Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe (Your BBQ’s Best Friend)

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe is a great twist on traditional flavors. When in doubt about which sauce to choose, this one stands out. Its tangy taste is excellent for elevating grilled meats. Whereas many sauces can overpower, this one complements. My best advice? Give it a try on your next BBQ. You want to take advantage of this flavorful option. If you’re unsure about its impact, just remember: having a sauce that adds to the dish is better than taking it away. I’d recommend it for anyone seeking a fresh take on classic BBQ.

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Traveling throughout the Middle East and Europe, I often marveled at the diverse culinary traditions that greeted my palate. 

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

Yet, during a casual restaurant visit in a quaint European town, the mention of “Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe” intrigued me. 

My thoughts recalled my previous encounters with BBQ sauces, each promising an unparalleled flavor but often leaving me craving something more. The problem was clear: most BBQ sauces felt predictable. 

While in the restaurant, my friend urged me to try this mustard-based variant. Initially skeptical, I was soon amazed. The tangy, spicy burst transformed the ordinary grilled meat into a gastronomic delight. 

My kids, usually picky, sent in requests for seconds, signaling their seal of approval. So, if you want to elevate your BBQ game, my best advice is to venture into the world of mustard-based BBQ sauce. It’s a journey your taste buds will thank you for.

What Is Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe? 

Mustard-based BBQ sauce is a unique variant of barbecue sauce that predominantly uses mustard as its main ingredient. 

Whereas traditional BBQ sauces might lean heavily on tomato or vinegar bases, this sauce offers a tangy, spicy kick characteristic of mustard. 

Originating from the South Carolina region of the United States, it boasts a rich golden hue and a less sweet profile than its counterparts. 

It’s great for those who desire a zestier, aromatic touch to their grilled meats. When deciding which sauce to go for, I’d recommend trying this flavorful concoction.

History Of Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

Mustard-based BBQ sauce traces its roots to South Carolina, particularly to the German immigrants who settled in the region during the 18th century. 

These settlers brought with them a fondness for mustard, and it wasn’t long before they introduced this tangy ingredient into their barbecue sauces

This distinctive sauce, different from the more common tomato-based varieties, soon became a hallmark of South Carolina BBQ. 

While pinpointing a single inventor is challenging, it is better to credit the collective culinary ingenuity of the German community in South Carolina for the birth of this zesty, golden-hued sauce that remains beloved to this day.

Interesting Facts About Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe, often associated with South Carolina’s barbecue tradition, holds a special place in the hearts of BBQ enthusiasts. Here are some interesting facts about this tangy condiment:

Carolina Gold

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe is sometimes referred to as “Carolina Gold,” a nod to its deep roots in South Carolina and its distinctive golden hue.

German Influence

The sauce’s origins are tied to the German immigrants who settled in South Carolina in the 18th century. They brought with them a love for mustard, which was incorporated into local BBQ traditions.

Regional Specialty

While BBQ sauces in the United States often vary by region, the Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe is a hallmark of South Carolina, particularly the central part of the state.

Vinegar Twist

Alongside mustard, vinegar is a key ingredient, lending the sauce its characteristic tangy flavor and making it a lighter alternative to the ketchup-based varieties.

Healthier Option

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe is generally lower in sugar and calories compared to its tomato-based counterparts, making it a healthier option for sauce enthusiasts.


Though traditionally paired with pork, this sauce’s tangy profile makes it a versatile choice for chicken, beef, and even as a salad dressing or marinade.

Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

While rooted in South Carolina, mustard-based BBQ sauce has experienced regional adaptations as it spread. 

In South Carolina’s Midlands, the sauce often has a pure, tangy kick, focusing heavily on mustard. 

However, as you move towards the coastal regions, you might find it blended with a bit of a vinegar base, adding a sharp, tangy dimension. 

In the western parts of the state, touches of tomato or brown sugar sometimes make their way into the mix, offering a slightly sweeter profile. 

Outside of South Carolina, adaptations might include local spices or fruits in regions like Georgia or Florida, infusing a unique regional flair to the classic mustard base. When doubting regional flavors, it’s always a good idea to sample them all!

What Will Make You Love This Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe?

This mustard-based BBQ sauce might be your new obsession if you’re seeking a tangy twist to your barbecue experience. 

Unlike traditional tomato-based varieties, this golden elixir offers a harmonious blend of zesty mustard with a subtle sweetness, creating a compelling balance that dances on your palate. 

Its vibrant hue adds visual appeal and promises an explosion of flavor that elevates any dish. 

The complexity of this sauce, with hints of vinegar and spices, pairs beautifully with a range of meats, adding depth and character to each bite. 

It’s not just a condiment; it’s a flavor journey. So, this mustard-based BBQ sauce is a revelation for those ready to deviate from the norm and plunge into a sea of rich, tangy goodness.

Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List 

Prepared yellow mustard1 cup
Honey1/4 cup
Light brown sugar1/4 cup
White vinegar1/4 cup
Ground black pepperTo taste

Ingredient Tips

  • Yellow Mustard: Opt for high-quality brands. They offer a richer flavor and smoother consistency.
  • Honey: Raw, organic honey can elevate the sauce’s taste, adding a natural sweetness.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Ensure it’s fresh and free from clumps for even distribution. If in doubt, sift before using.
  • White Vinegar: For a milder tang, consider apple cider vinegar an alternative.
  • Ground Black Pepper: Freshly ground pepper provides a superior kick and aroma. Use a grinder if available.
  • Consistency Check: If your sauce seems too thick, you can slightly increase the vinegar amount for desired fluidity.
  • Taste Test: Always taste the sauce before serving. Adjustments, like more honey for sweetness, can be made accordingly.

What Are The Variations Of Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

  • Spicy Kick: Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce to introduce a fiery touch.
  • Herb Infused: Incorporate rosemary, thyme, or sage for an earthy undertone.
  • Garlicky Twist: Introduce minced garlic or garlic powder for a richer depth.
  • Tangy Version: Increase the white vinegar or introduce lemon juice for added tang.
  • Sweet and Smoky: Add a touch of molasses or smoked paprika to impart a smoky sweetness.
  • Creamy Blend: Incorporate a dash of mayonnaise or yogurt to create a creamier texture and milder taste.
  • Tropical Flair: Mango or pineapple puree can lend a fruity sweetness.

Recipe Directions 

  • Preparation: Assemble all your ingredients, ensuring they’re measured and ready.
  • Combination: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the mustard, honey, light brown sugar, and white vinegar.
  • Seasoning: Season the mixture with ground black pepper according to your preference.
  • Heating: Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Be attentive to avoid any scorching.
  • Simmer: Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Resting: Remove from heat and let it cool for a brief moment. This rest period ensures optimal flavor development.
  • Serving: Pour the freshly made sauce over your cooked pork or beef.
  • If you’re looking for a more infused flavor, after pouring the sauce, let the meat simmer in it for an additional 30 minutes on low heat. This allows the meat to absorb the rich, tangy notes of the sauce.

Dive into the zesty world of Mustard-Based BBQ Sauce, where German roots meet Southern soul in a flavorful fusion.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Determining Quantity: First, decide on the desired servings or sauce volume needed.
  • Proportionality: Keep ingredient ratios consistent. If doubling the recipe, simply double each ingredient. If halving, use half of each.
  • Mixing: Ensure you mix thoroughly so that the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Cooking Time: While scaling up, you might need slightly longer simmering time for flavors to meld. When scaling down, reduce the time a bit.
  • Taste Test: Regardless of scale, always taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed.
  • Storage: If you’re scaling up significantly, have adequate storage containers ready.
Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

  • As a Marinade, Its tangy profile makes it great for marinating meats, poultry, and even tofu. The mustard penetrates the protein, tenderizing and infusing it with flavor. Let your choice of protein marinate for a few hours or overnight for best results.
  • Dipping Sauce: Its rich, zesty nature is a perfect dipping sauce for grilled items, fries, or finger foods. When in doubt about a side sauce, this can be your go-to.
  • Salad Dressing: Diluted with olive oil or mixed with mayonnaise, it can dress salads, adding a unique twist to greens or pasta salads. Its tangy kick rejuvenates any ordinary salad mix.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe?

Grilled Meats

From pork chops to beef steaks, the sauce’s tanginess complements the charred flavors perfectly.


Grilled chicken or turkey benefits from its zesty kick.


Believe it or not, grilled shrimps or fish, when lightly brushed with this sauce, taste divine.


Grilled or roasted vegetables, like bell peppers, zucchini, or asparagus, become more flavorful.

Sandwiches & Burgers

Use it as a spread to elevate the overall taste.

Sausages & Hot Dogs

A dollop on top can transform the usual fare.

Fries & Wedges

Instead of ketchup, dip them in this sauce for a tangy twist.

Rice Dishes

Spicy rice dishes offer a cooling contrast.

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe? 

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Often served with a generous slathering of this sauce, elevating the tender pork’s taste.
  • Carolina Hot Dogs: A popular choice for hot dogs topped with sauce and coleslaw.
  • Grilled Chicken Wings: Instead of the usual buffalo sauce, wings are tossed in mustard-based BBQ for a tangy twist.
  • BBQ Ribs: Especially in South Carolina, ribs are basted with this golden sauce before grilling.
  • Smoked Sausages: Served with a side of this sauce for dipping.
  • Pork Chops: Grilled or pan-seared, then finished with a mustard BBQ glaze.
  • Carolina Slaw: A salad variant where the dressing features this mustard-based delight.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Tangy: Its primary characteristic, thanks to the mustard and vinegar components.
  • Spicy: The heat from mustard seeds provides a gentle kick.
  • Sweet: Honey and brown sugar counterbalance the sauce’s acidity.
  • Earthy: Mustard, in its essence, offers a grounded, earthy depth.
  • Mildly Bitter: Some mustard varieties can introduce a subtle bitterness, complementing the sauce’s overall profile.
  • Savory: The amalgamation of ingredients creates a rich umami sensation.
  • Zesty: The freshness of ingredients, especially when paired with other spices or herbs, can lend a zesty note.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

  • Storing: It’s a good idea to transfer the sauce into an airtight container or glass jar and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Shelf Life: When stored properly in the refrigerator, the sauce lasts up to a month. The vinegar and mustard act as natural preservatives, enhancing its longevity.
  • For Longer Preservation: If you’re considering long-term storage, sterilize glass jars and seal the sauce inside. This method can extend its shelf life to several months.

What Are The Substitutes For Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe?

  • Tomato-Based BBQ Sauce: The most common type, sweeter and tangy, often flavored with molasses or brown sugar.
  • Vinegar-Based Sauce: Popular in certain Southern regions, it offers a tangy, spicy kick that is great for pulled pork.
  • White BBQ Sauce: An Alabama specialty made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and spices. It’s creamy with a tangy undertone.
  • Teriyaki Sauce: A sweet and salty option influenced by soy sauce and often includes ginger and brown sugar.
  • Hot Sauce: If you’re just looking for a kick, a dash of your favorite hot sauce might do.
  • Hoisin-Based Sauce: A sweet and tangy option with a slight Asian twist.
  • Homemade Blend: Combine honey, vinegar, and a pinch of turmeric for color and tanginess.
Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Too Thick: Add small amounts of white vinegar or water, stirring continuously until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Too Thin: Allow the sauce to simmer on low heat, letting it reduce. This will help thicken it. Alternatively, a mixture of cornstarch and cold water (a slurry) can be added to the sauce while stirring until it thickens.
  • Maintaining Flavor: Remember, you might alter the flavor when adjusting consistency. After modifications, do a taste test. Consider adding more mustard, honey, or spices if the sauce becomes too diluted.
  • Stir Regularly: Continuous stirring ensures consistency and prevents the sauce from sticking or burning.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

  • Warm: If you’re using the sauce for grilled meats, pulled pork, or ribs, serving it warm helps the flavors meld better and gives a comforting feel. It’s especially recommended to incorporate the sauce into the cooking process.
  • Cold: As a dipping sauce for appetizers, snacks, or sandwiches or as a salad dressing, a cold or room-temperature sauce can be refreshing and tangy.
  • Versatility: The sauce’s adaptability means it pairs well with dishes regardless of temperature.
Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values 

This Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe is low in fat and provides a modest amount of natural sugars, primarily from honey and brown sugar. Its primary calorie source is honey and sugar, while mustard contains trace minerals.

What Are The Total Calories In Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe?

The total calories in a mustard-based BBQ sauce largely depend on the specific ingredients and quantities used. Mustard is typically low in calories, but additional ingredients like sugar, honey, or oil can increase the caloric content. On average, a store-bought mustard-based BBQ sauce may contain around 50-70 calories per tablespoon. 

Mustard-Based BBQ Sauce, a golden treasure of South Carolina, turning every meal into a tangy, smoky celebration.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: Most ingredients are naturally gluten-free, but always check labels, especially for prepared mustard.
  • Vegan: The sauce is typically vegan, but ensure the honey is replaced with a vegan sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Low-Carb: Brown sugar and honey contribute carbs. Consider sugar alternatives for a lower-carb version.
  • Nut-Free: The sauce is naturally nut-free, but always verify product labels for cross-contamination risks.
  • Dairy-Free: This sauce doesn’t contain dairy.
  • Soy-Free: It’s naturally free from soy, but some prepared mustard may contain additives. Check labels.
  • Halal & Kosher: Generally compliant, but always consult specific ingredient sources.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Overcooking: Simmering the sauce for too long can alter its flavors, making it overly reduced or even burnt.
  • Inconsistent Measurements: Not measuring ingredients accurately can make a sauce too sweet, tangy, or unbalanced.
  • Skipping Taste Tests: Not tasting and adjusting the sauce as you go can result in a flavorless final product.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: Inferior mustard or processed honey can negatively impact the sauce’s flavor and texture.
  • Not Stirring Regularly: Failing to stir can cause the sauce to stick to the pan or develop an inconsistent texture.
  • Adding All Ingredients At Once: Not following a sequence or adding ingredients gradually can affect how flavors meld together.
  • Storing Improperly: Not using airtight containers or storing in a warm environment can reduce the sauce’s shelf life or introduce contaminants.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Pizza Base: Swap tomato sauce for this tangy alternative on homemade pizzas.
  • Pasta Toss: Mix it into freshly cooked pasta with grilled vegetables.
  • Stir-Fry: Add to stir-fried meats or veggies for a BBQ twist.
  • Bread Spread: Use as a flavorful spread for sandwiches or wraps.
  • Soup Enhancer: A spoonful can add zest to soups or stews.
  • Meatloaf Glaze: Brush atop meatloaf before baking for a tangy crust.
  • Baked Beans: Stir into your baked beans recipe for added flavor.
  • Dressing Base: Mix olive oil and herbs for a zesty salad dressing.
  • Grilled Cheese Dip: Perfect as a dipping companion for a gooey grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Eggs: Drizzle over scrambled eggs or omelets for a morning kick.
Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan: Medium-sized, preferably non-stick or stainless steel, for even heating.
  • Whisk: To ensure all ingredients are smoothly combined and prevent lumps.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: For accurate ingredient measurements.
  • Thermometer: To monitor the sauce temperature, ensuring it doesn’t overheat.
  • Silicone Spatula: Useful for scraping down the sides of the saucepan and ensuring even mixing.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: If you desire a smoother sauce, this helps remove any particles.
  • Glass Jars or Airtight Containers: For storing the sauce and maintaining its freshness.
  • Funnel: Assists in transferring sauce to jars without spills.
  • Labels & Markers: To date and label your sauce, especially if making multiple batches.
  • Heatproof Bowl: In case you need to transfer the sauce temporarily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe Have A Different Heat Profile Than Traditional Tomato-Based Sauces?

A: Yes, it offers a milder spiciness inherent to mustard, unlike the bold heat you might find in some tomato-based sauces.

I’m Allergic To Honey. Can I Use Another Sweetener In The Recipe?

Absolutely! You can substitute honey with maple syrup, agave nectar, or even molasses, adjusting the quantity based on your desired sweetness.

Is This Sauce Suitable For Individuals On A Keto Or Low-Carb Diet?

While the sauce contains sugars from honey and brown sugar, you can adjust the recipe with sugar alternatives to make it more keto-friendly.

Can I Use Dijon or whole-grain mustard Instead Of Yellow Mustard?

Yes, but it will change the flavor profile. Dijon offers a more spicy taste, and whole-grain mustard provides added texture.

Is There A Way To Make The Sauce Less Tangy?

Certainly! You can reduce the amount of vinegar or increase the sweet ingredients like honey or brown sugar to balance out the tanginess.

Mustard Based BBQ Sauce Recipe (Your BBQ’s Best Friend)

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


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Mustard-based BBQ Sauce is a tangy, mildly sweet alternative to traditional BBQ sauces. Originating from South Carolina, this golden-hued sauce combines mustard, honey, brown sugar, and vinegar to offer a unique flavor profile. It’s a versatile addition to many dishes, perfect for grilling or dipping.


  • 1 cup 1 Prepared yellow mustard

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Honey

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 White vinegar

  • Ground black pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions 

  • Gather Ingredients: Before you begin, ensure all the ingredients are ready and within reach.
  • Mix Wet Ingredients: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
  • Add Sugar And Spices: Stir in the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika (if using).
  • Simmer: Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a slight simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Stir Regularly: Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent any sticking or burning. This should take about 20-25 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly.
  • Taste And Adjust: After simmering, taste the sauce. Adjust the seasoning or sweetness as desired. If you want more heat, add a bit more hot sauce.
  • Cool And Store: Remove the sauce from heat and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the sauce to an airtight container or glass jar.
  • Refrigerate: Store the mustard-based BBQ sauce in the refrigerator. It’s best if allowed to sit for a few hours or overnight before using, as this lets the flavors meld.
  • Serve: Use the sauce as a marinade, glaze, or dipping sauce. It pairs particularly well with chicken, pork, or grilled vegetables.


  • The sauce’s flavor intensifies the longer it sits, making it even better the next day.
  • Consider adding a pinch of cayenne or chili flakes for a spicier kick.
  • If you’re watching sugar intake, adjust honey and brown sugar quantities, or consider sugar-free alternatives.
  • The sauce’s color may vary based on the mustard brand or type.

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Lana Rivera

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