Zesty Alabama White Sauce

November 28, 2018

Alabama White Sauce is a creamy, tangy, and rich BBQ sauce with just a kiss of heat. A classic Alabama BBQ sauce that is perfect on smoked chicken and more!

Alabama White Sauce

Alabama White BBQ Sauce Origins

Alabama white sauce was made famous by Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. They have massive hickory-fed pits that house their famous smoked split chickens, slow smoked to a glorious golden brown at 350 degree F. These chickens are then dunked whole into massive vats of their homemade white BBQ sauce.

Smoked chicken may be the most famous vessel for transporting this tangy and smooth sauce into your mouth, but it’s just the beginning! Alabama white sauce is incredibly versatile and has become a BBQ staple sauce for good reason. It offers the ideal balance of flavors to enhance smoked or grilled meats and vegetables.

Alabama White Sauce Recipe

What is Alabama White Sauce?

The head pitmaster of Big Bob Gibson’s restaurant, Chris Lilly, first shared their restaurant original recipe which was measured in gallons and is a fairly simple mixture of mayonnaise, corn syrup, vinegar, and salt/pepper. My zesty version has the same sweet and tangy notes that make all BBQ sauces the perfect complement to smoked meats, but an Alabama white sauce is mayonnaise based, instead of tomato based, which gives it a great creamy flavor profile.

Alabama White Sauce Creator

I first met Chris at a Guinness World Record event for the Largest Grilling Lesson in 2017 (you can read more about that event HERE), and I was so incredibly impressed with his knowledge of all things BBQ. I consider my recipe an homage to the restaurant-style original with a little Hey Grill Hey kick.

Alabama White Sauce Recipe Ideas

This mayo-based white barbecue sauce is made to dunk, drizzle, and slather it all over some smoked chicken for the most classic Alabama BBQ experience. You can also serve it as a side sauce for any kind of smoked meats, like ribs or smoked turkey. In my house, we also keep it on hand as a tangy vegetable dip or use it as a dressing for cole slaw!

Alabama White Sauce Recipe

Alabama White Sauce Recipe

Alabama white sauce in jar
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Tangy and smooth Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Alabama White Sauce
Servings: 12
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and well combined.
  • Transfer to a lidded jar. Use immediately or let set in the refrigerator for 24 hours to let the flavors meld together. Will keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 



Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 7mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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29 thoughts on “Zesty Alabama White Sauce

    1. Drippings! If you cook the chicken in the oven, on the grill, or anywhere you can catch the drippings do it! For anything! It’s the best and most flavorful thing that you can add to anything. I’m doing Cornish hens tonight. Slow roasting in the oven. Adding the drippings as I go. Nothing better. ????

  1. Brown mustard? Is that like Dijon ? We don’t have brown mustard here except French mustard which is brown color .

    U.K. Darren

    1. It’s similar. Brown mustard is spicier and has a little different flavor but if you substitute with Dijon I don’t think you’d notice much of a difference!

  2. I am from Alabama and I never heard of Alabama white sauce until I saw it on Food Network. I don’t care for brown mustard or horseradish. Any recommendations to substitute for those two ingredients?

    1. There are tons of variations on this sauce. The basic staples are mayo and vinegar. From there, do what you want. Garlic powder, onion powder, hot suave, Worcestershire, lemon juice.

      I did a pretty good take with mayo, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, onion and garlic powder, salt, and a bunch of black pepper.

      Omit or add to taste.

      1. We first found Alabama White Sauce when visiting S. Carolina. Since then made different versions, yours looks great.
        Speaking of making changes, I’m experimenting with making an Arizona Red Sauce, same base, but adding Chipotle or Chorizo and lime juice. First batches, weren’t bad, but still have to play some more with it.

    2. Most people outside of the Decatur area have never heard of it either. The ones that have heard about it on a tv show or comments on Facebook posts.

  3. I found this recipe in a Southern Pit BBQ cookbook years ago. Have injected it into my thanksgiving turkey prior to baking for several years now. Also used as a dredge/dip although I prefer a Carolina Red Sauce for BBQ Pork.

    1. I actually haven’t tried it on ribs yet but I bet it’d be awesome! Pair with your favorite rub. Let me know how it turns out!

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