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!
Alabama White BBQ Sauce
This is my second post in my American Eats series where I’m cooking my way across America, one state at a time. We are in Alabama, and yesterday I shared a tasty, savory Southern Tomato Pie. Today I’ve got another iconic Alabama recipe for you that might make you scratch your head at first: Alabama White BBQ Sauce.
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 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.
Alabama white BBQ sauce was created 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.
This sauce starts with a mayo base that is thinned out with a little vinegar, then gets a flavor kick from mustard, horseradish, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
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.
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.
How to Grill Bone-In Chicken Breasts
When I was testing Alabama recipes, I used this white bbq sauce on bone-in grilled chicken breasts, which we served with tomato pie. While you can absolutely grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts and have them turn out super juicy and delicious (check out my recipe for grilled cajun chicken sandwiches to see how), I find that when we are doing bbq, I way prefer to go slower and use bone-in chicken.
Here is how we 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.
What to Serve with Barbecued Chicken
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 recipe is perfect for 4 large chicken breasts, but you may want to double the recipe if you are grilling for a crowd!
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 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.
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