried was at a legendary BBQ establishment south of Austin Texas called Salt Lick BBQ. It was great.

Aubrey Page
Unfortunately, I don't really remember the source. It came from an article that I came across on the net some time ago. I generally use the basic ingredients from a recipe and then modify to suit my mood that day. (I guess I'm kind of like that old cajun guy on tv that used to measure salt in the palm of his hand.)

I will, however, commit myself to practicing a bit more precision when trying/creating new things, and recording them to share. I have discovered many helpful ideas since joining this forum, and I certainly feel obligated to return the favor, if ever I can.

Here is my nomination for BBQ joint of the south.

Craigs BBQ, DeValls Bluff, Ark run by http://www.johntedge.com/writing/sou...lly_exerpt.php
located about 20 miles from my hometown of DeWitt Arkansas

His delicious sandwich;

His ribs, which I never ate because the sandwich was so damn good :oops:

We always got ours to go and they looked like this;

My wife's birthday is August 1 and she has already told me that we are driving 150 miles north to our old hometown just so we can get some Craig's BBQ. I think that is a pretty good recomendation. If that ain't enough though here is a Review by RoadHouse magazine;

"Reviewers Writeup "Mild, medium, or hot?" you will be asked when you place an order at this roadside smoke house. Even the mild stuff packs a pleasant punch; medium is very spicy; hot is diabolical, enough to set your tongue aglow for hours. It was quite a sight to watch local boys in overalls come to Craig's for "extra hots" at lunch time, and quickly ingest two or three big sandwiches non-stop before hopping in their trucks and driving back to work. Not a one of the big fellers combusted from the heat.

This is superior Q; mild or hot, the lean slices of pork are irresistibly tasty even before their red-orange, peppery sauce is applied. The way most people seem to like it served at Craig's is in a bun as a sandwich, wrapped in wax paper and stuck together with a toothpick. Stuffed into the bun atop the pork is cool cole slaw, providing a truly sensational balance. And on the side, there are Ozark-style beans, silky and sweet, cosseted in a lovely amber emulsion.

Much of Craig's business is take-out, although a scattering of tables across the floor inside provides space for eating in. For dessert, drive to the other side of Route 70 and get a piece of Mary Thomas's pie. It is a sublime dÃ[emoji]169[/emoji]nouement after one of Craig's climactic meals.

- Michael Stern, 8/23/2004 "
I am so glad to hear from someone who also appreciates a small town "BBQ Joint" like Starnes in Paducah Ky that I commented on. It sounds like Craigs is just that same kind of place. Starnes also does most of it's business as takeout. There are maybe 4 booths and a lunch counter inside. Getting a place to sit at lunch is difficult. You just sit at the counter and enjoy your BBQ with the person next to you. Of course in a small town you likely know the person anyway. At Starnes you are also asked mild or hot? My sauce is the mild variety.

What kind of sauce is served at Craigs?

Aubrey Page
OTBS #007
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