Sometimes called white BBQ sauce, Alabama White Sauce is an outstanding complement to chicken but also pairs well with fish, pork, and everything in between.
Made famous by Big Bob Gibson Bar B Q in Decatur, Alabama. To this day, they are known for their white sauce and still dunk their entire chickens into a large vat of the titular sauce.
You probably have most of the ingredients already, and it’s quick and easy to whip up a batch, so give it a go and see for yourself!
Alabama white sauce
While most bbq sauces get their red color from a tomato base, Alabama white sauce gets its color from a mayonnaise base.
It has a bit of tang from the apple cider vinegar and a nice bite from cayenne pepper and horseradish. It’s a sauce that flies under the radar and might not be familiar to even someone who barbecues often.
However, once you try it, you may never go back!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cream style horseradish – I use store-bought but if you choose to use fresh, reduce the amount by half and taste first to make sure it’s not overpowering the sauce.
- Spicy brown mustard – If you don’t have brown mustard, you can use dijon or regular yellow mustard.
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper – Optional, could also use a touch of hot sauce
Some recipes use brown sugar or honey for a touch of sweetness. I find you don’t need it, but if you like your sauces sweet then 1-2 tablespoons will be fine.
The origins of Alabama White Sauce
Most people agree that Alabama white sauce was first popularized by Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, an iconic barbecue restaurant in Decatur, Alabama.
No one exactly knows how the source came about though. Chris Lilly, the executive chef theorizes that the fat in the mayonnaise helped keep the chicken from drying out. Nowadays you can buy Big Bob Gibson branded white sauce, but I think it’s easier to just make your own.
How to make Alabama white sauce
This is a super easy sauce to throw together, and unlike most sauces, you don’t need to simmer or boil to incorporate the ingredients.
All all of the ingredients to a large bowl and give it a good whisk until the sauce is smooth.
You can serve the sauce right away, but it’s best if it’s had an hour or two to meld together.
How to adjust the recipe
You can adjust the heat level easily by adding more cayenne pepper, some hot sauce or horseradish if you like it spicy.
If you want a thicker or thinner sauce, increase or decrease the amount of apple cider vinegar.
All variations are great, so feel free to experiment a little and cater to your tastes.
Alabama White Sauce Serving Suggestions
Alabama white sauce is typically served with smoked or grilled chicken. Most recipes will smoke or grill the chicken first, before finishing with a dunk in a bowl of white sauce. Or you can slather over the top.
Another great option is to drizzle over a whole smoked chicken.
You don’t even have to stick with chicken. Next time you’re making a salad, try dressing with white sauce or serve with veggies like carrots and cucumbers, or drizzled over roasted potatoes. You also can’t go wrong serving with pork.
Try some of our other popular bbq sauces
- Homemade BBQ Sauce
- East Carolina Vinegar BBQ Mop Sauce
- Kansas City-style Barbecue Sauce
- Carolina Gold Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Addictive Mango Habanero Sauce
Alabama white sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp cream style horsradish
- 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- cayenne pepper to taste
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and give it a good whisk.
- Transfer to a mason jar or sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.