NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it?

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Baah Ben
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2008/03/14 19:23:16 (permalink)

NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it?

There was just a post on a Franklin, TN place serving pulled pork with too much of a vinegar taste for the reviewers.

I was at Wilbur's in Goldsboro, NC and this place is supposed to represent all that's good with NC "Q"...Vinegar based "Q" that is.
I couldn't eat it. I would have liked it if there was some sugar in the sauce, but I'm guessing that is not the way it is made. It is the first and only vinegar based "Q" I've ever had.

I sat there and watched a heck of a lot of people enjoying their pulled pork. I can tell you that! Not for me though...

#1

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    wanderingjew
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 20:08:14 (permalink)
    Baah Ben,

    I'm one of the few who happen to like Eastern NC Style Q served at Wilburs and the "nasty stuff" (ie Pierce's) in Williamsburg VA which
    some of the NC Folks have been trashing lately....I think both establishments serve up excellent (but obviously very different) Q
    #2
    ann peeples
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 20:11:16 (permalink)
    I am not a fan of the vinegar based barbeque-although I only had it once...I did like the sauce, though-Texas Pete.I enjoyed that on the hushpuppies, fries, fried chicken, okra, etc.And i need to find a place with the burnt ends-I am sure I would like the pork much better.
    #3
    Robearjr
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 20:46:05 (permalink)
    I find the vinegar BBQ only works when the meat is good. The sweet tomato sauces can cover up so-so meat.

    I find some places that serve a vinegar based BBQ end up with a meat that seems more steamed than BBQ, and this doesn't work at all. The vinegar based cue works best when there are some cruncy bits of skin. The chared fat works well with the tang of vinegar.
    #4
    seafarer john
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 20:53:20 (permalink)
    The eastern NC 'cue is every bit as good as anything you can get in Lexington- it's just different- like the difference between a Northern New Jersey chili dog and a Kingston, NY chili dog. They're both great, but you've got to learn to like one or the other of them.

    Cheers, John
    #5
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 20:56:14 (permalink)
    As a diabetic, I tried the NC vinegar sauces for the lack of carbs but soon fell in love with it. Now I prefer it and often make up my own. I agree that sweet BBQ sauce masks the taste of good smoky Q. Like most things we like or hate, what you grew up with often stays with us when we get older. Sort of like ketchup on a hot dog is fairly common in Wisconsin but rare just 90 miles south of us. I don't want to change the topic but what does white BBQ sauce like? Is it mayo based?
    #6
    Davydd
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 21:16:32 (permalink)
    When I was in Raccoon Holler, NC right on the Blue Ridge Parkway last May a group of us we roasted a whole pig, the locals were just sprinkling the pulled pork with straight vinegar. Tasted fine by me.
    #7
    Baah Ben
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 21:42:57 (permalink)
    Wandering.....So it's not supposed to have any sugar in it? Or, was it just Wilbur's that did not have any sugar? The meat was top quality and if it were more of a sweet and sour, I'd have like it . But, it was pure vinegar with a little heat..It that the way it is supposed to be?

    Their (Wilbur's) hush puppies were the best I have ever had.
    #8
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/14 23:12:25 (permalink)
    My only experience with this particular style of BBQ is very recent at Wilbur's in Goldsboro, and it didn't click with me. It could be that I just need to develop a taste for it, it could be that I was just expecting something else.

    I am planning to be in Raleigh next weekend, and was considering a stop at Allen and Son to give it another shot.
    #9
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 04:07:28 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    We seem to be a bunch of picky folks, haha.
    I love a sweet BBQ taste, but am open to a more
    vinegar taste, (just as I like chili with or without beans.)
    I must admit I like my meat soft and tender.
    The beauty of existence is experiencing what we love and
    gives us comfort, but the wonder of existence is experiencing
    new or different episodes in our lives, especially in our
    tastebuds.
    Let us all dance the dance of enriching, even though, different
    tastes as long as it doesn't harm us.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #10
    Oneiron339
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 05:41:59 (permalink)
    As I've said several times BBQ is like sex, there is no bad BBQ, only some is a little better than others.
    #11
    John A
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 07:32:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    When I was in Raccoon Holler, NC right on the Blue Ridge Parkway last May a group of us we roasted a whole pig, the locals were just sprinkling the pulled pork with straight vinegar. Tasted fine by me.


    Davydd,

    A little vinegar while pulling the pork from a whole pig eliminates any greasy aftertaste. I add just a little, as well as some additional rub, when pulling butts. Never had a complaint yet.
    #12
    MiamiDon
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 07:49:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Baah Ben

    There was just a post on a Franklin, TN place serving pulled pork with too much of a vinegar taste for the reviewers.

    I was at Wilbur's in Goldsboro, NC and this place is supposed to represent all that's good with NC "Q"...Vinegar based "Q" that is.
    I couldn't eat it. I would have liked it if there was some sugar in the sauce, but I'm guessing that is not the way it is made. It is the first and only vinegar based "Q" I've ever had.

    I sat there and watched a heck of a lot of people enjoying their pulled pork. I can tell you that! Not for me though...




    All of the recipes I have seen for eastern NC BBQ sauce were sweet/sour/salty/hot, and the "sweet" was sugar, a lot of it.

    Like this:

    2 quarts cider vinegar
    1/4 cup salt
    2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
    3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
    #13
    Slim Strummer
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 08:15:02 (permalink)
    Love it. But I do not discriminate--I grew up in the absence of BBQ, so I have liked everything I have tried, unless poorly prepared.
    #14
    Baah Ben
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 09:11:40 (permalink)
    MiamiDon..See, if Wibur's used any sugar or at least enough to contrast that vinegar taste I'd have been fine with it. But, the vinegar taste just was too overwhelming for me and frankly, I'd never get use to it.

    There was a rib joint in Delray, I forget the name, that had lots of sauces the table. One was labeled NC Vinegar based and it was great. It was my favorite and reminded me of a sweet and sour sauce with a hint of red pepper. Not unlike your recipe.

    Anyway, thanks for that recipe. It shows that at least some places use more sugar than others. It could be as simple an issue as that. Let's see what happens when the roadfooder gets to Allen and Sons; supposed to be one of the best places...I thought it was in Virginia? What about the Ayden Skylight Inn? Also supposed to be good.

    Lots of the places on the eastern part of NC do not even offer ribs...I know Wilbur's had no ribs.
    #15
    jellybear
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 09:57:19 (permalink)
    The reason why most NC BBQ Joints dont serve Ribs is because they are reserved for the Cooks.Really.And another reason is that after 8 or more hours on the Pit the ribs can be a little dried out and they are not as meaty.
    #16
    wanderingjew
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 10:00:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Baah Ben

    Wandering.....So it's not supposed to have any sugar in it? Or, was it just Wilbur's that did not have any sugar? The meat was top quality and if it were more of a sweet and sour, I'd have like it . But, it was pure vinegar with a little heat..It that the way it is supposed to be?

    Their (Wilbur's) hush puppies were the best I have ever had.


    I can count the number of Eastern NC BBQ joints I've been to- Wilbur's in Goldsboro, Parkers in Wilson, The BBQ Joint in Chapel Hill and the now defunct Meltons in Rocky Mount. I don't recall any sugar or a "sweet and sour" taste to the sauce that any of these places used.


    quote:
    The Travelin Man Posted - 03/14/2008 : 23:12:25
    My only experience with this particular style of BBQ is very recent at Wilbur's in Goldsboro, and it didn't click with me. It could be that I just need to develop a taste for it, it could be that I was just expecting something else.

    I am planning to be in Raleigh next weekend, and was considering a stop at Allen and Son to give it another shot.


    Better go at lunch, because calling them to confirm if they're open in the evening obviously didn't work for me...
    #17
    chewingthefat
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 12:58:03 (permalink)
    I like vinegar on Pork, I like it more on french fries.
    #18
    MellowRoast
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 13:04:10 (permalink)
    Love the stuff. As long as I can add the sauce myself.
    #19
    Baah Ben
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 13:19:43 (permalink)
    Wilbur's is a whole hog place..I did not realize that either..Tar Heel Barbecue by Jim Early takes you from one end of the state to the other. Takes you from top to bottom as well. He raves about Wilbur's. Anyway, I was looking for Allen & Sons....and did a refresher on this book someone gave me.

    My goals in NC are Stamey's and the Skylight on the eastern side and a few places in Lexington.
    #20
    MiamiDon
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 14:02:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew


    I can count the number of Eastern NC BBQ joints I've been to- Wilbur's in Goldsboro, Parkers in Wilson, The BBQ Joint in Chapel Hill and the now defunct Meltons in Rocky Mount. I don't recall any sugar or a "sweet and sour" taste to the sauce that any of these places used.


    I don't have your experience, WJ, but here is another one from a food columnist in the Raleigh News & Observer :

    1 gallon cider vinegar
    1/4 cup salt
    2 tablespoon red pepper
    3 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup molasses

    Maybe there are three NC sauce families?
    #21
    wanderingjew
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 14:27:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MiamiDon

    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew


    I can count the number of Eastern NC BBQ joints I've been to- Wilbur's in Goldsboro, Parkers in Wilson, The BBQ Joint in Chapel Hill and the now defunct Meltons in Rocky Mount. I don't recall any sugar or a "sweet and sour" taste to the sauce that any of these places used.


    I don't have your experience, WJ, but here is another one from a food columnist in the Raleigh News & Observer :

    1 gallon cider vinegar
    1/4 cup salt
    2 tablespoon red pepper
    3 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup molasses

    Maybe there are three NC sauce families?


    Don,

    I truly can't be certain that there is no sugar in the vinegar based sauce, I just didn't detect any..

    I happen to have a 5 year old bottle of Wilbur's sauce (yes I collect Bottles of BBQ Sauce that I never use!) according to the bottle the ingredients are as follows: vinegar, water, black pepper, red pepper, salt and spices.

    #22
    Tony Bad
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 14:35:46 (permalink)
    I love it! My only complaint about it is that it is almost impossible to find outside of Carolina/VA area. The quality of BBQ in my area has improved a lot in recent years, but no one is doing this style.
    #23
    Captain Morgan
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 14:45:13 (permalink)
    There are as many different bbq sauces in NC as there are
    bbq joints. Scott's best represents Eastern sytle vinegar.

    At some point, people have to realize that what is good and
    traditional to some won't be good for you. You want
    eastern...go to Wilber's or Skylight...you don't like it?
    Don't go back....they'll survive without you.
    #24
    ocdreamr
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 16:02:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MiamiDon

    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew


    I can count the number of Eastern NC BBQ joints I've been to- Wilbur's in Goldsboro, Parkers in Wilson, The BBQ Joint in Chapel Hill and the now defunct Meltons in Rocky Mount. I don't recall any sugar or a "sweet and sour" taste to the sauce that any of these places used.


    I don't have your experience, WJ, but here is another one from a food columnist in the Raleigh News & Observer :

    1 gallon cider vinegar
    1/4 cup salt
    2 tablespoon red pepper
    3 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup molasses

    Maybe there are three NC sauce families?


    Seeing as how this recipe came from Raleigh I'd say yea there are three kinds Eastern, Western & Homoginized.
    I just checked the bottle I have from Jackson's Big Oak BBQ here in Wilmington and it's ingrediants are Vinegar, peppers, spices & salt - no sugar.
    #25
    John A
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/15 17:26:42 (permalink)
    Hmm, seems as if the basic ingredients are pretty much the same. Here's the one I make, it's from the mod at another site.


    2 cups cider vinegar

    1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

    2 tablespoons Kosher salt

    2 tablespoon red pepper (crushed)

    1 teaspoon cayenne

    Don't need to cook this sauce, just combine and let sit overnight.
    #26
    jellybear
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/16 08:49:07 (permalink)
    There is no sugar in a NC BBQ sauce or cornbread.
    #27
    leethebard
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/16 08:56:41 (permalink)
    Spent many summers in Burnsville, North Carolina and ate my way through the Blue Ridge! Had lots of barbecue and I don't remember complaining...Pulled pork with a Cider Vinegar base sounds great!Deep fried some chicken last night, and made some hushpuppies.Kids love them! I can see where the vinegar would make the sauce a bit less greasy. Anyway,thanks for helping me remember great times in the Blue Ridge of NC!!
    #28
    porkbeaks
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/16 09:24:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jellybear

    There is no sugar in a NC BBQ sauce or cornbread.


    The majority of the North Carolina bbq sauce recipes obtained through Google (nc bbq sauce vinegar recipe) seem to contain some sugar. pb
    #29
    hatteras04
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    RE: NC vinegar based "Q" - Love it or leave it? 2008/03/16 09:50:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by porkbeaks

    quote:
    Originally posted by jellybear

    There is no sugar in a NC BBQ sauce or cornbread.


    The majority of the North Carolina bbq sauce recipes obtained through Google (nc bbq sauce vinegar recipe) seem to contain some sugar. pb


    Also, when Ed Mitchell was on Cook's Tour with Anthony Bourdain on the food network a few years ago and they were at his old place in Wilson they showed them making a big batch of pulled pork and the sauce had 3 ingredients: Vinegar, Red Pepper flakes, and LOTS of sugar.

    So basically, I think it is safe to say that some do and some don't. And I love most of them that I hae tried.
    #30
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