White Barbecue Sauce – An Alabama Favorite

Posted on Jul 20 2015 - 4:55pm by Barry C. Parsons

White Barbecue Sauce – an Alabama favorite! More of a condiment than a BBQ sauce this tangy, creamy sauce compliments both smoked & grilled chicken & pork.

White Barbecue Sauce

White Barbecue Sauce

If you’ve visited as many barbecue joints in the southern U.S. as I have in my road trip travels over the years, you are bound to have come across a version of this white barbecue sauce. I’m told it is very popular in Alabama and I have encountered it there many times before, but I’ve also seen it served as far north as Memphis, south along the Gulf Coast and as far east as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Strictly speaking, although I have heard it used a s a chicken marinade in a couple of instances, it is not used during the cooking process but is served more as a condiment; particularly on smoked chicken and ribs. Smoked or dry rubbed chicken is where I mostly use it. The sharp, vinegar based flavour really does cut through the smoky richness of tender ribs too, complementing their flavour very well.

It is a very quick and simple sauce to throw together but leave it in the fridge for a day or so if you can for the garlic and other flavours to meld nicely. It will last a week or more in the fridge if you have any leftover…but I tend to make it in small batches anyway. This recipe makes only about a cup or so, which is quite small compared to many of the recipes you can find online. Feel free to make a double or triple batch if you are serving a large crowd at your BBQ.

White Barbecue Sauce

White Barbecue Sauce

These smoked wings pictured below also use a generous sprinkle of my Smokin’ Summer Spice Dry Rub before being slow smoked with hickory or mesquite wood chips for about 2 hours at 250 degrees F. They go particularly well with this white barbecue sauce when served as a dip and are sure to be a big hit at any summer BBQ.

For details on how to slow smoke chicken and other meats, even if using a gas grill and not a smoker, check out the instructions included with this recipe for Smoked Pork Loin.

Smoked wings with Summer Spice Dry Rub

Smoked Wings with Summer Spice Dry Rub

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4.6 from 5 reviews
White Barbecue Sauce
Prep time
Total time
Alabama White Barbecue Sauce - more of a condiment than a BBQ sauce, to serve with smoked or grilled chicken and ribs. The flavour complements both these meats very well.
Recipe type: BBQ/Condiment
Cuisine: American
Serves: About 1 cup
  • ½ cup plain mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
  • A few dashes of hot sauce or sriracha sauce to taste
  1. Simple whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. If you like the sauce a little thicker, just add another tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or thin it with a little more water if you find it's too thick for your taste. I've seen it from a very watery consistency to as thick as ranch dressing.
  3. Let sit in the fridge for several hours or overnight to let the flavours develop.
  4. Best made the day before.
This does make a relatively small batch of sauce to serve about 4 people or so. Double or triple the recipe as needed if serving larger groups.


15 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Linda April 16, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

    This sounds really good. Can’t wait to try it! But I find in most recipes using mayo the brand is important. What brand do you recommend for this recipe?

    • Barry C. Parsons April 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      Good old Hellmans

    • Ole September 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Homemade!!! It’s the only thing that taste good! And so easy to do…

  2. Jenny McMc June 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    I used only I tbsp of Apple cider vinegar and added 2 or 3 tbsp more of Hellmans. It’s so good and I haven’t even let it mingle yet. I shall put it on everything ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Abby June 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    I’m from north Alabama and my family’s recipe is just sugar, lemon, vinegar, mayo, and plenty of black pepper. I can’t have a smoked chicken without it.

  4. Marion Nelson August 14, 2016 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Though it may be a good recipe, I grew up down here and have eaten bar-b-que from one end of the south to the other. I don’t know who you are trying to fool but you’d be asked to leave most bar-b-ques I have ever attended just fro trying to pull this out as a sauce. Dip your wings in it maybe; but on actual barbeque keep it. We have enough troubles down here without somebody trying to hang this around our necks.

    • Barry C. Parsons August 19, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

      I have no idea what prompted such negativity. Is there a real point in this? The recipe is very clear in the way it is to be used.

  5. Lawrence hunt September 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    This really looks good so I made it tonight and i wow its good. Yum yum.

  6. Shannon October 1, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I just made this and it’s fantastic.Thanks for the recipe

  7. Debra Rizzo October 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Wow! This Looks Delicious, But I Am A Veggie & Fish Lady, I Am Going To Try This A White Fish! PLus, Wow This Is A Recipe Someone Shared Not The “HATFIELD & MCCOY ” Revival! Get A Grip!

  8. Hannah January 16, 2017 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Tried this tonight. I did a few things differently, because it’s what I had on hand. I made my own Dijon mustard, which had a little bit of vinegar in it, and I didn’t have any garlic cloves so I used garlic powder. The result was SO MUCH vinegar. Not sure if it’s because of my substitutions or if that’s how it’s supposed to taste. Both my husband and I enjoyed it, but I think next time I will at least half the vinegar and up the garlic (or use fresh garlic!)

    • Barry C. Parsons January 26, 2017 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Are you sure you added the proper amount? That’s a not a lot of vinegar…although it is a sauce that should have a sharp side.

      • Hannah January 26, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

        I added the correct amount of vinegar, but I think I used red wine vinegar (what I had on hand, ha!) so maybe apple cider vinegar has a softer taste? Could that have been it?

  9. Holly January 19, 2017 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    My daughter loves barbecue sauce and she has recently developed a tomato allergie. She could not longer eat what she loved but after trying your Alabama white barbecue sauce everything is back to the “new” normal. Thank you

  10. Teresa February 21, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    I have eaten at Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur Alabama and this is a perfect match for his white sauce!!!!!!! THANKS

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