What is North Carolina Style BBQ?

It’s the oldest style of BBQ in the nation, that’s all!  Specifically, Eastern North Carolina BBQ (ENCS) is vinegar-based with a variety a spices that make every North Carolina roadside BBQ joint unique.

At Pigman’s Bar-B-Que, we take all the necessary steps to make our BBQ unique as well.  For example, all of our signature BBQ’s are cooked on site by smoking.  We cook this way for two reasons:  To cook the meat slowly to retain the natural juices, and infuse it with oak flavor. Then we add our signature sauces, thus creating BBQ.  Every BBQ option we sell is hand-crafted, and has some sort of vinegar-based sauce added to them.

Although our vinegar-based BBQ options are delicious, we have discovered that there are many different palates out there to please.  As a result, a few of our BBQ options have ketchup and an additional blend of proprietary spices to give our customers a “tomato based” option, also known as “ketchup based”.  Below are descriptions of our different BBQ options as well as the sauces that correspond with each BBQ.  Please commit these to memory.

Pork BBQ

Authentic North Carolina BBQ.  Pigman’s signature slow smoked Pork BBQ is pulled and then mixed with our “Regular” vinegar-based sauce.

Beef BBQ

Pulled smoked beef brisket mixed with our “Rib Roarin’” ketchup based sauce.


Also a proprietary recipe, fresh turkey breast is slowly smoked and smothered in our “Rib Roarin’ Sauce”.


In this Pigman’s original, fresh yellow fin tuna is slowly smoked to perfection then flaked-up in our “Grillin’ Sauce”.  We add a touch of Soy Sauce for flavor. Unbelievable! (Yellow fin Tuna is freshly caught off our local coastal waters.)

St. Louis Ribs

Dry rubbed and slowly smoked for hours then basted with our delectable “Rib Roarin’ Sauce”.

Smoked Chicken

One-half chicken, sauced up and smoked slowly, then basted with more of our delectable “Rib Roarin’ Sauce”.

Sauces to Celebrate

Our incredible sauces are so delicious that they’ve almost taken on a life of their own as local celebrities!  We’re happy to share our secret recipes with you.

Regular Sauce

Used on pork BBQ, this is our version of traditional Eastern North Carolina vinegar-based sauce. A little tangy from the vinegar, with some other ingredients inside, this is the perfect finish to true Eastern NC Que!

Hot Sauce

Just the right touch of crushed red pepper added to our Regular Sauce. Now this one’s got a little kick to it. It’s great for anyone that likes to live a little La Vita Loca.

Grillin’ Sauce

Created by adding butter and garlic to our Regular vinegar-based sauce, this is our original wing sauce.  You’ll also use it as the standard sauce for Tuna-Que.

Rib Roarin’ Sauce

Used on beef, turkey, ribs, and chicken, this tangy ketchup-based sauce is usually applied during the last five minutes of preparation.

Rub-a-Dub Rib Rub

A proprietary blend of savory spices lends a special sensational flavor to this sauce, which is used on our St. Louis ribs and smoked chickens.

“What in the Hell is a Hushpuppy?”

According to Wikipedia…Hushpuppies (Cornbread Balls) are a savory, starch-based food made from cornmeal batter that is deep fried or baked in small ball or sphere shapes, or occasionally oblong or ring shapes.

Typical hushpuppy ingredients include cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and water, and may include onion, spring onion (scallion), garlic, whole kernel corn, and peppers. Sometimes pancake batter is used. The batter is mixed well, adjusting ingredients until thick, and dropped a spoonful at a time into hot oil. The small breads are fried until crispy golden brown, and cooled. Hushpuppies are served with seafood or barbecued foods.

Common BBQ Terms

Chopped BBQ

Chopping is a method of cutting meat into smaller pieces or chunks from a large cut of meat.  A clever is often used to achieve this method.  Our beef and turkey options are first chopped into smaller pieces, then hand-pulled and mixed into our Rib Roarin’ Sauce.

Hand-Pulled BBQ

This method of rendering BBQ is accomplished the old-fashioned way.  Once cooked, the meat is pulled or flaked apart (and sometimes off the bone) by hand.  This method leaves the meat chunkier and gives it a more natural look.  Our pork and tuna BBQ are made this way.  Once “pulled,” our signature sauces (see above descriptions) are added to complete the process.

Minced BBQ

Mincing is achieved by either finely chopping the meat into very small pieces or by use of machinery to cut and mash the meat to give it a pulp-like appearance.  Sauce may or may not be added, depending on the preference of the BBQ establishment.  We do not mince any of our BBQ.

Sliced BBQ

Sliced BBQ is either machine-sliced or by hand.  Sauce may or may not be added, depending on the preference of the BBQ establishment.  We do not slice any of our BBQ.

“Vinegar Based” Sauce

This BBQ sauce has vinegar as its base or main ingredient.  Other proprietary spices are added to give each vinegar based bbq sauce its unique taste.  North Carolina and surrounding region are known best for this style of bbq sauce.

“Tomato Based” Sauce

This BBQ sauce is often referred to as, “Ketchup Based.”  This style of sauce is much sweeter than vinegar based sauces, but will often times, have vinegar in the recipe to compliment the sweetness of the ketchup.  Molasses, another sweetener, is often times added to give this style of sauce more complexity.  Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and most of the mid-west are infatuated with this style of sauce.

“Mustard Based” Sauce

This BBQ sauce is indigenous to South Carolina.  Mustard is mixed with vinegar, spices, and sometimes, brown sugar to give this sauce a truly unique taste.

“Alabama White” Sauce

You may never have this style of BBQ sauce unless you are able to make your way down to a BBQ restaurant in Alabama.  Mayonnaise and a variety of pepper and spices are used to achieve this sauce’s unique color and taste.

Pigman’s Bar-B-Que

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