Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken Recipe
Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken Recipe

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I live in Georgia, but I appreciate the tangy, sweet and slightly spicy taste of Carolina Vinegar Chicken. I make my version in the slow cooker and when you walk in the door after being gone all day, the aroma will knock you off your feet! —Ramona Parris, Acworth, Georgia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 4 hours
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 4 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split, optional

Nutritional Facts

134 calories: 1/2 cup (calculated without buns), 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 228mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0g fiber), 23g protein Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat.


  1. In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients. Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker; add vinegar mixture. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken; cool slightly. Reserve 1 cup cooking juices; discard remaining juices. Shred chicken with two forks. Return meat and reserved cooking juices to slow cooker; heat through. If desired, serve chicken mixture on buns. Yield: 6 servings.
Editor's Note: Look for chicken base near the broth and bouillon.
Originally published as Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken in Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes Annual 2014, p72

Blush Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a blush wine such as White Zinfandel or a Rosé.

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Reviewed Dec. 1, 2015

"I made this recipes last night for supper. I'm from Eastern NC and we do love our vinegar BBQ! I deviated using brown sugar and cider vinegar, and boneless skinless chicken thighs. It was a little sweet for my taste, but added a little more vinegar. I might cut back a little on the amount of brown sugar next time. Thanks also to ryan0705 for your hints ~ Also, it was too late to use my crock pot, so I slow cooked in the oven at 275 degrees F for 3 hours, and while I was pulling apart the chicken, I simmered down the liquid."

Reviewed Jun. 11, 2015

"Easy and a nice change from traditional BBQ"

Reviewed May. 4, 2015

"This is a NC recipe. But my mother used brown sugar, cider

vinegar and smoke flavoring all to taste. You cook the chicken
just until done and remove it then cook the juice etc. down
until it's kinda like a sauce then add meat back in.. It's really
good but the same recipe used for pulled pork is alot better.
With pork leave the meat in while cooking juice down. Try it
you'll love it. Mom always served slaw and dill pickles on a
warmed bun with optional hot sauce. SUPER GOOD!"

Reviewed Apr. 30, 2015

"chicken had good flavor but the chicken turned out mushy. I think I did 2 things that contributed to the chicken beig over cooked. (1) I set the crockpot on a timer for cooking later in the day while I was at work. The chicken probably started cooking while sitting in the vinegar mixture. (2) I cooked the full 5 hrs. Next time I will cook immediately and monitor the progress."

Reviewed Mar. 31, 2015

"A different spin on BBQ that I had never experienced, I only cooked the chicken about 3 hr 15 min since my crockpot cooks faster than most recipes call for, very tasty but a little drier without the BBQ sauce."

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2015

"Put this in the slow cooker yesterday morning, really, really good. I have never had Carolina vinegar BBQ before, but had heard of it, and wanted to try it, this is definitely a keeper! I doubled the recipe, and followed it exactly, really delicious, but not quite as flavorful as I was expecting, although still awesome! Not going to double it next time and see if there's a difference. So good, I brought some for lunch today!"

Reviewed Feb. 27, 2015

"I made this twice, and the first time was great, the second, not so good. I used bone in breasts both times, but I used more chicken the second time and didn't add to the liquid. Still good, and I will make it again."

Reviewed Jan. 26, 2015

"This is the real deal. The only thing I will do different is use chicken quarters with bone and skin just to give it that rustic layer of flavor in it."

Reviewed Jan. 22, 2015

"Great flavor!"

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