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Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce

39 Reviews

No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!

No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!

Remember how Cade handles the killer Carolina Pulled Pork at our house? Well, I’m in charge of the sauces. I don’t know why, but he kind of tackles the meat and I’ve always just messed around with the sauces. I’ve made some lame ones, by the way. The mustard sauce has been my arch nemesis.

I’ve tried a bunch of recipes thinking that I didn’t have the right as a PNW girl to tackle southern bbq sauces, especially Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce, but guess what, I didn’t like everyone’s recipes.

That’s right, and neither did Cade. I mean they were ok, but not awesome. So I set out to perfect the sauce that Cade would call “money.”

No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!

The key to both sauces is actually to make them 3 days to 1 week ahead of time. Now, I’ve totally done just the day before and it was fine, but trust me they get better with time. And the mustard sauce has butter and nutmeg.

I don’t know why, I just threw it in and Cade was all over it like butter on a hot potato so it stays. The vinegar sauce needs red pepper flakes and it HAS TO BE Texas Pete’s or if all else fails, Franks hot sauce. The other brands do not work. Just trust me on this.

No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!

What is Carolina Style BBQ Sauce?

Carolina style means that it is vinegar and mustard based, as opposed to the ketchup and molasses based sauces of the mid and southwest.

Can You Substitute White Vinegar For Apple Cider Vinegar?

White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are interchangeable. The taste will be a little different, because apple cider vinegar is made from apples and is a little more acidic.

Can You Freeze BBQ Sauce?

Left over BBQ sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for 7 days or more. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.

No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!

More BBQ Recipes You’ll Love:

Whenever a recipe calls for BBQ sauce, feel free to substitute either our mustard bbq sauce or our vinegar bbq sauce! 

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce

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No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce

4.21 from 39 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 15 -20 servings
No bbq is complete without Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce. One is a little thick and the other has a tiny kick!


Mustard Base BBQ

  • 3/4 Cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Texas Pete's or Franks if necessary hot sauce or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter melted
  • 1 Pinch Nutmeg
  • 1 Dash Liquid Smoke

For the Vinegar Base BBQ

  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Texas Pete's Hot sauce or Franks is fine
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper


For the Mustard Base BBQ

  • Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Pour into a jar with a lid and refrigerate 1 day to 1 week prior to serving for ultimate flavor.

For the Vinegar Base bbq

  • Mix all of the ingredients in a jar and place the lid on to rest in the fridge for at least 2 days before serving.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month
Nutrition Facts
Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce and Vinegar Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 81 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 545mg24%
Potassium 66mg2%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 138IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Classic BBQ Sauce

This pulled pork is the best I've ever had and it's made in the oven! Check out my south carolina husband's secrets for the best pork! ohsweetbasil.com

Carolina Pulled Pork

We never could get our ribs to fall off the bone, until we tried this simple recipe. BEST. RIBS. EVER! ohsweetbasil.com_-3

Easy Ribs

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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • hi, I made the Carolina BBQ vinegar base sauce. Being from NC I was excited to try it. It is very vinegary – I am wondering if the 1 cup white vinegar is accurate? Even after it sat for 2 days it’s still too much. so after 4 days it is still vinegary but no other flavors come through.
    I don’t see any other complaints about it, so maybe it’s just me.

    • Reply
    • Hi Joan! The 1 cup of white vinegar is correct. It is a very vinegary saw for sure.

      • Reply
  • My BBQ sauce is super liquidy. Is it supposed to be? With 1 1/4 c of liquid to 1/4 c of ketchup, it makes sense to be liquid, but I thought it would be thicker? Like a sauce?

    • Reply
    • Yes, it should be quite liquidy.

      • Reply
  • I will be making another batch of these amazing sauces, and always let it sit for about 5 days before enjoying. This time around, I was thinking about the difference in containers I now have being breathable vs sealed. Would it lose flavor having the sauce sit in the fridge in a breathable container or would it speed up tor reduce he melding process? What is recommended for all the vinegar, ketchup, and mustard Carolina BBQ sauces? Lastly, is there any benefit to stirring / shaking daily or is it ok to just sit during this time. Thanks as always!!

    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy! Thanks for the support! I just make it ahead and store in the fridge in a mason jar for best results.

      • Reply
      • Wonderful, that sure is easy enough – Thank you!! I do have a question on the white vinegar. Is there a difference in brand, or is it all the same? I’m finding much smaller quantities from the more well know brand like Heinz, and gallon size available from the store brand. Is there any difference? Lastly, is there a brand of brown sugar you recommend, or is there no difference between brands? Thank you!!

      • Hi Cindy! White vinegar is all the same as far as I know. For brown sugar, I get the huge bag at Costco which is C&H brand. I’ve used store brand too and haven’t noticed a big difference.

  • Wonderful recipes!! Could you please let me know if table or Kosher salt should be used? Thanks so much!!

    • Reply
    • We always do Kosher or sea salt. Either one will work great!

      • Reply
      • Fantastic – Thank you!! Would you recommend Diamond or Morton’s? I understand that there are size differences in the crystals between the brands, which provide a different weight by volume where one or the other might provide more or less actual salt.

      • Diamond if you can find it!

  • Instead of liquid smoke, place a bowl of frozen butter in your smoker and infuse it with smoke. Smoked butter is amazing on all kinds of stuff from steak to corn-on-the-cob to popcorn or in mashed potatoes

    • Reply
    • That sounds amazing! Thanks for the tip Bob!

      • Reply
  • Really good  I would have posted the barbecue sauce recipes first since they have to sit for a couple of days  

    • Reply
  • Love the mustard sauce.  I used agave instead of honey and it’s very good.  thanks for posting

    • Reply
    • Yay! So glad you enjoy it!

      • Reply
  • Would you recommend a substitute for the apple cider in the mustard base bbq sauce?

    • Reply
    • For the apple cider vinegar? You could use white vinegar or red wine vinegar. There’s no apple cider in the mustard base sauce.

      • Reply
  • I was wondering does the pork end up being spicy? it has a lot of chili pepper can cayenne powder. I am making for a large group so I do not want to overpower them.

    • Reply
    • Hi April! No, not spicy at all. With the amount of pork in the recipe, the heat is quick minimal. Enjoy!!

      • Reply
  • Hmm…nutmeg, interesting. Going to have to try this mustard sauce recipe. As a native South Carolinian (we’re known as Sandlappers), this looks pretty close to a number of recipes I have tried. While SC historically has 4 native sauces and is the birthplace of the mustard sauce, not all of our mustard sauces are the same. Some are strong on the straight mustard flavor. You tend to find these in the center of the state. A sweeter — and more palatable — mustard sauce is found from the midlands to the coast around Charleston. And there there is another called “Rust Gravy” also known as “Orangeburg Sweet” which is found in the many Dukes restaurants (which are not franchises, btw) that also spread south and east from Orangeburg. Most people don’t know that Dukes sauce has the surprising addition of mayonnaise. Sorry for rambling…

    • Reply
    • Should have specified that SC has 4 distinct regions where 4 different types of BBQ sauce have historically predominated, the only state in the country with 4 sauces. Some even argue that SC is the birthplace of BBQ, but that’s another story. The sauce types are mustard, vinegar-pepper, (both of which you have covered nicely above), then a light tomato sauce and the traditional heavy tomato sauce most of the country seems to prefer.

      • Reply
      • Now I’m looking at flights to South Carolina because you have me craving all that deliciousness!

    • I love it! We would love to hear what you think of our mustard sauce! Cade is from South Carolina so he has been my sounding board to make sure we get it right! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • These recipes were a hit for our smoked chuck roasts, we absolutely love them both. We will be making these on a regular basis when we BBQ! Thank for two great BBq sauces!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Aren’t they so good? We almost always have them in the fridge and ready! So glad you enjoyed them!

      • Reply
  • Do you use both mustard-based and vinegar-based sauces on a dish, or do select which to use?

    • Reply
    • We usually make both and then let people choose which one they want.

      • Reply
  • Hi, on the vinegar based BBQ sauce where its says Apple Cider is it Apple Cider like the drink or is it Apple Cider Vinegar? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
    • Apple cider like the drink. Enjoy!!

      • Reply
  • My hubby smoked a pork butt and asked me to make a honey mustard sauce. I looked at a bunch of recipes and decided on this one. So glad that I did… it is wonderful! I have had it on pork, chicken and brisket. Thanks for a perfect sauce!

    • Reply
    • Yay!! Isn’t it so good?! We use it on everything we can!

      • Reply
  • Made the mustard sauce for ~25 pounds of pulled Carolina pork butt and was very impressed with the overall flavor. I mistakenly added a little more liquid hickory smoke than the recipe says and used an orange blossom local honey but even so, it was well balanced and went deliciously with the BBQ pork. Can’t say that the nutmeg was detectable or necessary, however.

    • Reply
    • Ohhhhh I just had orange blossom honey last year and it was so good!!!
      We’ve had it without the nutmeg and it wasn’t as mouthwatering of a batch so we added it back in.

      • Reply
  • Okay I just made my third batch of the vinegar base bbq sauce. This is by far the best I’ve had since living in South Carolina, I now live in Arkansas and is my home state but the people around just don’t know what they’re missing. I use it for pork and chicken and everyone that I have let taste it has like the taste. So great job and thanks for sharing. I be sure to pass it on.

    • Reply
    • You have to spend some time in the south to truly understand just how good it is!

      • Reply
  • Mustard sauce is really good.  Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Thanks Joel!

      • Reply
  • Have not tried it yet

    • Reply
  • I just finished making the mustard sauce and it hasn’t had enough time to develop the flavours but I can tell you right away that it is delicious. I may have had just a taste, then a bigger one, then more. I put it in the fridge and went back for another taste 2 minutes later. It really is that good. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve got pork in brine right now to make the pulled pork recipe you posted. The dry rub is yummy so I know this meal is going to kick butt!

    • Reply
    • ahaha!! I love it!! Thank you so much! xoxo!!

      • Reply
  • I advise everyone who views these recipes to immediately head off to the butcher for pork loin backribs and/or a tritip or chuck roast. Then make up a batch of each sauce and invite that guy/gal over who has been out grillin’ you all summer. Here in San Miguel we drop the hot sauce and liquid smoke from the mustard one in favor of pureed Chipotles in Adobo sauce (the heet and da smoke) at some unknown measurement we call “to taste”.

    • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!