Rodney's Sauce
Firing up the barbecue? This is the only sauce you’ll ever need. (Photo: Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ)

Rodney’s Famous Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Rodney's Sauce
Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ

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Rodney’s Sauce

This recipe makes a lot—1 gallon to be exact—which enough if you’re cooking a whole hog. If not, you can easily half the amounts. This is a great, versatile sauce to have on hand, and it keeps, refrigerated, for eight weeks.


  • 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup cayenne pepper
  • 1¼ Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups sugar


1. In a small stockpot, warm the vinegar over medium-high heat. After about 5 minutes, when the vinegar reaches 150°F on an instant-read thermometer, just before it starts to simmer, add the lemon slices and continue to cook until the lemon peels begin to soften and wilt, about 10 minutes more. 

2. Whisk in the black pepper, cayenne, pepper flakes, and sugar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the sauce reaches 190°F, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to completely cool before using. Once the lemon is removed, the sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks.

Reprinted with permission from Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie. Copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott’s BBQ, LLC, a South Carolina limited liability company. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jerrelle Guy. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House. 

Lead Photo: Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ