Lexington Dip / Piedmont Dip Recipe – Western Carolina BBQ Sauce

In Lexington and in the “Piedmont” hilly areas of western North Carolina, the sauce is often called a dip. It is a lot like the East Carolina Sauce (above) with tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup added. The vinegar softens the tomato.


Western Carolina BBQ

Western Carolina BBQ

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 40-ounces ketchup
  • 20 ounces water
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons of liquid smoke or natural smoke drippings (to taste)


  • In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the ketchup; rinse the bottle with the water and add to the pot.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, sugars, molasses, mustard, lemon, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 3-3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Using a hand held immersion blender, food processor, or blender, purée the sauce in batches.
  • Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and strain the sauce, pressing on the solids with the back of a ladle.
  • Add the smoke flavorings to taste.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to six months.


Recipe adapted from TheGalleyGourmet.com

Category: Carolina BBQ sauces, Ketchup Based BBQ Sauces, Thin / Dipping BBQ Sauces