Dead Guy Sauce

By • August 21, 2010 41 Comments

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Food52 Review: Remember Shakespeare's famous line about a rose by any other name? Apparently it applies to barbecue sauce as well. We were both amused and baffled (Googling made us none the wiser) by ShoeboxKitchen's recipe title, but the sauce speaks for itself: it's tangy and bright with layers of flavor, but without the cloying sweetness of so many other barbecue sauces. This sauce would be great slathered on chicken, or with pulled pork, which is how ShoeboxKitchen recommends serving it on their blog. - A&MThe Editors

Makes about 2 cups once reduced

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon tobasco
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about half hour, whisking periodically, until the sauce just begins to thicken. Serve immediately, or reserve in the refrigerator and reheat.

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Comments (41) Questions (1)


16 days ago stacy

I love this recipe, I usually halve the vinegar if we're serving it for others, for hubby and me it's fine with the full amount - it is quite strong


about 1 year ago zoemetro uk

Made this last weekend to to baste smoked chicken thighs. My family went crazy!!!! Crazy in 2 ways: first, they left the house from the smell of vinegar reducing; second, they have never tasted such wonderful BBQ chicken! Thank you ShoeboxKitchen. I am making it again today to put on smoked ribs for a party tomorrow. I have no idea if it will work--but why not? Also, we used leftover sauce to add some zing to grilled cheese with tomato an cheddar.


over 1 year ago David

Sorry to be the odd one out, but this did not turn out well for me Far too much apple vinegar overpowered the taste of everything else. Would not recommend this recipe based on the exact ingredients listed


over 1 year ago Eunice Beatrice Braga

Used this on chicken for a birthday cookout and everybody went nuts over it. This is going to be my go-to sauce now. Thank you! :)


over 1 year ago Ashley Marie

Absolutely delish! Used raw ACV (that was all I had) and sriracha instead of tobasco for a super spicy version - it was all gobbled up!


over 2 years ago Miachel Breton

Hm...the title sounds like Fried Green Tomatoes!
All jokes aside, this sauce sounds delicious. ;)


over 2 years ago Trena Heinrich

I made this for the first time the other day. I roasted a chicken and shredded some of the meat and poured this sauce on top of it. Oh my goodness, it was amazing! I served it with the Spanish potato salad recipe that is also on this site. They are really tasty together.


almost 3 years ago ssnow

serve with pulled pork


over 4 years ago Greg Diablo

Added a 1/4 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet for a richer color. When I saw the title, I thought this would be made with Dead Guy ale. I usually like more onions in my barbeque sauce (Fanny Farmer 12th edition recipe is the one I usually favor), but this can more easily double as a marinade, I suppose.


almost 5 years ago RaquelG

Mmmmmm reminds me of my meatloaf sauce - I use just your first three ingredients (apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup) and bake it on. This sounds like an awesome spicy version that will definitely be on the next one!


almost 5 years ago imwalkin

Just saw this yesterday, made it, and marinated some thick cut rib pork chops. Cooked the chops slow over indirect heat on the grill, basting twice with more of the sauce. It was outstanding. Really liked that it was not too sweet, not to spicy, just nicely balanced. Drizzled some on a sandwich of sliced chicken breast today and it was again a winner. Thanks!


almost 5 years ago KristiB

We were out of BBQ sauce so I made this for our brisket last night. It was really good!


almost 5 years ago ShoeboxKitchen

Thanks, everyone. We are truly and humbly thankful to be recognized among so many wonderful recipes and experienced cooks. We are relatively new to this whole test kitchen and food blogging gig and we have learned much more from this community than we could ever hope to contribute. Many, many thanks to all of you!!

Edamame2003, we honestly think your rooster sauce looks amazing and plan to try it out ourselves. We also love what you're doing on your blog. Thanks for the recipe and the healthy competition!



almost 5 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats, Shoebox Kitchen! Wonderful recipe. I love your use of cider vinegar and brown sugar.


almost 5 years ago edamame2003

congrats shoebox! now you've made me hungry for a pulled pork sandwich...


almost 5 years ago lapadia

I would like to add that I look forward to seeing future recipes from you both!


almost 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm SO glad you won!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!


almost 5 years ago thirschfeld

I am glad this won. It so reminds me of a legendary pit man's bbq sauce from deep in the heart of Texas. Congratulations.


almost 5 years ago rroseperry

This sauce works great with finely minced onions, sautéed in a little bacon fat. (I didn't have any onion powder in the house). The reducing vinegar smell did send my partner out of the house.


almost 5 years ago kbrunsmann

Love the name! Sounds delicious...


about 5 years ago advicecook
you can find the recipe here


about 5 years ago ShoeboxKitchen

Thanks for this link, advicecook. Lots of great variations on the vinegar-based BBQ sauce.