Carolina Mopping Sauce

Carolina Mopping Sauce is used in place of a rub as a baste while the meat slowly roasts on the barbecue. Eastern Carolina Mopping Sauce is vinegar-based with a spicy kick.

A jar of carolina mopping sauce

When I moved to South Carolina, I had never heard of a wet mopping sauce. Carolina Mopping Sauce is a vinegar-based BBQ sauce that many pit masters use to baste the meat while it’s slow roasting on the barbecue. It’s a very regional sauce and it’s quite common to find it here, along with traditional tomato-based sauces, on the table of the local barbecue joints. It is used as both a baste on the meat and as a sauce on your sandwich.

a jar of carolina mopping sauce in front of a plate of chicken wings and a mopping brush.

For people like me who love vinegar and a bit of heat, this simple sauce is all you need on pulled pork to make your mouth sing. However, for many, it is a bit harsh and you may only want to use it as a mopping sauce in place of the rub and still top with a traditional barbecue sauce at the table.

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Carolina Mopping Sauce

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Carolina Mopping Sauce is used in place of a rub as a baste while the meat slowly roasts on the barbecue. Eastern Carolina Mopping Sauce is vinegar based with a spicy kick.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine American, barbecue
Servings 16
Calories 15 kcal


  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar , packed
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.


Adjust the level of heat by upping the amount of red pepper flakes.


Calories: 15kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 111mgPotassium: 23mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 148IUVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 1µgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

24 thoughts on “Carolina Mopping Sauce”

  1. Super easy and very tasty. Thanks for the recipe – found it in a search to replace a bottle of NC mopping sauce that was a gift which the whole family loved on pulled pork.. I added 1/2 tsp of molasses to darken/thicken yours up a bit.

  2. This is one of the best mopping sauces I’ve tried, its so delicious I find myself tasting a spoonful of the sauce each time I go out to mop!

    Thanks for the recipe, first time finding this website so I’m keen to see what else you got!

  3. I will immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription or newsletter service. Do you have any? I would like to subscribe. Thanks.


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