East Carolina Vinegar Sauce: BBQ Mop Sauce

Rate this post

This vinegar-based mop sauce packs a flavorful punch. It’s acidic and spicy, with a beautiful, thin consistency that’s ideal for grilling.

It’s most typically used to mop up whole hog barbeque, although it goes well with any kind of pork.

This recipe will lead you through the stages of producing a delicious mop sauce that will enhance the taste of your smoked meat.

What is East Carolina Vinegar Sauce?

East Carolina Vinegar Sauce: BBQ Mop Sauce

We all know how seriously the Carolinas take their barbecue, so it comes to reason that they have more than one traditional sauce.

The East Carolina vinegar sauce is nothing like the famed Carolina Gold in the south. It’s a mop sauce that’s used to mop items like whole hog barbecue, pulled pork, and pork ribs.

This sauce is a straightforward blend of vinegar, brown sugar for sweetness, and a scorching bite from red pepper flakes and hot sauce.

It has a very thin consistency and is best used to mop barbecue throughout the cooking process, particularly the legendary Carolina whole hog barbecue.

This vinegary mop sauce’s origins are unknown, but it is obvious that it goes back at least a couple of centuries in North Carolina, where whole hog barbecue reigns supreme.

The roots may be traced back to the region’s original mop sauces used by Native Americans.

A wonderful, spicy mop sauce, in my opinion, is a highly adaptable sauce for many sorts of barbecue, but notably pig.

This sauce is the right blend of spice and tang that will add a significant lot of flavor to your meat, whether you are mopping a whole hog, a couple racks of ribs, or even a smoked pig butt.

Ingredients you’ll need

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is the first component in this mop sauce. It is responsible for the sauce’s acidic taste and thin consistency.

Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar is the sauce’s other vinegar component.

It gives a distinct taste character to the sauce than apple cider vinegar and helps to smooth out the flavor.

I don’t advocate adding seasoned rice vinegar since it will overshadow the sauce. You may also use distilled white vinegar as an option.


Water is added to this sauce to balance out the acidity of the vinegar.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is used to add sweetness to this sauce. The brown sugar does not sweeten the sauce, but it does assist to balance the vinegar’s acidity and the heat from the pepper flakes and spicy sauce.

Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar may be used.

Red pepper flakes

Red pepper flakes are the initial source of heat in this sauce. They provide just enough spiciness to balance out the vinegar and brown sugar.

You may modify the quantity of red pepper flakes to your liking, but this recipe really delivers a hot punch.

Hot sauce

A dab of hot sauce is added for an additional kick to increase the spicy quality of this sauce.

You may use any hot sauce you choose, but I feel that Louisiana brand hot sauce is a fantastic blend of tangy heat that complements this sauce well.


You may customize the spices and ingredients to your liking.

I like to add garlic powder, dry mustard, salt, and paprika to mine. You may also add onion powder if you want to add some onion taste.

Tools you’ll need

Medium-sized saucepan or pot

This dish requires a saucepan or pot with a capacity of at least 2 quarts. I like to use a pan since the sauce comes to a boil quicker, but a pot works just as well.

Wire whisk

To properly dissolve the dry ingredients, you must mix this sauce with a whisk.

This sauce whisk is one of my favorites.

Mason jar (or similar storage container)

Because you can keep this sauce in the fridge for up to a week, I suggest using a container with a lid rather than wrapping a bowl with plastic wrap.

You want a container with a good seal to keep your sauce from deteriorating, therefore I think mason jars are the ideal way to preserve homemade barbecue sauce.

What to serve East Carolina Vinegar sauce with

As previously said, this sauce is ideal for a whole hog barbecue, but it is also a flexible mop sauce for other varieties of smoked pig.

It is safe to use on your meat during the whole cooking process. You don’t have to worry about it burning since it doesn’t have a high sugar content.

Keen to try some other BBQ sauces?

  • Homemade BBQ sauce
  • Alabama white sauce
  • Carolina gold sauce
  • Kansas City-style bbq sauce
  • St Louis-style bbq sauce


What is mop sauce made of?

A mop sauce is a thin liquid that is often brushed or “mopped” over food while cooking. It is generally made from tomato juice, vinegar, apple cider, beer, or a combination of these components.

What is Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce?

This sauce, a hallmark of Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue, isn’t as thick as the tomato-based ones most people think of when they think of barbecue sauce. It’s on the thin side and largely composed of cider vinegar seasoned with black pepper, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar.

What is a Carolina mop?

Carolina mopping sauce is a vinegar-based sauce used for basting and flavoring meat, generally pig, during grilling or barbecuing. It is a popular sauce in the Carolinas region of the southeastern United States, which encompasses North Carolina and South Carolina.

Why is it called mop sauce?

Centuries ago, settlers in eastern North Carolina baste their meat with a vinegar-based pepper sauce. This sauce became known as “mop sauce,” since it was physically mopped over the meat, reducing fat and improving the tastes of pig, poultry, and other foods.

How often do you use mop sauce?

Mop sauce is used to continuously baste grilled meats to impart flavor as they cook. It’s used to smoke or grill over wood chips. Make a point of mopping every 20 minutes. Mop sauce layers combine with a BBQ rub to provide a delicious crust on the meat.

What makes Carolina BBQ sauce different?

North Carolina BBQ sauce is a barbecue sauce in the tradition of the South. While most BBQ sauces are created with ketchup and molasses, Carolina sauce is produced with vinegar and mustard.

What is the difference between East and West Carolina BBQ sauce?

Eastern-style North Carolina barbecue is noted for its vinegar foundation and peppery taste, which makes it lighter – and hotter – than its western version. Western-style barbecue, sometimes known as “Lexington style,” is distinguished by a thick, sweet sauce composed of butter, sugar, and ketchup.

What is the difference between West and East Carolina BBQ?

Western style, or Lexington style, barbecue employs a red sauce seasoned with ketchup, vinegar, and pepper, as well as additional spices that vary by recipe. Unlike the Eastern method, which employs the whole hog, this technique simply uses the pig shoulder.

What is a BBQ mop?

A mop, sometimes known as a sop, isn’t simply another kind of barbecue sauce. It is a thin, watery fluid that drops over meat to enhance moisture and prevent drying over an open fire. Consider this: a sauce is applied using a brush, much like a paintbrush. A mop is used to clean using, well, a mop.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *