No. 5 Sauce


Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
No. 5 Sauce

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon rub

Opional but v. good: 1/4 cup meat drippings
(whats left in the foil after the rest)

Simmer to marry the flavors and thicken as desired.

P.S. My rubs are low salt.
This one disappeared in two weeks-made a new batch today. I made both batches with the Memorial Rub. I added a pinch or two of chipotle pepper for a little warmth.
Just wanted you to know that this recipe is genius. I have cooked up several recipes every week for months looking for exactly the sauce my wife considered right and guess what... she didn't like my first attempt with yours, but changed the rub and reduced the vinegar...a winner.
This is one of those sauces that you can make form memory anytime and depending on your rub it becomes your signature sauce.

For the record, I reduced the vinegar to 1/3 cup and used Alton Browns butt rub. I find that I want to make more sauce everytime I mix a new batch of rub to see how it comes out.

Thanks for the simplicity of this sauce.
Here's how I'm currently "making it my own" (that reminds me of something Paula Abdul would say). Still working on getting it hot enough.

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Blues Hog Rub
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
12 twists fresh ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed Red Pepper
At least 1/4 tsp. of Louisiana Hot Sauce


You might be a redneck if...
Your favorite T-shirt is offensive in thirteen states.
Charles, I like where you are headed. I have added some of my smoked hot peppers before. A little heat is beneficial.
Great sauce. I reduced the vinegar by half and added some lousiana hot sauce and a little more rub. I used some store bought rub to get rid of it.
After reading Kevin Krugers recipes...a friend gave me an old family favorite sauce imported from South Carolina...both had something in common. Meat drippings. 'Juice' left in foil from a cook or rest. Oh my Kevin is right. The drippings add magic to a sauce.

To No. 5 Sauce add about 1/4 cup of drippings.
Steve, did a triple batch of the #5 sauce last night and found it way to vinegary. What do you recommend to do when doubling or tripling the recipe? I was thinking if I did a triple batch again only use 2 cups of vinegar.I ended up putting more ketchup in to cut it.
I was thinking if I did a triple batch again only use 2 cups of vinegar.
Is this a typo or might this be the problem?

If doing a triple batch you'd use 1.5 c vinegar as the recipe calls for .5 c. Did you go 1:1 ketchup:vin?
Of course Kevin is correct.
I have not changed the basic ingredients after cooking many batches. If I want heat, I'll add some of my smoked peppers. Or, if I am looking for a heartier sauce, add more rub.
Steve, thought you'd like to know that over the weekend I was talking to this guy who owns a BBQ restaurant. We were talking que (of course) and the subject of sauces came up. I told him about your number 5 sauce and how it could be tweeked. He said he was looking for a good vinegar sauce and I said look no further. I'm bringing him the recipe to try. He uses a mustard type sauce now. He says it's ok but not what he's looking for. I'll make sure I don't make the mistake of giving him the recipe with the extra vinegar like I made last time
Paul, you have the right attitude...this is just a starting point for what you like. Some add more vinegar and some like to cut it.

I love this sauce. It's easy to remember, easy to tweek. I usually add a little crystal hot sauce or some other hot stuff. I put in on my butts after I pull them, and it soaks right up in the meat. And the flavor seems to get better in the next day or two. I also slather in on meatloafs as they cook.

I agree. Meat drippings give the sauce a wonderful taste. My wife was not sure if she would like the meat drippings in the sauce. After trying it, she said I should have made a double batch. Kudos to you for this great simple recipe.
How is this sauce with brisket?
I have no experience in making sauces so sorry if this sounds dumb but am I suppose to boil or simmer while making it? Also Ive read in other recipes to add red wine vinegar or cider vinegar. Is this just regular vinegar in this recipe?