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Mustard-Based South Carolina BBQ Sauce

Sweet and tangy mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce is my favorite sauce for pulled pork! Try it – you won’t look back!

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so good, sweet and tangy!

When I think of barbecue, there’s only one thing that pops into my head.

It’s not a glossy red sauce brushed on a piece of grilled chicken or baby back ribs coated with a tangy vinegar sauce. Nope.  

It’s a big heap of pulled pork, either piled on a bun or straight on the plate, not just drizzled with but completely mixed and smothered with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce. Drizzled with more mustard BBQ sauce on top. And maybe dipped in some on the side for good measure.

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

While pretty much every BBQ joint in the state serves mustard-based sauce, to me, there’s one sauce that is the quintessential South Carolina BBQ sauce for me, and that comes from a place called Bessinger’s. We grew up going to their buffet on special Sundays, full of Southern classics like macaroni and cheese, fried okra, and the reason everyone went there to begin with — the pulled pork.

Y’all. It’s so good my husband and I even got a big tray of Bessinger’s pulled pork, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and of course several bottles of sauce, to serve at our casual backyard wedding rehearsal dinner. And I sometimes wish we had served it at our actual wedding!

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

When I went to college in Arizona, I got my mom to send me a bottle of Carolina Gold BBQ sauce (as it is sometimes called) in a care package, and celebrated by commandeering the dorm oven for about five hours while I slow roasted a pork shoulder to shred. It was miraculous — and also gave me an opportunity to introduce my friends to not only my beloved South Carolina BBQ sauce, but also sweet tea.

Nowadays, I make my pulled pork in the slow cooker but mustard-based BBQ sauce is the only kind of sauce I’ll buy. 

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

I’m lucky enough to have Bessinger’s (yup, the same one from my childhood) about 10 minutes down the road from me, and they sell Bessinger’s BBQ sauce in all our regional grocery stores, but I know you probably don’t have that same luxury.

But I did it.

I made my own copycat Bessinger’s mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce.

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

I took a bottle of real Bessinger’s sauce, consulted the ingredient list, and played with the ratios until I had something that tasted the same. Then, I mixed it in with a pork shoulder I had slow-cooked and shredded. It was delicious, and I completely forgot I wasn’t eating the real thing. 

Maybe you’re Carolina born and raised and are living in another state or country and miss the taste of your hometown BBQ. Maybe you’re a barbecue aficionado. Or maybe you’ve never been here and are simply curious to try a new kind of sauce that’s not readily available where you are.

The only way I eat my pulled pork is with mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce! This is so sweet, tangy, and delicious!

Go on, give this a shot. You probably have all the ingredients you need already!

I suggest pouring this ALL OVER some of this slow cooker root beer pulled pork and serving with a side of refrigerator pickled okra!

Mustard-Based South Carolina BBQ Sauce

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 20 oz (2.5 cups)
Author: Caroline Lindsey
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp Frank's Red Hot
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Use immediately or refrigerate several hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend better. 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Carly
    July 28, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    We served this sauce with your root beer pork, and it was soooooo good! Just like the mustard sauce I remember from Charleston! Maybe even better!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Yay!! I’m so glad you liked it! It’s nice to be able to have your favorite regional foods even when you’re not there, isn’t it?

  • Reply
    Ben Myhre
    July 30, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I have made quite a few bbq sauces, but never a carolina. And it HAS been on my list! Thanks for sharing and this is going on my to make list!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 30, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Excellent!! I think you’ll really enjoy it! Definitely have it on some pulled pork or pulled chicken, and let me know how you like it! Always happy to spread the love of some of our local cuisine!

  • Reply
    David
    July 30, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I can’t wait to try this, Caroline! I have never heard of it before. And so easy! Time for some more pulled pork here with your sauce!

    PS – glad I am still on the email list! And glad to have you back! xo

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks for inspiring me to get back on the email train, David! I’m surprised how many people outside of SC haven’t heard of yellow BBQ sauce! I knew they probably hadn’t had it but I thought more people would at least know about it! On the other hand, it is a hyper-regional thing! It really is so easy to throw together, and the pulled pork is easy to make too! (recipe here: http://www.pinchmeimeating.com/slow-cooker-root-beer-pulled-pork/) Just takes a little time to shred. Please let me know how you like it! I’m happy to share the love of our local cuisine!

  • Reply
    Thao @ In Good Flavor
    July 30, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I have never heard of mustard-based bbq sauce before. The fact that I’ve lived in New England most of my life might have something to do with it. This sauce is something I need to try out. It looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 30, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Mustard-based BBQ sauce is very regional! I thought it was all of SC but according to some BBQ region maps I’ve seen it’s really only in a section of the state (both SC cities I’ve lived in are in the yellow-sauce region), and maybe a little bit of Georgia – so I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of it before! But it is ubiquitous here, and I promise you’ll love it if you try it with some pulled pork! Let me know how you like it!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    August 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

    We loved this! I’m from a southern family ranging from the Carolinas to Tennessee to FL. This is much better than many of the restaurants around here! We’ve served it many times with pulled chicken on hawaiian sweet rolls for a quick dinner, and I actually just used it as marinade and roasting sauce for a roast pork shoulder and it was AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Reply
      Lindsay
      August 12, 2017 at 10:03 am

      (I forgot to mention that I only found this recipe a couple weeks ago, but have used it at least 2x a week since because the recipe makes so much sauce) 🙂

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      August 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      That’s so great to hear, Lindsay! I actually used it for some pulled pork sliders with cole slaw on the sweet Hawaiian rolls too – it’s a great combo! I’m so glad you and your family like it!

  • Reply
    Alli
    August 29, 2017 at 8:33 am

    This is such a great BBQ sauce! I loved it with your pulled pork recipe. I’ve never made a mustard based BBQ Sauce and this one did not disappoint! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Awesome!! I’m so glad I could introduce you to the glorious deliciousness of mustard-based BBQ! Hope you enjoy the recipe for many years to come!

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