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29 July 2019

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 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.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce on a basting brush

What is White BBQ Sauce?

White BBQ Sauce, aka Alabama White Sauce, is a barbecue sauce made primarily of mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar and horseradish with a smattering of other flavor building ingredients. 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 horseradish and other zesty elements, making it the best white bbq sauce I’ve ever had.

I hope you enjoy it. Let’s talk about how we make it, shall we?

Alabama White BBQ Sauce in a bowl

White BBQ Sauce Ingredients

To make your own white barbecue sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 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 (or more to your tastes)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (I use ½ teaspoon each)

How to Make White BBQ Sauce – the Recipe Steps

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.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl

Next, whisk everything together, like so.

Whisking our Alabama White BBQ Sauce in a mixing bowl

Make sure the resulting bbq sauce is nice and uniform. It will look like this when you’re done.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce whisked in a mixing bowl

BOOM! All set. You are now the happy creator of your own Alabama white sauce. Nicely done.

Recipe Tips

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. Season away!

Alabama White BBQ Sauce, ready to serve

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. 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

Alabama White BBQ Sauce served on chicken wings

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.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

White BBQ Sauce (aka Alabama White Sauce) Recipe

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!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, bbq sauce, recipe, spicy
Servings: 6
Calories: 268kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Spice Factor: Mild, though you can spice it up if you’d like with hotter powders and/or chili flakes. This isn’t meant to be hot.
Makes about 1.5 cups/24 tablespoons.
Will last a week in the refrigerator or longer.

Nutrition

Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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