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.
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.
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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
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.
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.
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Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce
- Small Saucepan with Lid
- glass jar - or airtight container
- 1 cup yellow mustard
- ⅓ 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.
- 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.
- Remove from heat and allow the BBQ sauce to cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight glass jar or container in the refrigerator.
- 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.