Piedmont barbecue sauce was born out of the Carolinas and served at the table with smoked pulled pork or pulled chicken. This sauce is not like other barbecue sauces. It has a thin consistency and relies heavily on vinegar with other delicious ingredients mixed in. If you’re expecting a thick sweet sauce, this is not the one. This Piedmont barbecue sauce is tart with a touch of spice, and adds an extra kick of flavor to grilled and smoked meats.
If you are in the Piedmont or Lexington area of western North Carolina, try their classic Carolina-style barbecue sauce; known locally as Lexington dip. This sauce is quite popular and is usually served alongside pulled pork or added to pulled pork sandwiches topped with slaw. You can adjust this thin, vinegar based sauce by ramping up the sweet and spicy flavors.
- Cider vinegar
- Apple juice (if you want it tart, skip the juice and use water instead)
- Brown sugar
- Red pepper flakes
Making Piedmont Barbecue Sauce:
- Simmer ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and continue simmering the Piedmont sauce for another 6-7 minutes. Try not to rush the cooking process by turning up the heat. Hot vinegar and cayenne together can produce some powerful fumes that will knock you off your feet. Better to simmer over low temps!
- Remove sauce from heat and let it cool completely (about an hour).
- Mix this Piedmont barbecue sauce with pulled chicken or pulled pork right before serving. Start with a small amount, then add more sauce as needed.
- To improve the sauce, make it 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat for 30 -45 seconds in the microwave before using. The extra time will allow all the flavors to combine and not be quite as sharp.
Piedmont Barbecue Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple juice for a less sweet sauce, use water instead of apple juice
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to your liking
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- In a large saucepan, simmer ingredients over medium heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for another 6-7 minutes. Try not to rush the cooking process by turning up the heat. Hot vinegar and hot sauce together can produce some powerful fumes that will knock you off your feet. Better to simmer over low temps.
- Remove sauce from heat and let cool thoroughly (about an hour). Use as indicated in introduction.
- To improve the sauce, make it 24 hours in advance and store in the refrigerator. Reheat for 30 -45 seconds in microwave before using. This extra time will allow the flavors of the sauce to mesh well..