Lexington Style Barbecue Sauce

Lexington Style Barbecue Sauce is the Piedmont area of North Carolina’s take on barbecue sauce. The sauce is thin, vinegary, and hot – tasted alone, it’s harsh with a strong bite of vinegar and heat that borders on excessive. Introduce it to pile of pulled pork though, and it’s a match made in heaven. There’s something about the vinegar that brings out the smokiness of pork all the more, and complements the pork flavour without masking it. This sauce is used to make Barbecue Slaw and BBQ Pork Sandwiches.

Lexington Style Barbecue Sauce
Lexington style barbecue sauce is a vinegar-based red sauce that is seasoned with ketchup, vinegar, and pepper, along with other spices that vary from recipe to recipe.
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup tomato ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons finely ground white pepper
  • 2¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients together and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
This sauce keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator, but be forewarned that the longer it sits, the hotter it gets as the heat from the peppers leeches out into the sauce. If you have sauce that has sat for a long time and you don't like it too peppery, cut the sauce with another 2 cups of vinegar, ½ cup ketchup, and ¼ cup dark brown sugar. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary.
The addition of ketchup in this slightly sweeter vinegar sauce distinguishes it from simpler Eastern North Carolina vinegar sauce. To turn this sauce into an Eastern sauce, add 1 cup of water and eliminate the brown sugar and ketchup.

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