Golden Carolina BBQ Sauce

Golden Carolina BBQ Sauce

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 40 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
16 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40
Amount per serving
Calories 16
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 183mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 25mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In South Carolina, mustard reigns supreme as a necessary and primary ingredient in barbecue sauce, thanks to the history of German immigrants who settled there. This golden Carolina barbecue sauce is the perfect complement to smoked pork. It makes a lot of sense, as pork and mustard are a natural pairing. The sauce is thin, tangy, sour, and a little bit spicy.

If you're new to the concept of a mustard-based barbecue sauce, this recipe is a good place to start. This Carolina gold sauce keeps growing in popularity as more and more people turn away from the sticky-sweet tomato-based barbecue sauces that line the shelves of grocery stores.

It's not hard to mix up this sauce, which combines the mild heat of mustard with the tanginess of vinegar to give you something incredible. Of course, it's designed for pork, but try it on chicken, too, especially as a dipping sauce for homemade chicken nuggets or as a base for making bbq wings.


  • 1 1/2 cups mustard

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Golden Carolina BBQ Sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes to slightly reduce. Make sure to stir the sauce often to prevent burning.

    Golden Carolina BBQ Sauce ingredients simmering together in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Once cooked through, remove from heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature before using.

    Golden Carolina BBQ Sauce in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • The base of this sauce is yellow mustard. But feel free to experiment and use a spicier grainy mustard, if desired.
  • Some recipes for Carolina gold sauce use molasses or honey instead of (or in addition to) brown sugar. See which way you prefer it.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of Worcestershire sauce if desired.
  • Increase or decrease the cayenne pepper amount to suit your preference.

How to Store and Freeze Golden Carolina BBQ Sauce

  • This golden barbecue sauce will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week in an airtight container (you can make it up to a week ahead of using it). The sauce can be stored in the same manner in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Is Carolina Gold Barbecue Sauce Spicy?

It's not by definition a super spicy sauce, only mildly so. If you change up the kind of mustard you use, however, it can offer more heat, or if you increase the amount of cayenne pepper. Carolina Gold can be described as a bit sour and tangy, thanks to the presence of vinegar and mustard, and the fact that it's not overloaded with sugar, as some barbecue sauces tend to be.

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