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Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce "upgrade"

 
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pigskins
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Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 135
Location: rochester, ny

PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce "upgrade" Reply with quote

Please don't take offense!

A couple weeks ago I smoked 20 lbs of PB and made 3 different sauces for ppl to try. Here in Western, NY you don't find too many people into a mostly vinegar-based sauce so out of the 3 that one was used the least. There was someone here who is from NC and she *loved* it, so that was good to know!

My question is, can I add something or things to the sauce now that I have it made to make it more "appealing" to those who don't know what they're missing? Or maybe use it in some other form/fashion? FYI I did try it and it was not my first choice but I did like the "tang" it brought to the PP.

Here is the recipe I used:
Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce
Ingredients
* 1 cup white vinegar
* 1 cup cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
1. Combine the white vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before using so that the flavors will blend. Shake occasionally, and store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all that vinegar, I would think you could store it in direct sunlight for years....LOL....I dont know E.N.C. sauce AT ALL, but I add a little chinese 5 spice for that " whats that " in the backround flavor - that ying and yang thing goin on!- use sparingly if you do! I put some in my rub for pork also.

edited several times for typo's.....it's friday.....
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yossarian
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

An idea i have is to simmer it slowly with some red pepper flakes, instead of the hot sauce. It also seems that a lot of people have two issues with vinegar sauces.
1 - they are not sweet enough, so maybe add more sugar
2 - the viscosity is too watery. maybe you can thicken it up with corn starch?
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pigskins
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are on the right track. Especially around here, the thickness of the "sauce" is an issue. I still have some of this batch with the hot sauce so I was hoping to doctor it up.

The person from NC said she seemed to remember her grandfather using sauce or ketchup to thicken it. I guess at that point it's no longer an "authentic" E.N.C. sauce?



yossarian wrote:
An idea i have is to simmer it slowly with some red pepper flakes, instead of the hot sauce. It also seems that a lot of people have two issues with vinegar sauces.
1 - they are not sweet enough, so maybe add more sugar
2 - the viscosity is too watery. maybe you can thicken it up with corn starch?
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yossarian
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not unheard of to add some ketchup to this type of sauce. I can't remember which, but either the NC or Kentucky style sauce has ketchup in it.

One thing I have been wanting to try as a thickener is Gumbo File (FEE-Lay) and it might add an interesting flavor.
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thsmoker
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the definition of authentic. Most folks would say eastern is vinegar, pepper flakes, some salt and maybe some sugar.

What kinds of sauce are favored in your area? I would try to incorporate some of those flavors.

I personally favor something between eastern and western, since I am in the Piedmont. Vinegar, water, catsup, several kinds of peppers including chipolte, texas pete sauce, a bit of salt and some raw sugar. Maybe some worst or fish sauce and mustard powder. Boil it briefly, cool, and store in the fridge for a couple of days. All low cost, so its easy to experiment and find something you and your friends like.
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gbque
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I would try....

Add 2 cups of apple juice, 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup either honey or maple syrup. Simmer until reduced to coat a spoon. This should give you a sweet tart thin red sauce.
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Kevan
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PostPosted: Nov 05 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best NC style sauce I had was at some joint here in MD. The pulled pork was barely average but his vinager based sause was brilliant. I asked him what was in it and he said all the hot peppers he had around and vinager. I have experimented some with combos of fresh, dried and smoked peppers through a food processer a little with vinager, salt & garlic. It is one of my favorites and is never refrigerated. May not be what you are looking for but the pepper combo flaver is great (and hot).
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jereostr



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PostPosted: Nov 06 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like "thesmoker"'s thoughts. I add a little fish sauce, woosty, and even some smasked anchovies for an umami boost. I have tried adding sugar, sugar, sugar and some tomato flavor (i.e. ketchup or the like). This makes it a more Western NC based sauce, but I've found the same response with folks here in Idaho: vinegar sauce is not BBQ sauce. I strongly disagree...I prefer vinegar on my pork. I always dress my pork with vinegar sauce before i serve it, and usually let them put whatever they want on it. JO
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enjkuck
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PostPosted: Nov 06 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check amazingribs.com Lexington Dip. Its my vinegar based sauce of choice. I do sometimes use honey instead of the brown sugar for a little thicker sauce on ribs. I use this on everything including chinese food and pizza.

Following tradition is fine, but if we all really wanted to be traditional then there would be nothing different about anyones bbq. jm2c.
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Uncle Alvah
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PostPosted: Nov 06 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

thesmoker is on it!

TECHNICALLY, a "classic" Eastern NC sauce will NOT have ANY tomato products, but some eastern "style" ones do.

Thickness is a regional thing. I came to NC from the Adirondacks liking that thick gloopy stuff called BBQ sauce, but now, I'm a vinegar based guy.You try to bring that thick stuff near my Q and I'll put the dogs on you! Believe me you don't want that!
.Wink




Eastern or Piedmont(sometimes called "western" or" Lexington") style sauces are always vinegar based, always pretty thin, the addition of tomato is a defining factor in saying which is which.

I refer folks here to Bob Garners excellent book "North Carolina BBQ: Flavored by Time" for the straight skivvy on our BBQ here.
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pigskins
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PostPosted: Nov 06 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come to think of it, I believe the person who is from NC said she is from the Lexington area, so her grandfather adding the ketchup makes more sense now that I've seen the Lexington Dip!



enjkuck wrote:
Check amazingribs.com Lexington Dip. Its my vinegar based sauce of choice. I do sometimes use honey instead of the brown sugar for a little thicker sauce on ribs. I use this on everything including chinese food and pizza.

Following tradition is fine, but if we all really wanted to be traditional then there would be nothing different about anyones bbq. jm2c.
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Pit Boss
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PostPosted: Nov 07 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

When conversing about North Carolina bbq sauce, people tend to hover around the word "sauce" too much...and forget to adapt their way of thinking.

In North Carolina the sauce is used more as a seasoning than a ....well, a sauce. Most folks conger up thoughts of thick, red stuff that they can slather on and it just sits there on top of their bbq. A vinegar sauce isn't going to do that...and people keep putting on more because they like to SEE the sauce on the meat. That is a sure fire way to get turned off by a vinegar sauce. It's no wonder most folks outside of vinegar territory don't like it.

Just remember...it's a seasoning...not a sauce.
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BluDawg
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PostPosted: Nov 07 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Alvah wrote:
thesmoker is on it!

TECHNICALLY, a "classic" Eastern NC sauce will NOT have ANY tomato products, but some eastern "style" ones do.

Thickness is a regional thing. I came to NC from the Adirondacks liking that thick gloopy stuff called BBQ sauce, but now, I'm a vinegar based guy.You try to bring that thick stuff near my Q and I'll put the dogs on you! Believe me you don't want that!
.Wink




Eastern or Piedmont(sometimes called "western" or" Lexington") style sauces are always vinegar based, always pretty thin, the addition of tomato is a defining factor in saying which is which.

I refer folks here to Bob Garners excellent book "North Carolina BBQ: Flavored by Time" for the straight skivvy on our BBQ here.
Couldn't have said it better my self, I like the Lexington stuff on my PP. and the red pepper flakes is the way to go. The sauce already has enough vinegar. I just let it sit on the counter the longer it sets the better it gets!! Wink
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DKWRRT



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PostPosted: Nov 08 2010    Post subject: Eastern NC sauce Reply with quote

Being from Eastern NC I can only think thatadding a little jar or molasses to the mix. This would thicken it up sligltly and help cut some of the up front heat on a traditional sauce. For many years I have made my own for what we call pig-pickin's here in NC. Here it is if you want to "tweke" please feel free.

1 gallon cider vinegr
1 lb dark bown sugar
1 jar molasses
cyane pepper to taste
red pepper sauce to taste
3 Tbs salt
3 Tbs black pepper
3 Tbs white pepper
Red peppper flakes to taste
Heat vinegar add all the above and cook until the sugar and salt is disolved. The longer you cook it the thicker it will get but a thin sauce is what I strive for.
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bigdad
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PostPosted: Nov 09 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have any of you trird using Xanthan Gum to thicken up your sauce. It doesnt add any flavor or color. You should be able to find it at a heath food type store . You dont use very much of it. I cant tell you you use this much to thicken this much. I just play with it till I get what i want. It adds a gloss to it also. Add a little bit, I mean a pinch at a time. Wisk the %^&* out of it to get it mixed up. Let it sit for a few mins to let it do its thing. Add more untill you get what you want. It seams to work the best on cold to luke warm stuff. You got to be careful with it because it will turn from thicker to slime in a heart beat. It wont get "gravey" thick.

Its also used in the oil feilds to make water more slippery. Try it out just put some in a bowl of water wisk it to death and see what happens!!
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