Rodney Scott's Secret Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce


I'm showing you exactly what goes into this world-famous BBQ sauce. Well, not exactly exact, since no real pitmaster would ever reveal their ingredients. But based on what Rodney Scott's said about this sauce in interviews, videos, and tv shows, I think this is really, really close. Sauce is safe unrefrigerated but will last longer if kept in the fridge, for up to two months.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
2 cups

It's usually a lot easier posting a copycat recipe for something when the creator has shared the ingredients and technique in various interviews, videos, and television appearances, and that was the case with Rodney Scott, and his famous Eastern Carolina style barbecue sauce. Except, in each of these appearances he'd give a slightly different version, which was either artistic license, or a devious strategy to keep the real "secret" recipe a secret. What I'm trying to say is, I still had to do some guessing.

I believe one of his closely guarded ingredient inclusions was white pepper, since that's the only type of pepper not mentioned in any of these interviews, and in the context of the recipe, it makes a lot of sense. In fact, if he doesn't use a little white pepper, he probably should. Anyway, whether I nailed the exact formula or not, this deceptively simple sauce is absolute perfection with any fatty and/or smoky barbecued meats.

Besides, even if I gave you a recipe that was literally exact, I'd still expect you to tweak this to your tastes, so it's sort of a moot point. As I mentioned in video, this is basically part one of a two-part presentation, and in the next video I'm going to show you a delicious, and very successful experiment involving a miniaturized version of Carolina-style whole hog barbecue. So, stay tuned for that, but in the meantime, I really hope you give this great American barbecue sauce a try soon.

Rodney Scott's Secret Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce
Rodney Scott's Secret Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce. Chef John


  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar

  • 3 thin slices lemon, seeded

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

  • ¼ cup white sugar


  1. Pour white vinegar into a saucepan; add lemon slices, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, ancho chile powder, pepper flakes, and white pepper. Add sugar. Whisk to combine.

  2. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir, turn off heat, and let cool to room temperature.

  3. Transfer into a plastic squeeze bottle or other vessel.

    Rodney Scott's Secret Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce
    Rodney Scott's Secret Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce. Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

16 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 16
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Potassium 22mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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