Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe (Carolina BBQ Sauce)


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Smoky, tangy, and sweet, your taste buds will be begging you for more of this Mustard BBQ Sauce! It’s the perfect addition to your summer cookouts this year, adding the best flavor to grilled meats!

I love a good homemade BBQ sauce. Try these other recipes next: white BBQ sauce, classic BBQ sauce, or mumbo sauce! The perfect way to elevate grilled and smoked meats!

A glass jar filled with mustard bbq sauce. There is a wooden spoon in the jar as well.

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

I think this might be my favorite BBQ sauce recipe yet. It’s SO good! If you’ve never had Carolina BBQ sauce before, it’s a tasty mix of all the best ingredients: hot sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and then brown sugar and honey for sweetness. And we can’t forget the star of the show- mustard! The tang is what makes this sauce so good.

If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to put it on everything. We love it on pulled pork sandwiches but really, it’s golden on any kind of meat, smoked or grilled. The tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor is just out of this world!

Ingredient List

This is everything I used to create a complex and delicious flavor. As usual with homemade sauces, feel free to add more of what you like, and less of what you don’t! Taste-testing is key!

  • Yellow Mustard: This is the star of the recipe! It brings the bold, tangy flavor that defines Carolina Mustard BBQ sauce.
  • Honey and Brown Sugar: Honey and brown sugar add a touch of sweetness to balance the tang from the mustard and vinegar.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a sharp, acidic bite that cuts through the richness of the other ingredients. Apple cider vinegar is the most common vinegar used in Mustard BBQ sauce, but white distilled, champagne vinegar, white wine, or rice vinegar would all work.
  • Ketchup: So the sauce has a little extra sweetness and tomato flavor. The ketchup also helps to thicken things up a bit.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a tasty boost of flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: For a punch of savory flavor.
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper: A pinch of cayenne pepper brings a touch of heat, but you can adjust this to your preference.
  • Salt and Pepper: Basic seasonings to add flavor to your mustard BBQ sauce.
  • Hot Sauce (optional): Want a little more kick? Hot sauce adds an extra layer of heat. Use your favorite kind!
All of the ingredients for the sauce separated into individual glass bowl. Listed are: mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, hot sauce, brown sauce, honey, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar.

How to Make Carolina Barbecue Sauce

There’s no reason not to make it. It only takes a few minutes and a handful of pantry staples! Plus, you can customize the flavor to your liking. Mustard BBQ sauce is an all-around winner!

  1. Combine: Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan.
  2. Simmer: Bring to a boil over medium heat. Bring the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the color deepens and the sauce slightly thickens.
  3. Store: Cool completely and then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Use as you would any other BBQ sauce.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few extra ways to make your Carolina mustard BBQ sauce taste just the way you like it! I know that once you try it you’ll be as obsessed as I am. It’s so delicious and has the perfect texture.

  • Thicken: If you want your Mustard BBQ Sauce thicker, you can simmer it for longer, or you can add a small amount of cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Simmer while whisking until thickened.
  • Make it Sweeter: Adjust the sweetness according to your liking! Some people prefer a sweeter BBQ sauce, so add a little more brown sugar or honey until it’s where you would like it.
  • Other Types of Mustard: While yellow mustard is the standard for Carolina BBQ sauce, you may substitute any portion of the mustard for Dijon or whole grain mustard if that is what you prefer.
  • Swap the Sugar: You may use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar, but I recommend adding a teaspoon of molasses as well.
  • Make it Spicy: For spicier BBQ sauce, add more cayenne and hot sauce until the spice level is to your liking.

Top-down, closeup shot of mustard bbq sauce.

How Long Does Mustard BBQ Sauce Last?

Store your BBQ sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container or jar. Sometimes the ingredients may settle, so give it a quick stir before using.

You can also freeze this sauce in an airtight container for up to 6 months! Thaw completely before using.

A pulled pork sandwich made with the mustard bbq sauce.

More Tasty BBQ Recipes

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  • Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan.

  • Bring to a boil over medium heat. Bring the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the color deepens and the sauce slightly thickens.

  • Cool completely and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Use as you would any other BBQ sauce.

Calories: 849kcalCarbohydrates: 192gProtein: 12gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 5642mgPotassium: 865mgFiber: 11gSugar: 176gVitamin A: 350IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 261mgIron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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