Vinegar Barbecue Sauces

Vinegar-based barbecue sauces come in a wide number of varieties from tomato to mustard, from spicy to sweet. But no matter the recipe, the truth is that a good vinegar barbecue sauce gives foods an irresistible tangy flavor that also helps cut down the impact of fatty meats on your palate.

Our collection of vinegar BBQ sauces brings you easy to make recipes that will enhance the flavor of your meats – effortless taste for you to enjoy!

  • 01 of 07

    Piedmont Barbecue Sauce

    Barbecue Sauce In Container On Wooden Table
    Michelle Arnold / EyeEm/Getty Images

    This is the traditional barbecue sauce from the Piedmont region in the western Carolinas. Known for its pulled pork, this region also has a specific barbecue sauce made for that smoky meat. While this sauce, also known as Lexington dip, can and often is mixed in with the meat, it is more traditionally served on the side so that each person can add as much or as little as they wish. Used in chicken and slaw, it uses cider vinegar and ketchup as the base for building flavor. Add more or fewer pepper flakes to make it as spicy as you'd like.

    Cooks in 10 minutes and keeps for 1 week in the fridge.

  • 02 of 07

    Southern Vinegar Sauce

    Piedmont Barbecue Sauce
    Danielle Loiselle/Getty Images

    Traditional Southern vinegar sauces are thin and watery. This allows the pork to absorb the flavors and buttery texture without a heavy coating of sauce. The recipe uses no tomato and makes a twist on the classic lemon, oil, salt, and pepper used on smoked meats. Because some regions didn't have access to lemons, vinegar was used instead – this one has both.

    Use it on beef, chicken, and lamb, or as a base for making pulled pork in your crockpot. Cooks in 15 minutes and keep for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.

  • 03 of 07

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce
    patrickheagney/Getty Images

    This thin, vinegary sauce is added to smoked pulled pork in the tradition of the eastern Carolinas and can be used on pork while it smokes or added when the pork is pulled. The tangy combination of apple cider vinegar and spices builds flavor and keeps the meat moist, while the black pepper, paprika, and cayenne give a little bit of a kick. This minimalist sauce cuts through the fat and allows the naturally sweet pork to shine.

    Cooks in 15 minutes and keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

  • 04 of 07

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Table Sauce

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Table Sauce

    The Spruce

    Traditional pulled pork barbecue comes with the sauce on the side and this sauce is the one to offer in a squeezable bottle at your next BBQ because it goes well on every meat you can think of, not just pork. Apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and mustard make a thick sweet, savory, and tangy base whose heat level you can adjust.

    The recipe uses cayenne and black pepper, but feel free to experiment with hot sauce or chili flakes to make a spicier version.

    Cooks in 20 minutes and keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    North Carolina BBQ Chicken Sauce

    North Carolina BBQ Chicken Sauce
    Regarding BBQ Inc.

    Substituting chicken for pork is a quick and easy way to make barbecue because it smokes faster, in half of the time, and it is quicker to pull. This North Carolina barbecue sauce adds the perfect flavors to make smoked chicken. It is thinner and less sweet than the bottled barbecue sauce but does follow the vinegar and ketchup base. Because chicken is blander in flavor by nature and needs extra help to satisfy your taste buds, this sauce is the way to go. Add more pepper or chili flakes for extra spice.

    Cooks in 20 minutes and keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

  • 06 of 07

    Wicker's BBQ Sauce

    Pork BBQ marinade
    NicolasMcComber/Getty Images

    The famous and historical Wicker's in Missouri has been making delicious marinades and sauces for over 50 years, with a long family tradition of cooks for decades before that. This sauce is similar to one of their most famous creations.

    The savory combination of spices makes this a perfect barbecue sauce for pulled pork or smoked chicken, but it is the vinegar and mustard that give that special mouth-watering tanginess. Spices, particularly cumin, add and earthy taste to this surprisingly easy-to-make sauce.

    Cooks in 20 minutes and keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

  • 07 of 07

    Cornell Barbecue Chicken Sauce

    Grilled BBQ Chicken
    Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

    This barbecue sauce from Cornell University's farm home extension dates back to the 1950s. It was designed to give chicken a kick and help increase the consumption of small birds to help the small farmers' businesses. It has been made and sold for decades. What makes it different from other barbecue sauces is the egg, because when emulsified, it gives the sauce a thick and rich consistency that's similar to mayonnaise.

    Blend vinegar, oil, egg, and spices, and discard after 3 days in the fridge.