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When BBQing chicken, what's better: vinegar or tomato based BBQ sauce?

asked by @nessafox almost 5 years ago
12 answers 3851 views

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

That is strictly a matter of personal taste. Each can be truly mind-altering, or pedestrian, depending upon who's made it.

In the SouthEast part of the US, most bbq fans would tell you vinegar based. In the MidWest, tomato reigns.

To my tastes (I'm from Chicago) I prefer a tomato based sauce with a big dose of tang from vinegar.

added almost 5 years ago

I'm from Chicago too! Any good recipes for tomato based BBQ sauce?

added almost 5 years ago

If you're a real hard core BBQ nut, no sauce is required. Just enjoy the meat.

added almost 5 years ago

I agree with Chef June...a little tang balances the tomato flavor. when we lived in the Carolinas, we loved their BBQ, but we always missed "homestyle" which was a mix of St. Louis and Indy (a definite midwestern flavor!)

added almost 5 years ago

here is a St. Louis BBQ sauce found at about.com

St. Louis Barbecue Sauce is thinner and has more of a tangy flavor than its Kansas City cousin. Being at the crossroads St. Louis style barbecue has many influences, so there are a number of ways of making this style sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat. Stirring occasionally and simmer for 20 minutes. Sauce should be thin, but not watery. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Sauce is better if allow to sit for a day.

added almost 5 years ago

To get our Indy style BBQ sauce, we started with Maull's BBQ sauce from
St. Louis as the base then added extra brown sugar, mustard, onion, garlic and fresh horseradish and simmered to thicken. It carmelizes so nicely.


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 5 years ago

It's strictly a regional thing. Vinegar is more or less unique to the Carolinas. St. Louis style is closer to Kansas City (literally and figuratively). And Texas is another planet.

added almost 5 years ago

Whether it's wet, dry, vinegar-based or tomato-based, sweet or puckery, I have never had a BBQ that I haven't loved, and I've had the real thing as a visitor to both Carolinas, Memphis, Kansas City and Austin. When I make it at home, though, I'm down with ChefJune: tomato-based, apple cider vinegar, maybe with a spoonful of dark brown sugar, garlic, and a little of this, a pinch of that when it comes to herbs and spices. I'm not sure how I came to my preferences, though, because I never, not once, ever ordered BBQ at a restaurant during 35 years of living in Chicago's SW suburbs, except for the ribs at Chinese restaurants.

I love smoky grilled chicken blanketed in a sticky, sweet red sauce, but my very favorite way to combine chicken and vinegar isn't by grilling or BBQing. It's by making Filipino adobo. It's very simple, very flavorful


added almost 5 years ago

Thanks all. I have just recently started eating chicken and wanted to try my hand at BBQ'ing. I figure if I'm going to do it, I may as well learn how to make a proper sauce!


Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

Here's a recipe for an awesome sauce.


Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 5 years ago


Here's a interesting bit. On "how to eat a chicken wing"; the little flat bit..not the drumette.


added over 4 years ago

I'm looking for a recipe that is vinegar based,I belive it also has butter in it, The local volunteer fire companies use this and the chicken is great. They use a sprayer to coat the chicken while it cooks.