How to Make Best Odds Pulled Pork Table Sauce

Best odds pulled pork table sauce in a bowl next to a bowl of pulled pork

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
9 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are so many ways to go when it comes to barbecue sauce or just a simple table sauce for pulled pork, you might not even know where to start. So many barbecue styles: Memphis. Carolina. St. Louis. Texas. Kansas City and Alabama, too. Everyone does it a little differently. It's easy to be intimidated: barbecue can be serious business.

Barbecue sauce for pulled pork doesn't have to be complicated, and you don't need to rely on store-bought stuff, which is often fairly loaded with sugar. You can make your own from scratch, which works really well for any kind of barbecue but especially as a pulled pork sauce. Chances are, you've got the ingredients on hand already. Traditional barbecue pork or pulled pork is served with a sauce on the side. This tableside classic combination uses cider vinegar for sourness; brown sugar for sweetness, tomato for color; and cayenne for heat. There's also a bit of mustard, too.

This sauce for pulled pork is so simple and easy to whip up. There are lots of ways to use it, too. Eat pulled pork as is, loaded with sauce and some traditional sides, such as collard greens. Toast up some buns and assemble some pulled pork sandwiches, topping them with this sauce and coleslaw for a bit of a tangy flavor. The sauce definitely adds a lot of flavor, but it's also functional, as it brings more moisture to pulled pork, which is especially helpful on the second or third day after you've made it.


  • 1 1/2 cups  apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients gathered for pulled pork table sauce

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer while stirring until the sugar dissolves.

    Pulled pork sauce in a saucepan with a spoon

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  3. Remove from heat and serve warm.

    Sauce removed from the heat and drizzling off a spoon into the saucepan

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Serve with your favorite pulled pork recipe. Enjoy.

    Pulled pork table sauce in a bowl with a spoon next to a plate of pulled pork

    The Spruce Eats


Feel free to change the flavors a bit to suit your preferences. Up the ante on the cayenne, add a dash of Liquid Smoke for a smoky hit, or increase the mustard (or change the mustard type) if you like a more pronounced mustard taste.

If you like a less pronounced vinegar taste, cut back on the vinegar and increase the ketchup and brown sugar to compensate for it, tasting as you go.

How to Use Best Odds Pulled Pork Table Sauce

How to Store and Freeze Barbecue Sauce

  • You can make this sauce ahead of time. Just store it in an airtight plastic or glass container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also store it in the freezer for a few months and either thaw it in the fridge or the microwave, or over low heat on the stovetop until it's pourable.