This Carolina Mustard Sauce is a rich, sweet and tangy sauce that is perfect for your favorite ribs, pulled pork or chicken. Can you imagine it as a dipping sauce for fried chicken? I can! It has a deep golden color and a mild mustard flavor. It’s so good that I know you’ll be making many batches of this fantastic sauce.
What is Carolina Mustard Sauce?
Carolina Mustard sauce is a regional BBQ sauce that originated in the 1700s in South Carolina where a large population of German immigrant families migrated to. They brought with them new farming ideas and their affinity towards mustard! As we all know, the Germans love their mustard and it turns out it’s a great base for a rich, tangy and sweet BBQ sauce! It’s perfect for taming down the fat in pork dishes but adding tons of flavor to your favorite chicken.
The sauce is great for basting while the meat is on the grill or just drizzled over the top before serving!
Just last week, I made ribs (I’ll show you this below) and a pulled pork for a party. Safe to say, there wasn’t any of this sauce leftover!
If you are looking for other regional BBQ sauce ideas, check out this link.
Using this sauce to make fantastic ribs!
I decided that the sauce is the star for this recipe, so here is how I make my ribs! After making 100’s of racks over the years and this is a tried and true way to make them. I did include a dry rub recipe that goes well with this sauce so give that a try too!
First off, you MUST remove the silver skin off the back of the ribs. This is important because this will allow for the smoke or the dry rub flavors (if you cook in the oven) to penetrate the meat better. Here is a video that shows you how to do this process. If you buy your ribs from Costco, they take care of this process for you!
Here we go. The trick to fantastic ribs is to put a dry rub on them the day before you want to cook them. I slathered mustard over these racks so that the rub would adhere to them better. I thought that the extra mustard would be too much but it wasn’t. It mellowed out with the sweet rub and tenderized them in a great way. (There is vinegar in mustard which is a great meat tenderizer).
Smoking the ribs…
I am lucky enough to own a Traeger Timberline 850 which is my pride and joy. Traeger doesn’t pay me to say this (but they should considering how much I talk about them! 🙂 ) The Traeger makes it super simple to smoke ribs or anything for that matter. Anyhoo, here is the general way to smoke and cook ribs.
I put the room temperature ribs on the grill on a low 205 smoke setting for 3-4 hours, spritzing with apple juice, beer, pineapple juice or whatever I have on hand every 45 minutes or so. After the smoke session, I remove them from the grill and place them on a cookie sheet with about 1 cup or so of liquid (see above) and cover with tin foil. I raise the temperature to 300 degrees and cook for 1-2 hours depending on how thick the ribs are or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
At this point, the ribs are technically done. I remove them until I’m ready for final service. The beauty about this is that you can let them cool and wrap them to serve the next day (if you can wait that long), or you can do the final grill.
When you are ready to serve, set the grill to high heat, 425 degrees or so, and baste the ribs with the Carolina Mustard Sauce on both sides. I like to cook the ribs about 10-15 minutes per side basting in between each flip and generally do this twice.
Serve them warm with extra sauce! I’m drooling just thinking about this!
No Traeger, No Problem
I know a lot of us don’t have a smoker, but there is a way! Here is a video on how to add smoke to gas or charcoal grill! Just follow the smoking and wrapping process as noted above and you should be all good. No need to keep the smoke going through the wrap cycle though.
Now is the time to make Carolina Mustard Sauce! You will fall in love with the flavor and be overjoyed that you don’t even need to turn the stove on to make it!
Are you looking for some other great sauces?
Here are some other of my favorite sauce recipes. Most are on ribs or chicken wings, but all can be used on whatever your little heart desires!
Carolina Mustard Sauce
For the Carolina Mustard Sauce
- 1 cup yellow prepared mustard
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 2-3 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (optional)
A great dry rub to use with the Sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
For the Carolina Mustard Sauce
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, garlic, paprika, hot sauce (if using), salt, and pepper. Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use. It's best if it sits for 24 hours or so to let the flavors meld!
For the Dry Rub
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, salt, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.