For years and years by BBQ for the grill was just something from the store. Sweet Baby Ray’s, Hunt’s, Kraft, or every now and then a pricier brand. But every time my BBQ sauce for chicken and pork was store bought. Until now. For the first time I decided to make homemade BBQ sauce. I have BBQ’d many things in my life, but our son requested some pulled pork. Upon googling what makes the best pulled pork, the most common answer was pork shoulder.

I had never cooked this on the grill before, so after a little research I found an article detailing the different kinds of BBQ sauce out there, and what region of the United States they are commonly found in. It’s funny – like most of us I have seen all kinds of BBQ contests and shows on the food network(s). And yet, for some reason (probably because I had not prepared them), the fact that there are so many styles of BBQ sauces you can make is unbelievable. And MOST of them don’t appear to be in stores (and are probably better homemade from a recipe anyway).

So, on to the sauce I chose this time out. I decided to make a Carolina ‘mop sauce’. The name alone makes you think of those pit masters down south tenderly basting meat for hours on end using a BBQ ‘mop’ to slather on the sauce. The sauce was a lot simpler than I thought it was going to be (ingredients wise).

1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp molasses
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Believe it or not, that simple list of ingredients makes a great BBQ mop sauce recipe! The only thing left to decide is if you’re going to use a spice rub on the pork shoulder or not. You could use the spice rub on the pork, and then use the sauce only in the last few minutes of cooking. But some use it for the entire time it’s on the grill. I say the decision lies on how much heat you’re going to use and how long it’s going to cook. You only have to cook the meat long enough to get the center up to 160 degrees, which you can do in 12-15 minutes on high heat. However, you could either slow roast or smoke it as well on low heat.

Here are the spices for a rub on the meat, however if you’re cooking it fast on high heat – you could just add them the simple mop sauce above and kill 2 birds with one stone:

Spice Ingredients
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder (not salt)

Happy Grilling!

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