When I went to college in North Carolina, I noticed that most of the local BBQ enthusiasts strongly preferred their red, vinegar-based sauce over the sweeter, mustard-based version that is more frequently made in South Carolina. I suspect there is some local bias there, as both sauces are truly incredible. This recipe is for a South Carolina-style BBQ sauce.

South Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

When I went to college in North Carolina, I noticed that most of the local BBQ enthusiasts strongly preferred their red, vinegar-based sauce over the sweeter, mustard-based version that is more frequently made in South Carolina. I suspect there is some local bias there, as both sauces are truly incredible. This recipe is for a South Carolina-style BBQ sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup classic yellow mustard
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder

Instructions 

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients in a pot on the stove.
  • Bring ingredients to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, and then turn off heat and allow the sauce to cool down.
  • Serve warm, over anything from pulled pork to roasted vegetables.
  • Cool leftover sauce in the fridge until ready for later use.

Notes

You may be tempted to substitute another type of fancier mustard for the yellow mustard listed in the ingredients above. I would avoid using anything fancy here like Dijon or whole-grain mustard and stick with the classic American yellow mustard. Folding in a bit of whole-grain mustard after the sauce has cooled might be a nice idea, although you would probably not see this in a more traditional SC-style BBQ sauce.
This sauce will keep great in the fridge for up to a week after you make it.