The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Wed Feb 16, 2011

Dressing Barbecue, South Carolina Style

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South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce can define the landscape of this great nation. Large swaths of the country hold close their sauce traditions, even if they vary county-by-county and block-by-block. Through my sauce tastings, I'm finding these be both incredibly nuanced and profound—although barbecue sauce tastes like barbecue sauce, it's amazing just how much a little extra vinegar here or a little less sugar there can do to a sauce. Despite all the similarities, there's no sauce that stands apart, pumping its chest with uniqueness, than what the people of central South Carolina call their own—mustard sauce.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

A collision of Germany ancestry and American barbecue, South Carolina mustard starts with an ingredient list similar to any other barbecue sauce. This includes the staples ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and, of course, mustard.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

The main difference here is the tipping of the scale between mustard and ketchup. Where I'd normally go for about 1 tablespoon of mustard for a cup of ketchup, instead only a couple tablespoons of ketchup are added to nearly a cup of mustard.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

What you get is incredibly different, and incredibly delicious. The bite and tang of mustard are still the dominate traits of this sauce, but the added accompaniments let you know that you're enjoying a barbecue sauce in no uncertain terms. Despite that I have an ingrained preference for tomato-based sauces, I let mustard sauce in my life as a way to switch up my pulled pork or chicken. I'm still experimenting with ways to use this sauce, any of you Meatwavers have any good suggestions for me to try out?

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

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


3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup 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 one month.


  • 01
  • Mike says
    Some of the finest eating around is a barbecued bologna sandwich with a mustard slaw. I was turned on to this (and given the recipe by) the owner of Angel's BBQ in Savannah.

    Mustard sauce on pulled or chopped pork is to die for. Ask me nicely and I'll give you my bologna recipe :)
    Posted Wed, Feb 16 2011 4:54pm
  • 02
  • Josh says
    @Mike Haven't done barbecue bologna recipe yet, if you're willing to share, that would be awesome!
    Posted Thu, Feb 17 2011 8:09pm
  • 03
  • Mike says
    Start with a large chunk of whole bologna. I usually make sure it's at least 8 inches long. Remove the casing and poke it full of thin holes. Place it on a smoker using hickory and let smoke at 200-225 for just a couple of hours. Bologna is pretty absorbent and doesn't need a long time or a heavy smoke to get a nice hickory flavor.

    After the bologna gets all nice and smokey flavored ( a couple of extra inches allows for periodic tasting) remove from heat and slice about 1/2 inch thick.

    Pan fry the slices to put a little crispiness on the outside. Remove from the pan, dip in your favorite red barbecue sauce and place on top of a big, soft, white bun.

    Top with a crunchy, mustard based slaw.

    Marvel at how this escaped your repertoire ...
    Posted Fri, Feb 18 2011 3:39am
  • 04
  • Josh says
    Sounds delicious. Definitely giving this a try at the Meatwave this summer!
    Posted Fri, Feb 18 2011 9:25am
  • 05
  • Chris says
    I like to use mustard sauce on pulled pork mostly. My usual sauce for pork is Piedmont style but like you, I like switching things up with mustard sauce every now and then. When making pulled pork for a crowd, I usually offer a vinegar based sauce, a sweet sauce (Blueshog usually, don't make my own sweet), and mustard based. It is interesting to watch people try the mustard, I always have a couple of converts.
    Posted Mon, Feb 21 2011 10:52am
  • 06
  • Matt says
    The recipe states 1/4 apple cider vinegar...can I assume it's a 1/4 C? Thanks, I can't wait to make it.
    Posted Thu, Feb 24 2011 8:34pm
  • 07
  • Josh says
    @Matt Thanks for pointing that out. You're right, it's supposed to be 1/4 cup cider vinegar. I've corrected it in the recipe.
    Posted Thu, Feb 24 2011 8:42pm
  • 08
  • Heinz Steves says
    I like your recipe for BBQ sauce SC Style. I'd like to know how to know how to make your mustard slaw for Bolonga sandwiched?
    Posted Fri, Aug 10 2012 9:46am
  • 09
  • Sanni says
    Thanks a lot for this great recipe....came here via serious eats and enjoy your blog tremendously. Most of the products you review are not available to me since I live in Germany but I enjoy reading the reviews anyway.I'm still searching for my favorite bbq sauce recipe and this one is a big runner up!
    Posted Tue, Jul 30 2013 10:16am
  • 10
  • Tim says
    Any one have a mustard sauce for ribs that is not sweet? My best friend brought a recipe from the Florida area 40 years ago,he has passed and I miss him and the sauce to!
    Posted Thu, Jun 22 2017 12:59pm

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