Eastern NC Chopped BBQ Sandwich

Updated: Jan 10


I was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina and chopped BBQ is known and loved all over the Eastern part of the state. Eastern style BBQ is a whole-hog style of barbecue, often said to use "every part of the hog except the squeal". Eastern-style sauce is vinegar- and pepper-"-based, with no tomato whatsoever, and is mostly used as a marinade. When I travel back home, there is only one place that I go and get a chopped BBQ sandwich and that is the Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. I have eaten at this place for my entire life and the way they prepare their BBQ is simply amazing. My favorite part of their BBQ are the bits of crispy skin that is folded in with the meat. I haven't been home since the quarantine started and I wanted to recreate this sandwich in my kitchen. The recipe isn't perfect because I didn't have access to a whole hog or a smoker but it is close enough until I get back to my hometown.

Serves 6

Rub Ingredients

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

4-5 lb pork shoulder or pork butt

1 whole onion, chopped

Sauce to go in Crockpot

3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of apple juice

4 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

  1. Cut your pork shoulder in large chunks.

  2. Whisk the seasonings for the rub until combined

  3. Rub your pork shoulder generously with the rub and add the pork to a crockpot

  4. Add your onions on top.

  5. Whisk the ingredients for the sauce in a middle bowl

  6. Pour the sauce on top of the pork

  7. Set the crockpot on low and cook for 6-7 hours.

  8. Once the pork is tender, discard the onions and place on a cutting board.

  9. Chop the pork into smaller pieces.

How to make the Coleslaw for the BBQ Sandwich

1 small head of cabbage

2 teaspoons of yellow mustard

1/3 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup of Miracle Whip

  1. Grate a small head of cabbage into a bowl.

  2. Add the sugar, mustard and Miracle Whip until combined.

  3. Chill for 30 mins before serving.

How to Make the Vinegar Based Sauce


1 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 cup of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon of hot sauce (I like Texas Pete)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes


Combine in a small bowl. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to three months.


To build the sandwich, you need a plain hamburger bun. Add the chopped BBQ to the bun and then top with the coleslaw. Make sure to have a cold glass of sweet tea or a bottle of Cheerwine to wash it down. Enjoy!

**** Video tutorial is on my YouTube page Spilling the Sweet Tea and my IG page @spilling_the_sweet_tea***



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