South Carolina Mustard Sauce Recipe | Grilling

A jar of South Carolina-Style mustard sauce for barbecue.

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

South Carolina is a microcosm of sorts representing the diversity of barbecue sauces across the land.

The coast likes a thin vinegar sauce, a tomato-based sauce is mopped on in the north, and a thick ketchup mixture adorns smoked meat in the west, but a large majority smack dab in the center of state enjoy a sauce that's uniquely their own: the mustard sauce.

Only a recent convert to loving all-things-mustard, I had a hard time fathoming why anyone would choose to dress their cue in something so mustardy, but lately I've been siding with this concoction, which is born from a collision of German ancestry and American barbecue.

This simple sauce starts with a mustard base, mixes some sweetness in with sugar, the vinegar gives it a barbecue tang, and just enough spices create a uniqueness between one sauce and another.

Unlike my unbridled enthusiasm for North Carolina Vinegar Sauce (which I've been perfecting thanks to all of your comments), I've approached the mustard sauce more cautiously.

Though it makes a nice alternative on a pulled pork and slaw sandwich, I'm not quite feeling it on ribs or with any beef yet. Being new to the South Carolina way, I'm wondering how you use this mustard sauce?

Adapted from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chris Lilly

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Chill: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 5 mins

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  • 3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce


  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Make at least 24 hours prior to usage for best flavor. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered jar for up to two weeks.