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!

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 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 Kansas City BBQ sauce 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.

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.

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Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

4.69 from 32 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Spreads & Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
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!


  • ¾ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.
  • 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.


Calories: 55kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. This is without a doubt a fabulous and finger licking kind of sauce! Tasted good on the first day but, as advised, gave it additional rest in the fridge and my oh my was there a significant difference in the depth of flavor.  Enjoyed it mightily mixed with some marinated vegetables and looking forward to my next meal knowing I have this to play with!

  2. I made this Carolina Gold sauce last night and it was awesome! Great recipe- thank you for sharing!

  3. As a South Carolina upcountry native, I would like to say that the proportions of this sauce recipe are fine, however the authors' assertion that it does not need to be cooked is inaccurate. Gold sauce doesn't just need to be heated, it needs to be cooked low and slow for at least an hour. This is the only way to get the authentic, deep, complex flavor of our region. I expect this sauce, uncooked, will taste like commercially available bottled "Gold" sauce, which no self respecting BBQ house here would use. For authentic flavor cook low and slow, and decrease the sweet ingredients a tad.

  4. My husband and I both love this sauce and I'll be making it regularly. I did slow cook it for an hour as another person suggested. It was delicious.

  5. Made this today. Doing a bbq for all the neighbors, around 50.  Not a fan of mustard but this sauce is excellent. Cooked it until a light boil and hit it with the immersion blender. I’d recommend it to everyone.