Carolina-Style Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

Carolina-Style Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

This recipe is for a Carolina-style BBQ sauce, which can be used with my Southern-Style BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

I also like to tweak this sauce to use as BBQ sauce for many other recipes, by adding more or less of ingredients to taste. Sometimes I like spicier, sweeter, etc.

I like to make grilled BBQ Chicken, BBQ Chicken Pizza, BBQ Chicken Drumsticks, you name it! Once you try homemade BBQ sauce, it’s hard to go back to the jarred ones.

Carolina-Style Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

10 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (German: Apfelessig)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (see my post on making your own brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (in the tube, German: Tomatenpuree)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark molasses (German: Zuckerrohr Melasse)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring ketchup, 1 cup water, vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, chili powder, tomato paste, molasses, and freshly ground pepper to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  3. Cool 10 minutes.
  4. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  5. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

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