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Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce (aka South Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce) is an easy recipe for the tangy, slightly sweet sauce that is popular in South Carolina barbecue. It is perfect drizzled over smoked pork, chicken, burgers, ribs – you name it!

An image of a jar filled with homemade South Carolina mustard BBQ sauce.

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

One of my favorite things about barbecue is all the sauces. I especially love when there are multiple sauces in squeeze bottles to choose from. You know I’m going to try them all.

Both North Carolina and South Carolina have their own regional BBQ sauces. North Carolina’s is more vinegar-based, while South Carolina has a vinegar AND mustard base.

For anyone who hasn’t tried Carolina mustard BBQ sauce before, it’s an edgier approach to barbecue than the sweeter, tomato-based ketchup and molasses sauces that you typically see in the grocery store and are probably more familiar with. And then there is the mayo-based Alabama white barbecue sauce to consider!

I love each of the different types of BBQ sauce so much that I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite.

I always think barbecue sauce is best served on the side so that you can put as little or as much on as you like. We made this to go on pulled pork, but it’s also great for Texas smoked brisketbaby back ribs, and barbecue chicken.

An image of Carolina gold BBQ sauce being poured over pulled pork on a bun.

Why is it called Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce?

This mustard BBQ sauce gets it’s name from the distinctive deep gold color, which comes from the mustard base. I’m obsessed with the beautiful contrast of this golden-hued sauce against the dark colors of smoked meat!

Classic yellow mustard is the most popular choice for this barbecue sauce, along with vinegar, sweetener, and spices. If you don’t enjoy mustard, I’ll be honest and say that this BBQ sauce might not be for you. But I will say that you are missing out and ought to at least give it a try!

An image of a spoon coated in Carolina mustard BBQ sauce being held over a jar of the sauce.

Do I need to cook this Carolina mustard BBQ sauce?

Many recipes for Carolina mustard BBQ sauce call for you to warm the ingredients together on the stove for five minutes to dissolve the brown sugar, but I haven’t found that to be necessary. I don’t notice any graininess to the sauce after whisking the ingredients together. But if you are concerned, you can warm the sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.

I do recommend making this Carolina gold BBQ sauce at least one to two days in advance, if possible, because it allows the flavors to develop more in the fridge. But to be honest, I’ve also made this the day of and it’s still pretty darn delicious.

An image of the ingredients for Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce. An image of a pulled pork sandwich drizzled with Carolina gold BBQ sauce next to a jar of the sauce.

More Recipes to Round Out Your BBQ

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Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
Yield: 12 servings

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce (aka South Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce) is an easy recipe for the tangy, slightly sweet sauce that is popular in South Carolina barbecue.  It is perfect drizzled over smoked pork, chicken, burgers, ribs - you name it!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.
  2. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The flavor is even better the second or third day, if you can make it in advance.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 51Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 290mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g


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Curious about foods from other states in my American Eats series? Check them out below!

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Iowa • Louisiana • South CarolinaTexas