By Stephen Rex Brown
New York Daily News

A contraband search this week at the troubled Manhattan Detention Complex in lower Manhattan found weed, cigarettes, cellphones, cords — and barbecue sauce, sources tell the Daily News.

The contraband was found in a ceiling vent in an inmate shower area, according to a document shared with The News. The sizable stash included a pack of Newports, a lighter, a vape pen, two headphones, two cellphone chargers, four iPhones, more than five ounces of reefer, dozens of loosies — and the barbecue sauce.

“The inmates use the warmers that warm up the food to make special barbecue chicken,” said Fitzgerald David, a retired correction officer who runs a private Facebook group that featured a photo of the contraband.

“They use it to flavor up their chicken on chicken day.”

The baked chicken behind bars is not very flavorful, David said, so inmates will cook the bland bird further in barbecue sauce.

“If you put meat on the electric warmers for a long period of time it cooks even more. It’ll brown the meat, make it … like fried chicken,” David said.

“Somebody had to bring that to them. There’s no way in hell an inmate can get f–king barbecue sauce in jail unless someone brings it to them.”

David was amused that he had to explain the sauce’s purpose.

“Nobody knows what the f–k goes on in jail,” he said.

The contraband search emerged less than a day after the Daily News exclusively reported the Department of Correction is investigating a video posted to Instagram of inmates rapping in a cell at the Tombs.