Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

May 14, 2019

My Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce that is perfect drizzled on your favorite smoked pork or chicken. It has a deep golden color and sharp mustard flavor. It’s so good I guarantee you’ll be making batch after batch of this amazing sauce.

jar of Carolina mustard sauce with side of pulled pork

What is Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce?

Carolina style mustard BBQ sauce is a sauce made with mustard, vinegar, sweetener, and spices. It originated in South Carolina (hence the name), and it is a golden sauce perfect for all your grilled and smoked meats. Carolina-style indicates its made with vinegar instead of the ketchup and molasses-based sauces popular in the mid and southwest.

Both North Carolina and South Carolina have their own BBQ sauce specific to their region, and South Carolina’s sauce is known for its use of mustard and vinegar that gives it its sharp taste and rich golden color.

The combo of the ingredients make this sauce the perfect BBQ sauce for pork, chicken, beef and more. It’s sweet, tangy, sour, and can be adjusted to have just a bit of heat as well.

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce

All BBQ sauces have a base that gives it its distinct flavor. The most popular type of modern BBQ sauce is ketchup based. Most BBQ sauces you’ll find in the grocery store are some combination of ketchup, vinegar, herbs, and spices. Alabama White Sauce is mayonnaise based, instead of tomato based, which gives it a great creamy flavor profile.

But in South Carolina, their sauce is mustard based. Mustard based BBQ sauces add an extra element to BBQ sauce that you don’t always get from the more “traditional” sauces. BBQ sauce needs to have that tangy, sweet, occasionally hot flavor to compliment the richness of the meat, and Carolina mustard sauce has all this and more.

If you haven’t yet tried Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, now is the time to give it a go. I guarantee you’ll love the flavor and be amazed at how quick the recipe comes together.

mustard bbq sauce in a jar

Homemade Mustard BBQ Sauce

Making your own homemade BBQ sauce doesn’t need to be a chore, and this recipe is no different! Carolina style BBQ sauce is extremely easy to whip up, and you likely have most of the ingredients already in your fridge and pantry.

  1. Begin by gathering all ingredients and combining them in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir/cook to combine, allowing the flavors to blend together for 5 minutes on low heat.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Transfer sauce into airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

When making my own sauces, I prefer to store them in these Wide Mouth Mason Jars to keep them fresh and tasting delicious. I love this sauce on pulled pork, burgers, ribs, and so much more!

More BBQ Sauce Recipes

Interested in recipes for more BBQ sauces from all over America? Check out more of my delicious sauce recipes:

Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
Zesty Alabama White Sauce
Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce

Or, if you prefer buying your sauces pre-made, check out my store, Patio Provisions, to see my collection of tasty sauces:

Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce
Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce
Everything BBQ Sauce

Best Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe

Let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you create the best BBQ possible for the people you love. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind the scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!

Jar of Carolina mustard BBQ sauce next to a bowl of pulled pork.

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

This Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce perfect for dipping or drizzled on your favorite grilled chicken or pork.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 5 mins
Total Time : 10 mins
Servings : 24
Calories : 24kcal



  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce ((I used Cholula))


  • Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. You don't want the sauce to boil or reduce, the heat is just to ensure the sugars melt and distribute evenly throughout the sauce.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a lidded jar. BBQ sauce will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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21 thoughts on “Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

  1. Hello Susie,

    I was curious if this sauce can be Canned for a longer Shelf Life?

    Thanks for everything you do.

  2. Hey Susie, I’m a confused bbq guy. I grew up in central North Carolina and my Dad’s family hails from around Columbia South Carolina. So all the sauces of the region are well known to me. My grandfather made part of his living BBQ-ing whole pigs. It was easy to dig a pit in the Midlands SC sand, line it with roofing tin. He had a 55 gallon drum with a rebar grid 1/3rd of the way up and about half of the barrel side cut out below the grid. You build a fire in the barrel of hickory and a local oak we call blackjack oak. Blackjack was not so much for flavor as for long lasting coals. The coals drop from the grid and you shovel them out the hole in the barrel and into the pit under the pig.

    Will never forget being old enough to “help” him cook. Getting up about 3AM, starting a fire in the barrel, going to the abattoir and coming back with a ready to cook pig on the backseat of his 1949 Ford!

    Here is his mustard sauce recipe. Not much sweet at all, no ketchup (they do add some in eastern South Carolina). A key ingredient that you might want to consider is dried mustard. Let itsoak in some of the water for awhile and it gives you a great “kick”:

    5 cups prepared mustard
    4 teaspoons dried mustard
    1/4th cup black pepper
    16oz water
    2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter
    Brown sugar to taste

    Nowadays the sauce seems to be getting sweeter and sweeter in South Carolina. His was more about the favor of the smoked meat and enhancing the taste with the sauce.

    You have really done a great job researching the Carolina recipes you’ve posted. Next time I’ll tell you about the BBQ HASH that was cooked over an open fire in a cast iron wash pot and served over rice as a side. Hint: we are talking WHOLE HOG when it comes to this!

  3. This looks JUST like a sauce Mr. Wonderful enjoyed last night at a local restaurant! Their food was great but they were NOT willing to share any info about the sauce.

  4. Made for pulled pork and was easily the most popular choice for the folks that came over to eat. I think you can reduce the brown sugar by half if you don’t like the sauce too sweet. Also, I used red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce, so I got a little heat without the flavors (or extra vinegar) in the sauce.

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