Southern Vinegar Style BBQ Sauce Recipe

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Southern Vinegar Style BBQ Sauce

BBQ Ribs covered in Southern Vinegar BBQ Sauce Recipe

As spring gets closer and closer, any little warm up we see makes me want to break out the smoker, even if the warm up is only to about 45 degrees. This is what happened a couple weekends ago, so I decided to get the season started with a smoker full of ribs and a southern vinegar style bbq sauce recipe. I decided to do a bit of a taste test to determine what kind of ribs were favored by my tasting committee. I went out and bought a slab of spare ribs and a slab of baby backs for this mini competition. Spare ribs are the bigger of the two ribs. They come from the belly of the beast, so to say. They are also where rib tips come from. If you cut the rib tips off of the spare ribs you get what are called St Louis style ribs, which is what you will more often see in the store rather than spare ribs. Spare ribs are big, meaty, and have a decent amount of fat to them. They tend to be a tougher cut than baby backs, so they take longer to cook. Baby backs come from the loin section of the hog, which would be the upper part of the ribs. Baby backs are smaller and significantly more tender and less fatty than the spare ribs. This means that they take less time to cook. I started the baby backs about an hour after I started the spare ribs and they both turned out fall off the bone tender. Now, technically if you were smoking in a competition, fall off the bone tender is considered way over cooked, but at home, that is how I like them. The members of my tasting committee also would rather have them fall off the bone tender.

My tasting committee ended up liking the baby back ribs more than the spare ribs. They liked that they were less fatty than the spare ribs and a bit easier to eat since they were smaller. They also thought they were more tender than the spare ribs. Personally, I like both cuts. They each have their pros and cons, so my advice to you is to try both and see what you think. Have you tried both and what is your favorite?

Here is the BBQ sauce recipe that I served with the ribs. It is a southern vinegar type of sauce that has a nice touch of sweetness to it. Just an fyi, but I don’t sauce my ribs while they are cooking. I usually just have sauce on the table available to anybody that would like it.

Ingredients for Southern Vinegar BBQ Sauce recipe:
2 c Tomato sauce, canned
3/4 c Dr. Pepper
3/4 c white vinegar
3/4 c chili sauce
3/4 c karo syrup (dark)
1/4 c steak sauce
1/4 c worcesterhire sauce
2 T honey
2 T yellow mustard
2 T brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 T olive oil
1 dash hot sauce (or to heat preference)
1 T black pepper
1 T garlic salt
1 T onion salt

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot, stir and blend well. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes to infuse flavors. Store covered in refrigeration.
Yield: About 6 cups


Since Sarah & Coley first met, they have enjoyed sharing their love of food--cooking, baking, and culinary exploration. Random fact: when vacationing, they won't eat at any national chain restaurants. For their day jobs, Coley is a Financial Advisor with Investment Centers of America and Sarah is Adjunct Faculty at two local universities and CEO/Social Media Strategist at SociallySeasoned, LLC.
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