Big Daddy's Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce

Carolina Style BBQ Sauce
The Spruce
Ratings (215)
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/4 cups (serves 20)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
54 Calories
2g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is Carolina-style barbecue sauce. This means that it is vinegar and mustard based, as opposed to the ketchup and molasses based sauces of the mid and southwest. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors brings out the absolute best in grilled or smoked pork or chicken. Thanks to reader "Big Daddy" for this tasty recipe! 


  • 1 cup/240 mL prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup/120 mL sugar
  • 1/3 cup/80 mL light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup/180 mL cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup/60 mL water
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL chili powder (mild)
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL white pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL butter
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL liquid smoke (hickory flavoring)

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients, except soy sauce, butter and liquid smoke, in a medium saucepan. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 more minutes. 

    add seasonings
     The Spruce
  2. Remove sauce from heat and allow mixture to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before using. If making ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after initial preparation.

    let sauce cool
     The Spruce
  3. To use: Simply serve on the side with smoked pork or chicken. It's also delicious on pulled pork sandwiches.