No. 5 Sauce

I'm sure it will be fine w/brisket. You don't want to boil because the sugar will easily burn. I just simmer (just little bubbling) stirring often for around 45-60 mins. IMO, if it doesn't state what type of vinegar, go with Cider.
Mike I posted a classic Carolina Red Sauce.
My goal with No. 5 was to make a good versitile ketchup based sauce with the absolute fewest ingredients and no lack of flavor and complexity.
Steve, Here is a funny story about your no.5 sauce. A friend of mine really likes it so I made him a batch along with a container of pulled pork. Well, his wife decides to cook the pork for dinner for us. She's telling me as she's cooking that the pork is too way to hot. I'm thinking my pork has been called lots of things but hot??? Any how.,I walk over to the stove she's got the pulled pork in a pan swimming in a full batch of the no. 5 sauce. YIKKKESS, I tried some of it. It took two days for my tongue to recover from the vinegar. She said the only way she's had BBQ is like that-cooked in lots of sauce. We all got a good laugh out of it.
Great story.

I can only wonder if there is any food that has so many styles and so many opinions as to how to produce the best.
Steve, I made your No. 5 sauce this weekend with pulled pork. This was just the sauce that I was looking for, tomato based with a little vinegar, not overwhelming vinegar like some other sauces.

Also, in addition to your ingrediants, I added about a teaspoon of beef paste and about 1/2 cup of water. Since I didn't have pan drippings I thought that beef paste would be a good substitute and it gives the sauce some richness. Thanks for the sauce.
Mike, the beef paste is a great idea and substitute if you do not have any meat juice. I admit that there more than a time or two that I made sauce and did not have meat drippings. Easy answer beef or chicken base. Good tip!

Your No. 5 Sauce is great. I made a double batch this week and took it to work for our BBQ feast. It is gone already. People didn't touch the other sauces that were available.

It reminds me of a restaurant sauce that I tried to duplicate years ago. But yours is superior. I love the simplicity of the No. 5.

Here's another twist on the No. 5 Sauce.

I emptied several barbecue sauce bottles that were in my fridge into a measuring cup. Then added enough catsup to make 1 cup of liquid. I used that to follow the basic No. 5 recipe. I thought the resulting sauce was okay, but my wife and son raved about it.

The side benefit was getting one catsup and four bbq sauce bottles out of the fridge and into the recycling bin.

I do that with any dribs and drabs of leftover rubs. Put them all into a shaker bottle and use the mix of whatever goes in there to season veggies and last-minute grilled stuff. Always good. Always different.


This was nice, easy to make and tasted good. I've been trying for a year to come up with something that my wife and daughter would really like and this appears to have worked. Most of the tomato sauces I have tried had more vinegar and at least some mustard in them. this was a nice change. Used it on Chicken yesterday I'll have to put it on some pork sometime soon.

Keep up the good work.



I made this before I had cooked my chicken so at the time I didn't have any drippings to put in it. Also, I just went with the recipe you posted for the first time making it so I thought, why not just follow a recipe for a change. When I make it again I'll start tinkering with it but for now, I'm eating it "stock" so to speak.


Is this sauce supposed to be pretty runny? Mades some up last night and it seemed pretty runny but not sure if that is the way it is supposed to be? Thought about simmering it out the stove to thicken it up but wanted to make it the way it was intended for my first go around at this one. Still darn tasty though!
Jason, thanks for your question. I do simmer mine...sometimes it gets too thick and I have to thin it. The recipe has been changed to reflect the simmer step. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
I also made the #5 sauce before the recipe was changed to simmer it. I thought it was good. I will make a new batch this weekend as I am sure it will be better after simmering it for a while.

I think you will be happy to know that the No. 5 sauce took 13th out of about 60 in vinegar sauces at Memphis in May. I joined another team and the guy who was supposed to do vinegar sauce was a no show. I had about an hour so I took your recipe, added some more dark brown sugar and a bit of water. I warmed it through for about 15 minutes and turned it in. I'm invited back for next year and was asked to do the vinegar sauce again. Regards and thanks for the recipe.
Steve, I just used wily's wonderful rub from the Jamison book with a touch more garlic and onion powders than in the recipes. Regards.
Steve - Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I made the sauce for the first time this afternoon according to your recipe and both my wife and I like it "as is" and don't plan to make any changes at this time.