BBQ Sauce – South Carolina Style with Chef Rodney Scott


Today, on this episode of “Nourish,”
I’m in South Carolina to talk BBQ sauces with my BBQ brother, Rodney
Scott. When you think about South Carolina barbecue,
what’s the key ingredient? A couple of little secrets in between there… As a rocket scientist and pitmaster I know there is heated debate about barbecue techniques,
temperature, set-up time and and all of that.
But when you mention South Carolina barbecue, you better be ready to talk
sauce. I’m gonna test my work in your sauce. That work for you? That works, I’ll
go with it. I’m not gonna tell you what I think I
taste, a little bit brown sugar? I can’t tell you all that Rodney. Good, okay don’t
answer. That’s why I’m here in Charleston with James Beard award-winning barbecuer
Rodney Scott. Much respect for you. Likewise, man. Rodney has elevated traditional
whole hog barbecue techniques with a new level of ingenuity, but the fundamentals
are still the same. How do you define BBQ – just to kind
of start it off? Man, whole hog BBQ BBQ period just takes me straight
to pork. Straight to pork, that’s what I want to make sure people understand.
BBQ by itself is whole hog. When do you apply your sauce to your barbecue? I
apply my sauce shortly after I flip my hog over while it is still on the
fire, the hog is hot and I’m trying to crisp the skin up is when I add my sauce. Now, for the
important debate – the sauce. What’s the key ingredient what do you start with? Vinegar, I mean especially in the southeastern part of the state.
Okay, we also have debates on a few other ingredients in barbecue in South Carolina. Mustard, mustard is another ingredient and then you run into tomato when you get into the western part of state. It’s one
of the only places in America where you find strong regional preferences for
these main sauce types. So, I’m from Clarendon County. You’re from Williamsburg. In Clarendon County where I grew up in Manning, Paxville area, we have just kind of sauce. I know we, I’ll take this side of it since I have mustard in mine, when I get
closer to the Williamsburg County line, sauce quickly transfers over to a
vinegar-pepper base. I like vinegar sauce best . I grew up with vinegar. I guess that’s what I’m accustomed to. I’ve tasted some sauces
with mustard in it that wasn’t too good and I’ve tasted some that I did like. I mean, you don’t have to like my sauce. I like your sauce. I had your sauce. I had your pork, and, and I enjoyed it. I had two helpings. I didn’t tell you that. Okay,
I appreciate it. When you went looking I went back. I can tell where family
members move from based upon their barbecue sauce preference. Well, if
they’re from the Peedee region where I grew up, chances are they’re in love with vinegar and pepper. Peedee region, that’s in this part
of the state, named after the Peedee native tribe that occupied this area long before
the Europeans got here. Vinegar and pepper came with the earliest settlers.
I like the history behind your sauce with that vinegar-pepper base, knowing is
the oldest sauce in South Carolina as well as across the American South.
Absolutely right. And if they’re on that Williamsburg – Clarendon County line they swear by vinegar-based barbecue sauce. You are absolutely right. I’ve cooked a lot of places and I can tell when somebody’s from my area because, like you
said, they recognize the sauce and they’ll say something like, “It tastes
just like home or reminds me of home.” If they’re from the Manning, Orangeburg,
Sumter, Columbia area and they request or ask for mustard, then I know they’re from
the middle of the state area. Some credit early German settlers to this
area with adding mustard to the mix. But scholars say it is probably more due to the introduction of prepared mustard in the early 20th century. If they asked for a
tomato base, chances are they’re from the western part of the state.
That’s not so cut and dry either because where I am from, we use tomato too. Tomato also didn’t really make it on the scene until ketchup became commercially
available in 1900’s. In the Carolinas, we, want the tanginess of the vinegar to be present in the BBQ sauce. But now you got the Memphis you got like, ah, the Kansas City. When you go out to Texas, it’s sweet. Like you said, Kansas City it starts to get a little
sweet. If you’re in the southwest, dry rub is another thing that a lot of guys like
to stand behind, so you can pretty much tell the further you go West how it
changes. Well a lot of not real spicy but more on the sweeter side, I don’t know if
they’re using molasses or brown sugar but it’s more on the sweeter, a little
thicker than what we’re used to with the vinegar. The real issue is that all good
barbecuers keep the ingredients of their sauces tightly held secrets. I
don’t know what’s in his sauce recipe. I don’t know, I’m not gonna tell you what’s
in the sauce recipe because, the barbecue sauces are the pitmaster’s, they’re, that’s their signature on their pork. That’s definitely their signature, their secret and
a lot of ’em don’t even write it down and they still don’t want
you to see how they make it. They don’t want you to see how they make it. So you see, we’re not even making it for you all today. That’s the crazy part, we’re not
going to make it for you all today but we’re gonna talk about. The ingredients that go in my sauce, of course, it’s white vinegar, some people prefer
apple cider, I prefer white vinegar. I use black pepper. I use cayenne pepper. I use
crushed pepper. I also add some lemons some sugar and some other stuff – a little, couple of secrets in between there. I can probably make your sauce if I wanted to. I think I know some of the others I think know, some of those are those are definitely classic ingredients. Those are my basic ingredients. I’m gonna share with them with them a tip, Rodney, since we’re talking about sauces. Okay. People think crushed red pepper is real hot. No, it’s more of a decoration. Which one you think adds the heat to make a barbecue
sauce? Black pepper. I maybe shouldn’t be telling ’em this, Uh huh… Another major secret I can share
is technique – the application. You know me I gotta talk science. A traditional South Carolina barbecue tool is the mop, but it only works with the vinegar and pepper
based sauce. Know why? Viscosity. Yeah… The viscosity of this is
a little thicker than this. If I take this and try to dip your mop in my
sauce. It’ll never come off the mop. It would never come off the mop. It will never come off the mop. If we dip
your sauce in there on the mop, it just runs off. I used to see my dad’s uncle with my
great uncle, that’s how he did it. He would always take the vinegar with
the mop and put it on. He said that was quicker. If you think
about a rib brush, it’s not real big. You take a rib brush when you’re trying to
sauce a hog, you’re gonna be there for a while. So, I grew up using it. That’s
what I use now. A lot of old men in our part of the country use that mop.
Still do. Still do. How’d you learn how to barbecue, Rodney? My dad taught me how to barbecue just family tradition. We have a store in Hemingway and we cooked hogs
every Thursday to sell sandwiches and you know being a kid growing up in the
country part of your chore was to work. That was part of my chore, so I learned
by doing my chores, you know, cooking hogs every Thursday, helping out. Those were some great times though, man. Great times a lot of hard work. Oh, I don’t miss that work. I love it though. I love being back in South Carolina. No
matter, no matter where I go, there’s no place like home. No place like home.
So, what essential barbecue sauce ingredients make you think of home. Share them below and keep watching “Nourish.” Think of it as food for your mind, body,
and soul. Only thing I’m missing with this meal right here is a slice of white
bread though. We can handle that. I’m from the country. You’re in the South, we got white bread. What kind of white bread? This program is made possible by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting

100 thoughts on “BBQ Sauce – South Carolina Style with Chef Rodney Scott

  1. Man, great run down.

    I’ve lived in middle TN, Dallas/Ft.Worth, central AL, and now in southern OH.

    It’s amazing to see how BBQ changes regionally, but has become cosmopolitan over the last decade or so.

    As an aside, I grew up on pork shoulder, pure salt rub, cooked over hickory coals in a pit. We had a mix of eastern vinegar/pepper and a lighter tomato/vinegar sauces. Once or twice someone made a western KY black sauce.

  2. Living in Kansas City I dont think about any other region's BBQ. Not that I'm above eating the rest of the delicious BBQ around the country.

  3. Had no idea how different the sauces could be even in one state! Really interesting stuff

    Great video – earned yourself a sub for this

  4. I like your info graphics! As a South Carolina native (born in upstate now on the coast) I can tell you that you hit the nail on the head!!

  5. I lived down south for a bit and traveled the entire lower 48 states, and southern bbq is magical. People in Michigan make good bbq, but it's just not the same as good southern bbq.

  6. My family is from Williamsburg county of SC, Kingstree. Love the vinegar based BBQ sauce. I have my family’s recipe for our sauce, similar to Rodney’s sauce, but slightly different.

  7. I’ve had it all , my family is from WNC , I grew up in Charleston Sc and Memphis. Bbq sauce in my veins. I eat different sauces on different cuts of meat , vinegar and mustard. That thick sweet stuff is for the kids nuggets to me. Lol. Great segment.

  8. My mom was from South Carolina and when I was a kid she used to make that mustard sauce and put it on chicken, but back then, just the smell of mustard made me want to puke. She'd get me a jar of some store bought sauce so I could eat.

    Then, as I got older my taste buds changed and I came to love that mustard based sauce. When I lived in LA, I used to swap foods with this Mexican family from Puebla and one time I sent a chicken over that I smoked in a converted fridge that I kept in my little patio area. The girl who took the chicken back to her family told me her dad absolutely loved that sauce, so I made him a big bottle of it. Later, that girl and my mom became friends and used to talk over Facebook.

    Mom died over a year ago and this segment just caused a rush of memories. Food is timeless and universal and it really has a way of being a conduit through which so many other of the more beautiful aspects of our humanity travel, by which we come to understand our interconnectedness.
    A jar of sauce…
    Love you, mom.

    Thanks, fellas.

  9. Stop trying to define BBQ, its different region to region. Whole hog is not the only kind of BBQ. We have our favorite and biases. Truth is, you drown your bbq in salt and spices so it can't be all that good.

  10. I make my own sauce. I have a vinegar based and a ketchup based. One is tart the other is sweet . I mix them together for the perfect balance but add a little heat to part of it for spicy effect and a little hickory smoke for flavor. Just go online. There are several recipes and you can spike them up to your own taste.

  11. Oh man. That vinegar pepper based sauce changed my life.
    I made some, put it on my pulled pork, and haven't looked back since.
    That acidity IMO is the perfect companion to richness of the pork.

  12. I love that you don't hide your country accent Dr. Conyers! I recently discovered your videos a few days ago and I am LOVING them. #SouthernBBQTraditions #BlackAndProud #NoPlaceLikeHome 🙌🏿 👍🏿 🖤

  13. I love BBQ from the Carolinas!! I used to live in Fayetteville, NC and picked up BBQ ideas from my Stepdad and his buddies. From Texas all the way to the Carolinas, much love to yall! Keep making great BBQ!

  14. I'm from Michigan and the BBQ place I go to has 5-6 different sauces, but I really like the mustard sauce, which sucks because the only place that sells it is the BBQ place and they want$7-8 for a 24oz bottle. Which is why I'm on YouTube watching videos on sauce so I can make my own and play with seasoning until it tastes like the restaurant. Luckily theirs doesn't taste too complex, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, a bit of brown sugar, a small amount of ketchup and some salt and pepper tastes almost identical, but I'm gonna try adding a smidge of Worcestershire sauce and maybe a pinch of garlic powder because mine is missing something. If anyone has a link to good mustard sauce recipe or just some tips or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it.

  15. I stumbled upon Scott's in Hemmingway on accident, hands down the best pork I've ever had. The Charleston location is good but not as good as Hemingway.

  16. I’m from Texas and I love TX style BBQ as majority of us love the sauce on the side. But when I was in SC at Scott’s BBQ and tried his version of his BBQ pork and his Vinegar Pepper based sauce and loved it.

    When I met Rodney Scott himself he asked how I liked his BBQ and said I loved it. He smiled and I told him I was visiting from Dallas TX and he guest we love our Brisket in TX. I told him where to go for Brisket in the DFW metroplex.

    He thanked myself and brought a little more BBQ before I left to go back home to TX.

    As for a sauce in TX in the DFW area it really depends but we love our tomato based sauce and we prefer it on the side instead of it being on the meat.

  17. My bbq experience started recently in West Texas. I’ve never had Carolina bbq. It is on my to do list, but I’ll be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit intimidated by a vinegar based sauce. But I am not against it!

  18. This is so true. I'm from The Midlands and grew up on mustard based sauce. You gotta make the mustard from scratch tho

  19. So I lived in Houston for a few years and the only type of bbq they really pushed was the beef. With more of the vinegar- heat based sauces. I'm from Florida and honestly i prefer more of the sweet based sauces.

  20. I love how these southern gentlemen speak so well. It impressed me to see black men in a better light. I was actually there two months ago at Fletc(law enforcement training center) its 5 mins up the street. The food was great and the waitresses were the nicest I’d ever seen.

  21. Oh boy I don't know when I'll stop watching these foodporn type videos at 3 past midnight.. make me hungry AF yo!

  22. It’s crazy how people look at me weird when i mention brunswick stew in bbq convos… alot of ppl dont even know what it is.

  23. Thanks for the video. South East Texas here, been trying sauce recipes from all over the south and gotta say I'm a fan of the tangy, now I do sweeten it just a bit for friends and family but it's still got that east coast kick.

  24. I'm from Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, and we started making BBQ a few years ago, recently pulled pork, it was very good, but it needed some zip, as the meat by itself is sweet not savory, this is where the Eastern Carolina mustard base sauce gives it the kick that the meat needs. Great video!

  25. Great video. I am an Australian and we use the term BBQ in reference to grilling or cooking out. I came to the US and went to college in the south. That’s where I began appreciating generically, American BBQ. After being here a while I began to understand that BBQ is regional; there’s no such thing as American BBQ.
    Several years ago we bought a timeshare just south of Myrtle Beach and had SC BBQ at Prossers in Murrells Inlet, SC. Now, one of my favorite dishes to make is SC BBQ with a mustard based sauce. It’s hard to get good SC BBQ in Chicago but we’re heading back to SC very soon.
    Thanks for explaining the fault lines in SC.

  26. I'm from Columbia, SC- I definitely fit the map shown in this video- mustard BBQ will always be my favorite.

  27. I’m from Memphis known for its “dry rub only” bbq which I’ve grown up with. I have relatives in Eastern NC and love their vinegar base slightly spicy bbq sauce.

  28. Out in Cali we don't use sauce, it's all about the dry rub and cooking over red oak, Santa Maria seasoning is salt and garlic based.

  29. Gave a like, taught me something new about BBQ sauce….now I'm bout bbq my friends to death trynna make my own sauce lol

  30. In Georgia we generally use a bbq sauce with apple vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, and molasses. And a mop sauce which I see in most southern states. I’m gonna be dropping a video on how to make both of them no secrets. I’ll teach ya how to make Carolina yellow and Alabama white too.

  31. I'm from Upstate SC up close to the NC line. I prefer a mustard based sauce. I like mine with some bite to it. Not that sugary sweet stuff.

  32. If you are ever in the upstate check out Smoking Pigs bar b q , it’s fantastic and you can have all three types of sauces.

  33. Why did you leave out Kentucky in this???? We have some great BBQ traditions here also!!!

    I'm from Paducah and Starns dominates there. Their sauce is a vinegar and pepper based sauce so that is what I love!

    I lived in Memphis for about 5 years and the sweet tomato based sauces dominate there, which is ok on ribs but not on pulled pork!!

    Still, Memphis in May!!!

  34. ANYTHING over an open fire with ANY kind of bbq sauce, is BARBECUE. I love how Americans think they invented bbq and they always say “barbecue has to be pig or its not barbecue” 😂 unless you invented open fire cooking, you didnt invent barbecue. I hate that small minded American thinking

  35. That vinegar sauce has always been my favorite!!! Only had it when down in the Carolina’s and never can find it anywhere else….

  36. Love your BBQ. I'm from eastern n.c. skylight in is where I'm at. Vinegar based sauce is the only way to go for me. Skins, ribs, and butts is what I'm about. Eastern n.c. come and visit.

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