Different from any other bbq sauce, this white bbq sauce (aka Alabama white sauce) uses mayo as a base, along with vinegar, sugars and spices. A southern favorite!
When it comes to bbq sauce, most of us think of tomato or ketchup based sauces. They can be sweet, vinegary, spicy, or a combination of all three, but would you believe there's a white bbq sauce based not on ketchup or tomatoes, but mayonnaise?
It's true. There is a rather famous white bbq sauce popular in the southern United States, and it's called Alabama White BBQ Sauce.
If it sounds strange to you, a bbq sauce with a mayonnaise base, you're not alone. However, once you give it a taste, it's sure to find it's way into your recipe collection.
My version ups the zest factor to satisfy that spiciness we all crave. Let's discuss.
What is White BBQ Sauce?
White BBQ Sauce, aka Alabama White Sauce, is a barbecue sauce made primarily of mayonnaise, vinegar, and spices.
It was invented in Northern Alabama and is a staple there for serving up bbq chicken and other wonderful foods fresh off the grill or out of the smoker.
Where Did Alabama White Sauce Come From?
Alabama White Sauce was created by Robert Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. At Big Bob's BBQ joint, they dunk smoked chicken into vats of the sauce before serving.
The sauce clings to the meat, offering up a tanginess and rich flavor you won't get with any other bbq sauce.
You can, of course, purchase Alabama style white sauce at your local grocer, but it's so much better when you make it at home.
My version ups the zesty elements with horseradish, spicy brown mustard and other spices, making it the best white bbq sauce I've ever had.
I hope you enjoy it.
Let's talk about how to make Alabama white sauce, shall we?
Alabama White BBQ Sauce Ingredients
To make your own white barbecue sauce, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Mayonnaise. Use your favorite brand. I love Duke's mayo.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Offers the best tang factor over other vinegars.
- Spicy Brown Mustard. My personal addition for extra flavor and tang.
- Brown Sugar. I prefer it here over honey.
- Prepared Horseradish. My own addition for zing - I use hot horseradish.
- Lemon Juice.
- Worcestershire Sauce.
- Hot Sauce. To taste, optional.
- Spices. Use Garlic powder, onion powder cayenne (optional, for heat), and salt and black pepper.
How to Make Alabama White BBQ Sauce - the Recipe Steps
Add to a Large Bowl. First, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl - mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, brown mustard, brown sugar, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.
Get Whisking. Next, whisk everything together, like so.
Make sure the resulting bbq sauce is nice and uniform. It will look like this when you're done.
BOOM! All set. You are now the happy creator of your own Alabama white sauce. Nicely done.
Recipe Tips & Notes
ZING FACTOR: I like a bit more zing and spiciness with my white bbq sauce, so I use hot horseradish, as well as a spicy brown mustard and a bit of hot sauce.
If you'd like to add even more of that zing factor, you can easily incorporate more horseradish or a hotter hot sauce.
MILDER: You can dial back on the heat by using milder horseradish, and using only half the amount. Also, either skip or use a milder hot sauce.
TANGIER: For a tangier version, add some extra apple cider vinegar. It's a nice addition.
LIGHTER: For a lighter version of the sauce, replace half of the mayo with crema or sour cream. This does not affect the flavor.
SEASONING: I've used some simple seasonings in mine. However, you can also include a ½ teaspoon or so of your favorite dry rub or seasoning blend to give this an extra pop of flavor.
Something like a Cajun blend or even something like Old Bay Seasoning.
Serving Suggestions for White BBQ Sauce
Alabama white sauce may be famous for serving with smoked or grilled chicken, but it's a hugely flavorful addition to any grilled foods and barbecue fair.
You'll love it on pulled pork or pork chops. You can also use it as a dipping sauce with meats and vegetables or use it to brush onto your foods as you're cooking them, veggies included.
Try it out as a salad dressing and you'll be amazed. You definitely have to try it out on these Brined Grilled Chicken Wings.
Try Some of My Other Popular BBQ Sauce Recipes
- Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce
- Chipotle-Bacon-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
- Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
- Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce
- Ancho BBQ Sauce
- Easy BBQ Sauce
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS.
Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
White BBQ Sauce (aka Alabama White Sauce) Recipe
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard I use a spicy brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish I use a hot horseradish
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste I use ½ teaspoon each
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth.
- Use the white bbq sauce right away, or transfer to a sealable jar and refrigerate a few hours to let the flavors develop and meld.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 7/8/22 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 7/29/19.