North Carolina BBQ Sauce Recipe

This recipe comes from a North Carolina BBQ restaurant located in Greensboro, NC, called Knuckle's. Deb, the owner states her sauce derives from the first BBQ restaurant in Greensboro, which opened in the 1930s, but she still prefers her version of this pulled pork BBQ sauce till this day.

"There are many sauces out there...vinegar based, catsup based....and lord knows no telling what other kind, but my favorite is "MY SAUCE"! It has a hint of onion because I use my Juicer ...! So either use bottled onion juice or Juice an onion beforehand! I can remember my Dad cooking his barbecue sauce in a huge pot....and he floated lemons on top! You could smell the aroma throughout the kitchen of the restaurant and it would actually open your head up like a decongestant. "

Knuckle's Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup Catsup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Onion - Juiced!
  • 2 tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pinch of Red Pepper (or more, depends on you!)
Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and boil slowly for about 10-15 minutes.

Though I'm personally not a barbecue fan, and wouldn't have a clue how to actually cook one, I've been given the following advice to those who intrepid to do so:

To cook the pork, you need a pork butt and a good rub mixture.  You then cook the pork over a REAL hardwood charcoal ( good god, not briquettes) fire at about 250-300 degrees F until it's done ( give yourself at least 10 hours; could be as many as 18 or more until internal temp is around 180 F ( we go that high in order to have some collagen breakdown and render off some fat.)  
To start with a "rub" to coat the meat before cooking. A mix of kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and garlic powder makes a good, basic rub recipe. Set the oven temp somewhere between 250-300 degrees (ovens can have an amazing range of temps despite what they're set at- some have " cold" or " hot spots" too, and we both recommend getting a kitchen thermometer to test yours), have a big drip pan underneath, cook the pork butt directly on the oven rack (fat side down),and walk away. It's done when it falls apart and you can pull the bone free from the meat. I say cook to 180 internal temp but he says 190-200 is better in terms of tenderness and reduction of excess fat.

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