Looking For a Vinegar Sauce Or Non Spicy Sauce For Pulled Pork

Seen the BBQ is Better with a Vape thread on here and realise a few people smoke their meat on here.

Anyone got any tips for a not to powerful sauce to go with it.

I have tried a few vinegar sauces, but they all seem to use way to much vinegar and end up spoiling the pork by the vinegar overpowering the meat. Tried a few spicy sauces that also end up way too hot and spicy. So I usually just end up melting some Monterey Jack Cheese over it or leave it plain…

I tend to serve it with some homemade Chipotle Coleslaw. That provides any heat and spice that people want to add to the meat without the need for everyone having to eat hot and spicy if the guests aren’t keen on heat or a side serving of Pit Beans if they just want meat and some saucy beans.

I would love a tried and tested basic vinegar recipe that is simple to make, preferably vinegar and sugar based that adds a bit of tang but doesn’t overpower the finished pork with the taste of strong vinegar…

p.s. UK based so Grammes or Oz or ml/fl oz I can work with. Cup measurements throw me and not all branded goods would be available here, if using American named brands.



Here is one I used back when I was competing in BBQ
Vinegar Sauce
355 ml of cider or balsamic vinegar
177 ml of cold water
2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1.5 tablespoons of coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 small onion finely diced
mix at least the day before, store in refrigerator.

Balsamic vinegar will not be as strong a vinegar flavor, will be richer flavor than cider vinegar.


Always found Apple Cider Vinegar to be the key mixed with some good bourbon.


Thanks for this, is it poured over cold or heated first? How bigger piece of meat will this do, I intend smoking a 10lb Pork Shoulder (believe you call it Pork Butt)

Would probably try it with Balsamic. I have tried a few vinegar recipes but have found out the Americans like really Vinegary sauces and for me the few recipes I have tried, have ended up ruining the meat, with an overpowering taste of vinegar and the flavour of the smoked pork ends up almost disappearing. .

I dissolve soft brown sugar in the ACV and a drop of Jack.
This I then inject into the meat.
I then cling wrap the meat tightly and leave in the fridge for at least 1 day.
My mixture after that consists of a good Spanish smoked paprika, soft brown sugar, oregano,mustard, soy sauce, Cyene pepper, salt and celery salt.
I rub this mixture all over the meat, wrap up again and leave oce more in fridge for a day.
I then roast the meat very slowly at a very low heat all day covered.
The last hour I turn the heat up, about 150.
The next important step is adding butter to the meat for the final stage.
Once cooked I wrap in tin foil and rest for an hour.
I don’t measure the ingredients just go by judgement which is ironic as I am very careful with my mixes! LOL

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This is a lot of work and is excellent on most other porks, sucks on beef though tried that after I decided I needed to get back to Kosher during a stint of rebellion.

Masterchef Braised Pork Ribs
Rub Ingredients:

1 tbs (15ml) brown sugar

1 tbs (15ml) salt

1 tsp (5ml) chili powder

1 tsp (5ml) smoked paprika

1 tsp (5ml) mustard powder

1 tsp (5ml) ground cumin

1 tsp dried (5ml) oregano leaves

½ brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cooking Marinade Ingredients:

1 cup (226ml) brown sugar

250 ml malt vinegar

1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon

1 tsp (5ml) chili powder

1 tsp (5ml) hot English mustard powder

2 tbs (30ml) tomato sauce

2 tbs (30ml) Dijon mustard

125ml bourbon whiskey

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tsp (5ml) cumin

1 tsp (5ml) smoked paprika

1 jalapeno chili, finely chopped

1 orange, peeled rind

1 and a half tsp (7.5ml) salt

– Preheat oven to 180°C.

– Combine rub ingredients in a large bowl. Add ribs to the bowl, using your hands, rub the mixture into the meat to coat completely. Set aside in the fridge for 2-3 hours to marinate.

– Heat a BBQ or char grill plate over high heat. Drizzle olive oil onto ribs and toss to coat. Place ribs fat-side up and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until sealed.

– Place cooking marinade ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes until thickened slightly.

– Transfer ribs to a large, non-stick roasting pan and pour over hot marinade. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until falling off the bone, turning 3-4 times throughout.

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You can apply to a serving of pork butt as you would any other sauce, you
will find that the sauce will cut some of the greasiness that you get with
butt, it also brightens the pork flavor. You can warm if you wish, I would
put a bottle of the sauce out there at room temp. It makes over two cups of
sauce which should be enough for a 10 pound butt. One thing to consider is
a little sauce goes a long ways.

I prefer mustard sauces myself, they come from the same region of the
country as the vinegar sauces, they are a sweet, tart, mustard sauce.

If you don’t mind, what are you cooking on, what type of cooker? Direct or
indirect cooking? Charcoal or gas?


I use one of these bullet smokers by ProQ for indirect. charcoal smoking/cooking. keeps a decent constant 225F and it keeps a pretty decent heat seal. Got it this year but looking at a Traeger wood pellet grill or something similar in the future.

I have cooked quite a few pork shoulders now, Happy with my homemade rub, and get a good bark. I use cherry wood chunks and always let it get to an internal temp of 195F before pulling. It is just finding a decent sauce to go with it. I sometimes use a homemade dipping gravy, but it needs quite a bit of prep and can get a bit messy and a few gravy boats if catering for a crowd.

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ProQ ok a Weber Smokey Mountain style cooker, have you ever heard of the
Minion Method for fire control? I’m that guy. :wink:

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This is what I use all the time… just heat it all to a simmer for a couple minutes then allow to cool. I store it in a squeeze type bottle and squirt some on pulled pork after it’s been pulled. I also use extra as a sauce if I don’t want a naked pulled pork sandwich or want bbq sauce.
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Course Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes


Love that stuff,use both the original and the extra on a lot, welllllll about everything needing some zip


Never know if I am being wound up on the Net at times, but your username does fit with Jim Minion?..I have tried the minion method a few times but in general don’t have much success with briquettes or heat beads (my fault, as I know many thousands of people use this method successfully around the world) . I find for my needs I get a much more regular temp and longer burn using the Big K restaurant charcoal (they are like 6-8" long branch pieces of charcoal) that are whole and don’t come smashed up in small pieces like many regular charcoals.

If you are the guy, your method is so well know here in the UK and recommended everywhere you look.

I like the idea of adding water with the vinegar as it will help dilute the vinegar more hopefully making it more palatable and I will definitely be giving it a go.

In general with vinegar sauces and pulled pork do you and other smokers in general, add it all to the meat once pulled. Or do you put it in a squeezy bottle and let people add it to the pulled meat if they wish to. I have always added it to the meat once pulled and ended up spoiling the pork as all it tastes of is vinegar.

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Thanks, That brand of cajun seasoning isn’t readily available in the UK, how hot is cajun seasoning in general on a scale of 1-10?

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As @anon13011326 stated in their reply there are 2 (maybe more) varieties this brand makes. The Original isn’t real hot or real spicy maybe on a scale of 2-3, but does have a good little bite to it and nice flavor. The “hotness” comes from the amount of red pepper flakes you would add.
Not to distract from @bluenose63 comments to @jminion1947 but I use that vinegar sauce I posted just after pulling the pork (to the whole batch of pulled pork) but not a whole lot… maybe half a cup will be mixed throughout the pork (I normally smoke 7 or 8 pound butts), this doesn’t give the pork an overly vinegar taste, more can be added as used by the consumer :stuck_out_tongue:
Now as this will be sacrilege to some people… Last Christmas I was given a Dutch oven as a present (I often get cooking utilizes as presents (I guess it’s a subtle hint)), I had never used one (as they should be used, but just looked at it as a glorified pot, so this thing was never opened and sat on a shelf in a storage area) a month or so ago I had my pork butt all ready to go out to the smoker and it started to rain. I use a 40" Masterbuilt electric smoker… so it doesn’t like rain. I said to hell with it and dragged out this new heavy Dutch oven and turned the kitchen oven to 250F stuffed this pork butt into the dutch oven and tossed it into the kitchen oven. Now normally I smoke butts for 10 to 12 hours or so (cooking by temp not time to 195F internal temp). This pork butt was finished in about 5-6 hours in the dutch oven, while it didn’t have a smoky taste it was nice and tender, and pulled well. I have since done another one in the same manner (but added a little liquid smoke (apple juice and liquid smoke) to the bottom of the dutch oven).


If you can, get some oak barrel chips.
Used barrel chips from whisky or a sherry cask add a lovely taste to any BQ smoking.
If you can’t get those soak some oak or hickory chips in a container of whisky or sherry for a few weeks.
Add the moist alcohol soaked chips at the latter part of your smoking to get a rich flavour.

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For pulled pork I usually make this-

5 C Distilled vinegar
• 1 C Cider vinegar
• 5 T Dark brown sugar
• 3 T Salt
• 1 ½ T Cayenne pepper
• 1 T Tabasco
• 2 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp. Black pepper
• Combine the ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl and mix well.
• Store in a tightly covered jar for up to 2 months refrigerated.

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Thanks for the recipe. I am pretty sure I couldn’t cope with that sort of finished vinegar taste on my pulled pork (especially distilled) though…

Is acidity% different in the USA for vinegar 5-6% is the norm here? I am sure there are people in the UK that consume Distilled vinegar, but we use it around the house for cleaning the stainless steel sink or descaling the kettle.

America is the undisputed BBq place in the world, but it is maybe just my tastebuds?, but the recipes for sauces and some rubs are way to much for me, I have tried that originate from there. Tried a few Salt and Pepper Brisket rubs off the net and all I tend to be able to taste is overpowering Salt and pepper and the flavour of the meat is lost in it?

Personally I think it is me, and I either need to man up or just go sweet and mild for everything smoke related instead.:grinning:

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I have used wood chips of many varieties in the past and always liked Pecan or Oak, but preferring matchbox sized chunks of cherry and apple wood at the moment, from some 40 + year old trees we chainsawed down from our neighbours garden last year and have been drying out for the past 12+ months.

I use a lot of wood dust when cold smoking salmon, cheese and UK style bacon, but still learning which dust suits these type of things best. But I like a Silver Birch and Beech mix or Oak at the moment, depending on what I am smoking.

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I don’t think it’s just you. There’s a great many of us in Texas who believe that the meat is (and should be) the star of the show. Those are usually rub-based (and often times marination-based) long, low and slow cooked meats. Which is why I feel you’re having more success with rubs, than others. At least, as described (and my understanding) so far.

There’s alot of places in the USA that (IMO, erroneously) think that the sauce is the star of the show, simply because they have no clue what they are doing on the smoker/grill, or with the meat (rub/marinade). Kansas City and St Louis come to mind…



You have my curiosity!