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.

You will love this South Carolina 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.

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!

Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe ingredients

  • Yellow mustard - You want good old French’s yellow mustard for this recipe rather than a stone-ground mustard or dijon mustard.
  • Honey - For just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the other ingredients.
  • Apple cider vinegar - This ingredients adds a potent tang that really sets Carolina gold bbq sauce apart from a sweeter barbecue sauce like Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce 
  • Ketchup - Unlike other tomato-based barbecue sauces, this yellow bbq sauce uses only a little ketchup to round out the flavors.
  • Worcestershire sauce - For a savory umami quality.
  • Garlic powder & onion powder - These two ingredients are barbecue sauce staples and add robustness and depth to the flavor.
  • Salt & pepper - To keep the sauce from being bland.
  • Chipotle chili powder - I love the smoky, subtle heat that chipotle chili powder adds.
  • Hot sauce - You can add as much or little as you like, to taste.
An image of a spoon coated in Carolina mustard BBQ sauce being held over a jar of the sauce.

How to make this Carolina BBQ Sauce Recipe

Combine yellow mustard, honey, vinegar, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, chipotle chili powder, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk well until smooth.
Transfer the yellow bbq sauce into a jar with a lid 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.

Do I need to cook this Mustard Based 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.

How to serve Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

You can use this Carolina BBQ sauce on any grilled or barbecued meats just like you would any other BBQ sauce, but it’s our particular favorite with pulled pork.

Here are some other ideas for recipes we enjoy with this barbecue sauce:

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

How to store Mustard BBQ Sauce

You can store any unused barbecue sauce in the fridge for 2 weeks. You can also freeze the barbecue sauce for up to 3 months. Let it thaw completely, then whisk or shake well before using.

Carolina BBQ Sauce Recipe FAQs

What makes Carolina BBQ sauce different?

Carolina BBQ sauce is a mustard-based sauce, which is the primary distinguishing factor from Kansas City BBQ Sauce, which is tomato based, and Alabama White BBQ Sauce, which is mayo and vinegar based.

How long will mustard BBQ sauce last?

All of the ingredients will last separately for months in the fridge, so technically I think you would be fine to keep this in the fridge for even longer than two weeks. However, we always seem to go through it faster than that when making this size of a batch.

More Recipes to Round Out Your BBQ

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.

Stay in the know

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe

4.75 from 40 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
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 (optional)


  • 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!

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin

Share This With the World


Related Recipes

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. andrew says:

    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. Mark Williams says:

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

  3. Beth says:

    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. Sue Emery says:

    Can I can it? 

    1. Amy says:

      I have never tried, but probably.

  5. Jennifer says:

    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.

  6. Avra Dally says:

    Delicious sweet tangy sauce

  7. Mark says:

    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. 

  8. David says:

    5 stars
    Soo good! Try using it for the sauce on your pizza! Wow