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Vinegar BBQ Sauce

Our Vinegar BBQ Sauce is a tangy, slightly sweet, and savory condiment that’s essential for enhancing many grilled dishes. This sauce combines the acidic bite of apple cider vinegar with the richness of brown sugar, the tanginess of ketchup and mustard, and a blend of spices for a perfectly balanced sauce. It’s versatile and can be used as a marinade, a basting sauce, or a dipping sauce, making it a must-have in your kitchen. Whether you’re dressing up grilled chicken, pork, or vegetables, this sauce adds a unique dimension that elevates the overall taste of your dishes.

Vinegar BBQ Sauce Recipe

This Vinegar BBQ Sauce recipe is a testament to the simplicity and beauty of homemade condiments. Unlike store-bought versions, this sauce has a fresh, vibrant flavor that can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. Its ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, yellow mustard, and a variety of spices, are easily accessible and combine to create a sauce that’s both complex and delightful. Whether you’re a barbecue enthusiast or someone looking to add a new sauce to your repertoire, this vinegar-based BBQ sauce is worth making for its tangy flavor and versatility.

Why you’ll love this dish…

  • Tangy and Flavorful: The apple cider vinegar provides a tangy base that’s perfectly balanced with the sweetness of brown sugar and the savory notes of ketchup and mustard.
  • Easy to Make: With straightforward ingredients and a simple cooking process, this sauce comes together quickly and effortlessly.
  • Versatile: This sauce can be used in various ways—marinade, basting sauce, or as a dip, making it perfect for any grilled dish.
  • Customizable: Feel free to adjust the level of sweetness or spice to match your personal taste preferences.

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Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

Vinegar BBQ Sauce shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Onion Powder
  • Red Pepper Flake

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Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

How to make Vinegar BBQ Sauce

Wondering what you’re getting yourself into when you make this dish? Here’s a quick overview of the process! Make sure you follow the instructions at the recipe card at the bottom of the post while you’re cooking.

  • Combine Vinegar and Sugar:
    In a small saucepan, mix the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients:
    Stir in the ketchup, yellow mustard, salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, and red pepper flakes into the saucepan.
  • Simmer:
    Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the flavors meld together beautifully.
  • Cool Down:
    Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature, allowing the flavors to further develop.
  • Serve:
    Once cooled, your Vinegar BBQ Sauce is ready to be served with your favorite grilled dishes.

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Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

Vinegar BBQ Sauce FAQ

Can I store the leftover sauce?

Yes, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

How can I reheat this sauce?

Gently reheat on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Can I prepare this sauce in advance?

Absolutely, preparing it a day ahead can enhance its flavors as the ingredients meld together.

Are there any variations or substitutions?

For a spicier kick, increase the red pepper flakes, or substitute apple cider vinegar with white vinegar for a sharper taste.

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Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

Serve this with grilled meats like…

  • Smoked Pulled Pork
  • Hot Dog Burnt Ends
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

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Vinegar BBQ Sauce
Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

Vinegar BBQ Sauce

This tangy, delicious homemade vinegar BBQ sauce is perfect to mop all over your favorite BBQ or douse your pulled pork in!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Homemade
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ sauce, grilling, sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Nicole Johnson



  • Add the vinegar and brown sugar into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on the stove, then reduce heat to bring it down to a simmer.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, mix well and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the stove, let cool and it is ready to serve.


Serving: 1gCalories: 42kcalCarbohydrates: 8gSodium: 246mgSugar: 7g
Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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