Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce


It's not a proper Southern feast without a Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce on the table. Most popular in eastern Carolina, this tasty condiment is typically made with just three simple ingredients: crushed red pepper, apple cider vinegar, and salt. But feel free to make it your own! Southern Living test kitchen director and host of BBQ&A, Robby Melvin, throws in a bit of brown sugar and hot pepper sauce for good measure. Add in a dash of cayenne pepper if your desired sauce packs a punch. Keep in mind vinegar-based sauce does not pair well with any form of BBQ beef. Pour it over ribs or pulled pork for the ultimate combination. Made with 8 ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen, this easy-as-pie recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes. Give it a try at your next backyard BBQ.

Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce
Photo: Southern Living
Active Time:
8 mins
Total Time:
8 mins
2 cups


  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Combine white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until sugar is fully dissolved. Note: Making sauce days in advance will allow flavors to blend.

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