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Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

5 from 10 votes
Time: 35 minutes
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This mustard based Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, also known as Golden BBQ Sauce, is a tangy, spicy, slightly sweet punch of flavor. This condiment combines simple ingredients and is ready in minutes.

Slather it on chicken wings, dip veggies in it, marinade meats like this Smoked Pork Butt, or spoon it over Pulled Pork Sliders.

If you love homemade BBQ sauces as much as I do, try my Apple Butter BBQ Sauce or this Blackberry BBQ Sauce.

Golden BBQ Sauce in a bowl ready to spoon over food.

In the summertime, my dad and I are HUGE fans of smoking (with a pellet grill smoker). We spend the weekends experimenting with BBQ sauces, dry rubs, and the many different foods we can throw in the smoker. I have a whole collection of smoker recipes here.

We first had Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce in South Carolina when we were visiting friends. The mustard in this BBQ sauce had us sold. So once we got home it was the first thing we did, creating a version of our own. And now this BBQ sauce has become our favorite for many reasons…

  • The flavor. It is spicy, tangy, with a little bit of sweet which makes it totally irresistible.
  • Few, simple ingredients. This condiment is made with basic pantry ingredients, so the likelihood you have all you need right now to make it are high.
  • Many uses: For dipping, coating, marinading, and smothering anything from chicken wings to french fries to BBQ pulled pork to fresh veggies. The possibilities are endless.

What is Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce?

Often called Golden BBQ Sauce, it is a mustard based barbecue sauce which comes from South Carolina. You can thank German immigrants for this one, they were known for making vinegar and mustard sauces like this one.

Unlike traditional Ketchup based BBQ sauces, this one has a little more apple cider vinegar for tang and cayenne for spice to go along with the mustard. It is used in many of the same ways as traditional BBQ sauce… but I think you may like this one a little more.

Let’s Make It Together! A 30 Second Video Tutorial:

Ingredients for Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

  • Yellow Mustard: It is the base to our Golden BBQ Sauce so be sure to buy your favorite high-quality brand.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds the iconic tang and acidity.
  • Brown Sugar: For sweetness.
  • Honey: Again for sweetness.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds a little sweet, a little tang, and a lot of umami flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Gives a savory depth of flavor and is an absolute must. You can substitute this for soy sauce or even coconut aminos.
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper: Adds the perfect amount of spice and bold flavor without being overly spicy. Red pepper flakes, sriracha sauce, and even hot sauce can be substituted.
  • Garlic Powder: For another flavor note.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season the BBQ sauce to fit your taste preferences.
Ingredients for Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce. Yellow mustard, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, honey, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Equipment Needed

How To Make Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

Golden BBQ Sauce is great to mix together on the spot or in preparation for BBQ parties and meal prepping. It is super simple to make and is made the same way as traditional BBQ sauces, just with different ingredients.

This is a quick summary, the recipe card below will have complete details.

1. ADD THE INGREDIENTS TO A SAUCEPAN: yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

2. HEAT OVER MEDIUM LOW HEAT for 30 minutes. Make sure you are stirring it quite frequently or it will burn to the bottom of your saucepan. Remove from heat when thickened.

3. COOL THE GOLDEN BBQ SAUCE before storing it in a in a glass jar or container for up to 1 month. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. It never lasts that long in our house and I would be surprised if it did in yours too.

What is Golden BBQ Sauce used for?

Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce reminds me of a spicy honey mustard, so it goes well with so many things. Some proteins it tastes great with are chicken, pork, turkey, sausages, and even steak.

Try it as a marinade and you will be surprised how much moisture and flavor it adds to your meat. It is great on potato wedges/ fries, basically anything grilled or smoked, and even salads.

You have got to try it with:

  • pulled pork sliders- You can use my recipe for BBQ pork sliders (just substitute the sauces).
  • chicken wings
  • smoked cream cheese- use my recipe and smother it with this sauce instead.
  • grilled beer brats, burgers, Smoked Hot Dogs
  • fresh veggie tray
  • steak fries, Smashed Fingerling Potatoes, potato chips, or French fries
  • turkey and cheese sandwich
  • chicken nuggets
Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce drizzling off a spoon and into a bowl.

3 Need To Know Recipe Tips

1. Keep a close eye on your simmering BBQ sauce. As it cooks down there is a better chance of sticking and burning. So monitor the heat and stir often. You may even have to turn the heat up or down.

2. Refrigerate your Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce overnight. This is an optional step but it helps the sauce to build in flavor and thicken up.

3. Not a fan of spice? No problem! Remove or reduce the amount of ground cayenne pepper you use.

Big bowl of Golden BBQ Sauce with a spoon of sauce resting on the table.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What does Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce taste like? Is it spicy?

The flavor is unbeatable! It is a mustard based BBQ sauce that is tangy and spicy with a little bit of sweet. I like this sauce a little spicier but you can definitely reduce the amount of cayenne pepper to make it even less spicy.

What type of mustard is in Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce?

Yellow mustard is the traditional mustard used in this sauce. I use French’s or even off-brand yellow mustard and it still tastes just as great.

Try More of My Condiment and Sauce Recipes:

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Golden BBQ Sauce in a bowl ready to spoon over food.

Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

Elizabeth Swoish
This mustard based Golden BBQ Sauce is spicy, tangy, slightly sweet, and irresistable. This condiment uses simple ingredients and is great for dipping, marinading, coating, and slathering on just about anything.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Condiments
Servings 24 tablespoons
Calories 360 kcal


  • Small Saucepan with Lid
  • glass jar - or airtight container


  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne - if you want it with less spice add ¼ teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and stir until combined: yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
    Step 1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium low heat.
  • Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir the BBQ sauce often to prevent burning to the bottom of the pan.
    Step 2. Heating mixture on the stove for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow the BBQ sauce to cool to room temperature.
    Step 3. Sauce cooling in the pan.
  • Store in an airtight glass jar or container in the refrigerator.



Storing Information:

  • In a glass jar or airtight container, refrigerated for up to 1 month.
  • In a glass jar or airtight container, frozen for up to 3 months.

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on August 26th, 2022
Elizabeth Swoish holding a camera up to her eye taking a photo.

About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Learn more about her HERE or connect on your favorite social media channels.

10 thoughts on “Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    This might be my favorite bbq sauce recipe now!! I had never had anything like this before and I decided to go on a limb and try something new for my pulled pork sliders and this sauce was sooo good. I highly recommend others give it a try for burgers, fries, and more!

  2. 5 stars
    I really like how the yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce come together. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, and just the right amount of salty. I think it goes really well with Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce!

  3. 5 stars
    This is MY kind of bbq sauce! It’s so good. I’m the odd man out in my ketchup-loving family. I have preferred mustard since I was a kid, so this bbq was made just for me. Love it!

  4. 5 stars
    We visited North and South Carolina last fall and ate at a couple of BBQ restaurants that covered the meat in a BBQ sauce that was (to us) so unique and different. I made this last night to brush over chicken and it was exactly like that delicious sauce. What a treat to get to make it at home!

  5. 5 stars
    This BBQ sauce made my pork BBQ so vibrant and delicious! It was packed with flavors and is sure to please the guests! Planning to use this next on to our fav chicken wings!

  6. 5 stars
    My son loves mustard and wanted a dipping sauce to go with his chicken tenders — we tried out your recipe, omitting the cayenne and it was super delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    The Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is so good! It’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I like to marinate my chicken in it, then grill it and serve with that sauce over top.

  8. 5 stars
    This Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is a true flavor powerhouse! I used it when we grilling a chicken and it was absolutely delicious.

  9. 5 stars
    We made chicken wings and used your Caroline gold BBQ sauce, and it was the perfect hit. We all loved it and I wish I would have made more.
    Rich in flavor, I love mustard, and not too spicy either, which was perfect for me.
    Thank you for a great share.


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