Sean Brock’s Secret Weapon

  • Serves

    makes 1 1/2 cups


While Charleston-based chef Sean Brock insists that a store-bought barbecue sauce will work perfectly well on his Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs, we prefer the homemade Carolina-style version adapted from his book, Heritage (Artisan, 2014).


  • 12 cup pork or chicken stock
  • 2 12 cups cider vinegar
  • 34 cup ketchup
  • 2 12 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 34 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tsp. garlic powder
  • 12 tsp. onion powder
  • 14 tsp. chile powder


Step 1

Heat all ingredients in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high; simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 2⁄3, about 30 minutes. Sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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