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!
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 brisket, baby back ribs, and barbecue chicken.
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.
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.
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:
- Grilled chicken legs and thighs
- Uncle Richard’s Smoked Ribs
- Smoked Brisket
- Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
- Grilled Pork Chops
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
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.
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
- Southern Hush Puppies
- Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
- Perfect Cornbread
- BLT Pasta Salad
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.
Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe
- ¾ cup yellow mustard
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ 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.
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