I made pulled pork and added too much brown sugar. What can I add to dilute it so it's not so sweet? Tried not adding barbeque sauce, but that didn't help.

  • 2
    Salt and acids(vinegar) will help.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:36
  • 2
    Try mustard and red wine vinegar. Go little at a time because both can be overpowering.
    – user33210
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 4:06

2 Answers 2


The sugar flavor is in there whether you like it or not, you can either use the pork as an ingredient in something else where sweetness is an asset (salads, casseroles, etc), or balance the sweetness with other flavors.

To me the way forward is to try and balance the sweetness with acidity and bitterness, and a really good way is to make a barbecue sauce with these qualities. Add no sugar to it so it will counter the sweetness in your meat. I'm thinking a southern style mustard and vinegar sauce will work well as that has bitter and sour qualities. A little bit of unsweetened chocolate or instant coffee adds both richness and bitterness. Or instead of a sauce you could pair the meat up with foods that will balance the sweetness like kale, leafy greens, and spinach.

  • Vinegar seems like the most obvious choice for a barbecue sauce; it's already a prominent ingredient in many cases.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 4:48

I am assuming the pork is already shredded and the sauce is too sweet but already combined.

Drain the meat, try not to press and squeeze the juice out of the meat. Steaming the meat is the best way, long enough for the sauce to drip, not to overcook the meat. 3 min in the steam basket inside the 15 psig pressure cooker would do. If regular steamer, you can go 10 min.

Then, use new sauce, or dilute existing sweet sauce in water with a final starch slurry to thicken back up.

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