If you’re a BBQ enthusiast, chances are you’ve come across Carolina BBQ sauce. But what makes it different from other BBQ sauces? Let’s take a closer look.


Carolina BBQ sauce originated in the state of North Carolina, but has since spread to other parts of the country. There are two main types of Carolina BBQ sauce: Eastern and Western.

Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce

Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce is a vinegar-based sauce that is thin and watery. It’s made with vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and sometimes sugar. This type of sauce is often used for pulled pork or as a marinade for chicken.

Western Carolina BBQ Sauce

Western Carolina BBQ sauce is tomato-based and thicker than its Eastern counterpart. It’s made with ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and spices such as paprika and chili powder. This type of sauce is often used for ribs or brisket.

Flavor Profile

Carolina BBQ sauce has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other types of BBQ sauces. The vinegar in Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce gives it a tangy flavor that pairs well with the smokiness of the meat. The sweetness of the brown sugar in Western Carolina BBQ sauce balances out the acidity of the vinegar.


Carolina BBQ sauce can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used as a marinade for meat before grilling or smoking, as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or fries, or as a finishing glaze for ribs or brisket.

  • Marinade for meat before grilling or smoking
  • Dipping sauce for chicken wings or fries
  • Finishing glaze for ribs or brisket


Carolina BBQ sauce may have originated in North Carolina, but its unique flavor profile and versatility have made it a popular choice for BBQ enthusiasts across the country. Whether you prefer the tanginess of Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce or the sweetness of Western Carolina BBQ sauce, there’s no denying that Carolina BBQ sauce is a delicious addition to any BBQ spread.