You’re in for a treat as this article reveals the secret to creating a mouthwatering Southern mustard-based BBQ sauce. With a blend of tangy and savory flavors, this sauce is the perfect companion for your grilled meats. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this simple yet delicious recipe that will elevate your barbeque game to a whole new level.


To make Southern mustard-based BBQ sauce, you will need the following ingredients:

Yellow Mustard

Yellow mustard is the base of this sauce, giving it its iconic tangy flavor.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar adds acidity and tanginess to balance out the sweetness of the sauce.


Honey provides natural sweetness and helps to mellow out the sharpness of the mustard.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar adds depth and complexity to the sauce, complementing the other flavors.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce adds a savory umami taste and enhances the overall flavor profile.

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce brings the heat to the sauce, adding a kick to your BBQ dishes.

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder provides a subtle yet distinct flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Onion Powder

Onion powder adds a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the sauce.


Paprika brings a smoky and slightly sweet taste, adding depth to the sauce.

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Salt enhances the overall flavors of the sauce, balancing out the sweetness and acidity.

Black Pepper

Black pepper adds a subtle heat and earthy flavor notes to the sauce.


Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive into the preparation process to make this delicious Southern mustard-based BBQ sauce.

Preparing the Mustard Base

Start by pouring the yellow mustard into a mixing bowl. This will serve as the foundation of your sauce.

Adding Vinegar for Tanginess

Next, add the apple cider vinegar to the mixing bowl. The vinegar will provide a tangy and acidic kick to the sauce.

Sweetening with Honey and Brown Sugar

To balance out the tanginess, add honey and brown sugar to the mixture. These ingredients will bring a pleasant sweetness to the sauce.

Enhancing the Flavor with Worcestershire Sauce

Pour in the Worcestershire sauce to enhance the overall flavor profile of the sauce. The savory and umami notes will take your sauce to the next level.

Adding Some Heat with Hot Sauce

If you enjoy a touch of spiciness, add hot sauce to the mixture. Adjust the amount according to your preferred heat level.

Seasoning with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, Salt, and Black Pepper

To add depth and complexity, sprinkle in garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. These seasonings will bring out the flavors in the sauce and give it a well-rounded taste.

Cooking Process

Now that you have prepared all the ingredients, let’s move on to the cooking process to blend them together into a flavorful sauce.

Mixing the Ingredients

Using a whisk or spoon, thoroughly mix all the ingredients in the bowl. Make sure that the mixture is well combined to ensure an even distribution of flavors.

Simmering on Low Heat

Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and set it over low heat. Allow the sauce to simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Stirring Regularly

Continuously stir the sauce to prevent any clumps from forming and to ensure that the flavors meld together.

Simmering to Thicken

Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Adjusting Consistency

If the sauce is too thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of water or vinegar. Conversely, if it’s too thin, allow it to simmer for a little longer to reduce and thicken.

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Optional Variations

While the classic Southern mustard-based BBQ sauce is delicious on its own, you can always experiment with different variations to customize it to your taste.

Adding Liquid Smoke for Smokiness

If you enjoy a smoky flavor, consider adding a few drops of liquid smoke to the sauce. This will create a delicious smoky undertone reminiscent of traditional BBQ flavors.

Incorporating Bourbon for a Southern Twist

For a touch of Southern charm, incorporate a splash of bourbon into the sauce. The bourbon will add complexity and richness to the flavor profile.

Experimenting with Different Spices and Herbs

Feel free to experiment with different spices and herbs to create your own signature BBQ sauce. Adding cayenne pepper, oregano, or thyme can add a unique twist to the recipe.

Customizing the Sweetness and Heat Level

Tailor the sweetness and heat level of the sauce by adjusting the amount of honey, hot sauce, or other sweeteners and spices.


Once your mustard-based BBQ sauce is ready, it’s essential to store it properly to maintain its freshness and flavor.

Cooling the Sauce

Allow the sauce to cool completely before storing it. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the storage containers.

Storing in Airtight Containers

Transfer the cooled sauce to clean, airtight containers. Mason jars or squeeze bottles work well for storing and dispensing the sauce.

Refrigerating or Freezing

Refrigerate the sauce if you plan to use it within a week. For longer-term storage, consider freezing the sauce in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays.


When stored properly, homemade mustard-based BBQ sauce can last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and several months in the freezer.

Uses for Mustard-Based BBQ Sauce

Now that you have a delicious mustard-based BBQ sauce, let’s explore the various ways you can use it to elevate your dishes.

Marinade for Meat

Use the sauce as a marinade for various meats, such as chicken, pork, or beef. Allow the meat to marinate for a few hours or overnight to infuse it with flavor.

Grilling and Basting

Brush the sauce onto meats while grilling to create a beautiful glaze and impart a delicious tangy and smoky flavor.

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Dipping Sauce

Serve the mustard-based BBQ sauce as a dipping sauce alongside chicken tenders, french fries, or onion rings. The tangy and savory flavors will complement these dishes perfectly.

Sandwiches and Burgers

Spread the sauce on sandwiches and burgers to add a tangy and zesty kick. It pairs exceptionally well with pulled pork, grilled chicken, or smoked sausages.

Glazing for Ribs or Chicken

Coat ribs or chicken with the sauce during the final stages of cooking to create a sticky and flavorful glaze.


Mustard-based BBQ sauce complements a wide range of protein and vegetable dishes. Here are some delicious pairings you can try:


This sauce is a match made in heaven for pork dishes. Whether it’s pulled pork, ribs, or pork chops, the tanginess of the mustard sauce perfectly enhances the natural flavors of the meat.


Drizzle the sauce over grilled steaks, burgers, or brisket for an extra burst of flavor. The combination of tangy mustard and savory beef creates a delightful balance.


From grilled chicken breasts to crispy chicken wings, the mustard-based BBQ sauce adds a tangy and zesty element to poultry dishes.


Surprisingly, this sauce can even be paired with seafood. Brush it onto grilled shrimp skewers or use it as a dipping sauce for fried fish for a unique flavor experience.


Don’t limit yourself to just meat and seafood. Roasted vegetables, such as cauliflower or sweet potatoes, can be elevated with a drizzle of mustard-based BBQ sauce.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some helpful tips and tricks to ensure that your Southern mustard-based BBQ sauce turns out perfect every time.

Adjusting Flavor to Personal Preference

Taste the sauce as you go and adjust the proportions of the ingredients to achieve your desired flavor. Feel free to add more sweetness, tanginess, or heat according to your personal preference.

Allowing the Flavors to Meld

For the best flavor, refrigerate the sauce for at least a few hours or overnight after it has been prepared. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop a more complex taste.

Gradually Adding Spice for Desired Heat

If you’re unsure about the level of spiciness you prefer, start by adding a small amount of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the sauce. You can gradually increase the heat by adding more if desired.

Using Quality Ingredients

Using high-quality ingredients will make a noticeable difference in the taste of your BBQ sauce. Opt for organic mustard, locally sourced honey, and fresh spices for the best results.

Experimenting with Proportions

Feel free to experiment with the proportions of the ingredients to create a sauce that suits your taste buds. Play around with the ratios of tanginess, sweetness, and spiciness until you find the perfect balance.

Sampling and Adjusting Throughout the Process

Don’t be afraid to sample your sauce at different stages of the cooking process. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments along the way to achieve the desired flavor profile.


Congratulations! You now have all the knowledge and steps to create your very own mouthwatering Southern mustard-based BBQ sauce. Whether you use it as a marinade, glaze, or dipping sauce, this versatile condiment will take your BBQ dishes to the next level. Have fun experimenting with different variations and enjoy the sweet and tangy flavors of this beloved Southern sauce. Happy grilling!

Jenny Jones

By Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones is a passionate culinary enthusiast hailing from the heart of the South. Born and raised in a small town known for its rich culinary traditions, she developed an unwavering love for Southern cooking from an early age.