Alabama White BBQ Sauce is a tangy, creamy twist on traditional barbecue sauce recipe. It's delicious on grilled chicken, pulled pork, fish, burgers, and lots more! This tangy and smoky sauce is perfect for chicken, pork, fish, and more. It's easy to make in 5 minutes and can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
If you're looking for a delicious and tangy sauce to add to your next cookout, look no further than this Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe. When grilling season rolls around, we do most of our cooking outdoors! Some of our other favorites are Grilled Pork Chops, Santa Maria-Style Tri-Tip, and Beef Kabobs!
Table of Contents
- What is Alabama White BBQ Sauce made of?
- What does Alabama White BBQ Sauce taste like?
- What You'll Need
- How to Make Alabama White Sauce
- Tips for Success
- Substitutions and Variations
- Can I Freeze This Recipe?
- How to Use Alabama White BBQ Sauce
- How to grill bone-in chicken breasts
- What to serve with barbecued chicken
- Alabama White BBQ Sauce Recipe
- More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Today I've got an iconic Alabama recipe for you: Alabama White BBQ Sauce. It's part of my American Eats series and goes great with other Alabama favorites like southern tomato pie, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and banana pudding!
If you love barbecue, you probably know that there are lots of regional variations of bbq sauces to enjoy, depending on what part of the country you are from. Kansas City BBQ is known for it's thick, sweet Kansas City BBQ sauce, North Carolina has a thin vinegar based sauce, and South Carolina barbecue sauce is mustard based.
But chances are, you've never heard of this tangy white barbecue sauce unless you've been to Alabama.
What is Alabama White BBQ Sauce made of?
Alabama white BBQ sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce that is seasoned with tangy vinegar, mustard, horseradish, and various spices. It's ridiculously easy to make. You just whisk everything together in a bowl until smooth, then pour into a jar and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. It's so simple, but so, so good.
Alabama white bbq sauce is believed to have originated in North Alabama in 1925 in Decatur, Alabama by a man named Bob Gibson, who started a restaurant that is an institution today called Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. Since then it has become a staple in BBQ restaurants all over the South.
What does Alabama White BBQ Sauce taste like?
The homemade white bbq sauce is white with a mayo base, but unlike the dressing you would use on classic coleslaw or broccoli salad, it is not sweet.
It has a more robust savory flavor thanks to the vinegar's tang and the black pepper and horseradish's mild heat.
Use the Alabama white barbecue sauce just like you would any other barbecue sauce - on smoked or grilled meats for basting or as a dipping sauce. We brush it on grilled meat or fish during the last few minutes of cooking on the grill and serve with extra sauce on the side.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Mayo - If you are from the South, use Duke's. If that's not available, we recommend Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise (it's the same recipe and brand, just different packaging).
- White vinegar
- Spicy brown mustard
- Cream style horseradish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
How to Make Alabama White Sauce
Assemble. In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.
Finish. Transfer to a mason jar with a tight lid and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week. Brush on bbq chicken while grilling, use with fish or other meat, or as a salad dressing or dip for french fries.
Tips for Success
Here's how to make sure your Alabama white bbq sauce turns out perfect!
- Sub up to half of the mayo with Greek yogurt. This will give the sauce a little bit of tang and make it slightly healthier.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright flavor.
- Make it your own by adding in your favorite BBQ spices. Cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika are all great additions.
- Try using it as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or fries. It's also delicious on burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
Substitutions and Variations
- Add in some hot sauce for a bit of heat
- Try using apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar in place of the white vinegar
- Use creole mustard instead of spicy brown mustard or dijon mustard for a little bit of extra flavor
- Add in a tablespoon or two of honey for a more sweet sauce
- Try using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika for a smoky flavor
- If you don't have garlic powder, you can use fresh garlic or leave it out altogether
- Add a bit of xanthan gum for a thicker sauce
- Add some cayenne pepper for a spicy sauce
- Add in some diced onion or chives for extra flavor and crunch
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Unfortunately, this recipe does not freeze well. The mayonnaise will separate when thawed, and the sauce will be watery.
If you want to make a larger batch to have on hand, I recommend storing it in the fridge for up to a week.
How to Use Alabama White BBQ Sauce
This sauce makes a great versatile condiment! Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:
- Brush it on smoked chicken breasts or beef brisket while grilling for extra flavor.
- Use it as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or fries.
- Spread it on burgers or sandwiches in place of regular condiments.
- Stir it into coleslaw or potato salad for a flavorful twist.
- Drizzle it over salads for a dressing with a great tangy flavor.
- Serve it as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables or fish.
How to grill bone-in chicken breasts
Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Turn on all the burners if using a gas grill, or get the briquettes going if using charcoal, and close the lid. When the grill is hot (between 400-450 degrees), make sure the grates are clean and brush them with a little oil, then create an area of indirect heat by pushing turning off the burners on side side of the grill or pushing the charcoal over.
While the grill is heating, season the chicken with a little salt. This is also a good time to gather the tools you will need to grill the chicken, like tongs, a basting brush, and a clean tray for when the chicken is done.
Grill the chicken skin side down over indirect heat. Don't set the chicken directly over the flames (i.e., direct heat) because the fat from the skin will drip down and create flare-ups. Grill the bone-in chicken breasts for 10-15 minutes on the first side (7-10 minutes if cooking smaller cuts like chicken legs and thighs), then flip and grill for another 7-10 minutes over indirect heat.
Finish the chicken by grilling over direct heat on the other side of the grill directly over the flame or charcoal. Grill skin-side down, just until the skin is well browned and crisp, about 3-5 minutes, watching carefully for flare-ups, then flip and baste with Alabama white BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of cooking, until the breasts reach 165 degrees F. when tested with an instant read meat thermometer. Move the meat back over indirect heat if it needs more time to finish cooking.
Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, then serve with extra white BBQ sauce on the side.
You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to five days. After that, you would get better results by making a fresh batch. But whenever we make it at our house, it doesn't last very long!
The level of heat in this sauce depends on the type of mustard you use. Spicy brown mustard will give the sauce a little bit of heat, while yellow mustard will make it milder.
You can also adjust the amount of horseradish to taste. Or, if you want a completely mild sauce, you can omit the horseradish altogether.
The acidic flavor of white barbeque sauce has a ranch dressing-like quality and is similarly highly addictive. It's equally adaptable and is excellent for use in homemade coleslaw and potato salad, as well as on chicken, pork, shellfish, and turkey. It's missing the herbiness of a classic ranch dressing, but it has the same creaminess with a slightly different flavor profile.
Similar to Memphis barbecue, Alabama barbecue is mainly focused on hog shoulder and pork ribs served with a tomato-based sauce. But the state is also where mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce, which is typically served with chicken, was invented.
What to serve with barbecued chicken
- The Best Boiled Corn on the Cob
- Fresh Squeezed Homemade Lemonade
- Copycat Costco Mac and Cheese
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Alabama White BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup mayo
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. Transfer to a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week. Brush on chicken while grilling, or use with fish or other meat, or as a salad dressing or dip for fries.
- I have subbed up to half of the mayo with Greek yogurt with good results.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin
This post was originally published in May, 2018. The photos and content were updated in October, 2022.