If you’re looking for a tangy and flavorful BBQ sauce to complement your grilled or smoked meats, then you’ll want to try this delicious recipe for Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce. This sauce is a classic in the southern United States and is a perfect fit for those who prefer their BBQ sauce with a little kick.
One of the standout features of this sauce is its tangy flavor, which is due to the apple cider vinegar used as the base ingredient. The vinegar gives the sauce a distinct acidity that helps to balance out the sweetness from the light brown sugar and ketchup. The addition of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper also provides a depth of flavor that is sure to impress.
This sauce is traditionally used in southern cuisine as a condiment for barbecued or smoked meats, such as pulled pork, brisket, and chicken. It pairs particularly well with meats that have been slow-cooked and have a rich, smoky flavor. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or simply looking for a delicious sauce to add to your weeknight dinner, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends.
So, if you’re ready to take your BBQ game to the next level, give this Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce recipe a try. With its tangy and flavorful taste, it’s sure to become a new favorite in your recipe arsenal.
Where is a Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce?
Vinegar-based barbecue sauces are a popular style of sauce commonly used in certain regions of the United States, such as North Carolina and parts of Tennessee. Unlike tomato-based sauces, which are thick and sweet, vinegar-based sauces are thin and tangy, with a sharp acidity that pairs well with grilled or smoked meats.
The base of a vinegar-based barbecue sauce typically consists of apple cider vinegar, mixed with a variety of spices and seasonings such as brown sugar, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Worcestershire sauce. Some variations may also include ketchup or mustard for added sweetness and thickness.
One of the most popular types of vinegar-based barbecue sauces is Eastern North Carolina-style sauce, which is made with just vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Western North Carolina-style sauce, on the other hand, typically includes ketchup and brown sugar, giving it a slightly sweeter taste.
Overall, vinegar-based barbecue sauces are a great option for those who prefer a tangy, acidic flavor profile in their barbecue. They are also typically lower in sugar and calories than tomato-based sauces, making them a healthier choice for those watching their diet.
What To Serve With Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce
Vinegar-based BBQ sauces are often served with grilled or smoked meats, particularly pork, chicken, or brisket. In some regions of the United States, such as North Carolina, it is common to use vinegar bbq sauce in slow cooker pulled pork recipes. It’s also a popular sauce cuisine in barbecue sandwiches.
In addition to meats, vinegar-based BBQ sauces can also be used as a marinade or dipping sauce for vegetables, such as grilled or roasted squash, zucchini, or eggplant. Some people also use vinegar-based sauces as a salad dressing or as a topping for coleslaw.
When it comes to sides, vinegar-based BBQ sauces pair well with classic southern sides like collard greens, mac and cheese, and cornbread. Some people also like to serve pickled vegetables or pickled onions alongside their barbecue to add an extra tangy flavor.
How To Make Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce
Gather your ingredients
To make a basic vinegar-based BBQ sauce, you will need 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Make sure to measure out your ingredients accurately before you start cooking.
Combine the Ingredients
In a medium saucepan, add all of the ingredients listed in Step 1. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients together until the brown sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined.
Heat the Saucepan
Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. It is important to stir the sauce occasionally during this step to ensure that the ingredients are evenly mixed and do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Simmer the Sauce
Once the sauce has come to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes. During this step, the sauce will begin to thicken slightly as it reduces. Continue to stir the sauce occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Adjust the Seasoning
After 10-15 minutes of simmering, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you want a sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar. If you want a spicier sauce, you can add more red pepper flakes. Use caution when adding seasoning to avoid over-seasoning the sauce.
Remove From Heat and Let Cool
Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from the heat and let it cool. The sauce will thicken further as it cools. Once cooled, you can use the sauce immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Store Homemade BBQ Sauce
To store the sauce, pour it into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month. Before using the sauce, give it a quick stir to ensure that it is evenly mixed.
Adjusting The Flavor of Vinegar-based BBQ Sauce
One of the great things about this sauce is that it’s easy to adjust the flavor to your liking. Depending on your taste preferences, you can make the sauce sweeter, spicier, or more savory by adding different ingredients or adjusting the amounts of existing ingredients. Here are some tips for adjusting the flavor.
If you prefer a sweeter BBQ sauce, you can add more brown sugar to the recipe. Start by adding an additional 1/4 cup of brown sugar and taste the sauce. If you want it even sweeter, you can add more brown sugar in small increments until you reach your desired level of sweetness.
To make the sauce spicier, you can add more red pepper flakes or hot sauce. Start by adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. If you want it even spicier, you can add more in small increments until you reach your desired level of heat.
Variations of Vinegar BBQ Sauce
Once you’re comfortable making the basic recipe for vinegar-based BBQ sauce, you can experiment with different variations by adding different ingredients. Here are some ideas for different variations.
- Garlic BBQ sauce: Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the saucepan when you’re simmering the sauce.
- Honey BBQ sauce: Add 1/4 cup of honey to the saucepan when you’re whisking the ingredients together.
- Mustard BBQ sauce: Add 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard to the saucepan when you’re whisking the ingredients together.
- Smoky BBQ sauce: Add 1-2 teaspoons of liquid smoke to the saucepan when you’re whisking the ingredients together.
By experimenting with different ingredients and adjusting the amounts of existing ingredients, you can create a variety of different flavors in a vinegar sauce.
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Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Small bowl
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- Whisk the ingredients together until the brown sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it has thickened slightly.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you want a sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar. If you want a spicier sauce, you can add more red pepper flakes.
- Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
- Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. The sauce can be made ahead of time and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month
Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce FAQs
What is vinegar-based BBQ sauce?
Vinegar-based BBQ sauce is a tangy and flavorful sauce that is made with vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, and spices. It’s a popular sauce for grilling or smoking meats, especially in the southern United States.
What are the ingredients for vinegar-based BBQ sauce?
The ingredients for vinegar-based BBQ sauce include apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
Can I adjust the flavor of vinegar-based BBQ sauce?
Yes, you can adjust the flavor of vinegar-based BBQ sauce to your liking by adding more or less of certain ingredients. For example, you can add more brown sugar to make the sauce sweeter, or more red pepper flakes to make it spicier.
How do I store vinegar-based BBQ sauce?
Store vinegar-based BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
What can I use vinegar-based BBQ sauce for?
Vinegar-based BBQ sauce is a great condiment for grilling or smoking meats such as chicken, pork, or beef. You can also use it as a marinade or a dipping sauce.
Is vinegar-based BBQ sauce gluten-free?
Yes, vinegar-based BBQ sauce is typically gluten-free, but it’s always a good idea to check the individual ingredients to make sure.
How long does it take to make vinegar-based BBQ sauce?
It takes about 15-20 minutes to make vinegar-based BBQ sauce, including prep time.
How much vinegar-based BBQ sauce does this recipe make?
This recipe makes about 2 cups of vinegar-based BBQ sauce, which is enough for several servings of meat.