South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

Use this sauce toward the end of barbecuing meat because the sugar will caramelize fast, then burn. So leave it until the last 45 minutes or so, and paint it on in coats, letting each coat cook into the meat a bit before adding the next one.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 cups


  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard (the kind you get at the ballpark)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard (like Coleman’s)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste


1 Heat the butter over medium heat until it's frothy, then add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Do not let the onions brown.

2 Add everything else, stir well and simmer slowly for 30 minutes or more.

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  • Danielle

    I absolutely love a good mustard/vinegar sauce and this is by far the best recipe that is out there (trust me I’ve tried probably 20 or more myself.) I have added a couple of spices and other goodies to claim it as my own recipe. Without fail, everyone who tries my bbq sauce loves it.I’m a self taught cook who enjoys learning from amazing chefs and other great recipes to teach myself how to be a home chef. My dream is to be a Personal Chef/Caterer someday; so bring on the knowledge and inspiration.


  • akshay shetty

    Hello Hank, the dry mustard you mentioned in the recipe is yellow colored one or brown colored one? looking forward for your reply.

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Akshay! I’m Summer, an editor here at Simply Recipes! Hank recommends Coleman Dry Mustard, which is actually a blend of both yellow and brown seeds. If you can’t find it locally, you can find here.


    This is an interesting twist on a SC mustard-based BBQ sauce, but I wouldn’t call it authentic, which doesn’t mean it’s bad, mind you, just not what you would find in SC. I have tasted a lot of mustard sauces having lived in SC my whole life and writing a blog dedicated to SC BBQ. I have never seen a “chunky” version nor have I seen another recipe that includes onion. The bay leaf is also an unusual addition. Like I said…interesting, but worth the small effort it takes to mix up. Well done!

  • Melissa

    We’ve had a lot of success with this recipe, using it on pork and poultry. My husband asked me to make this sauce and put it over a ham before baking it. I figured it couldn’t hurt. It was amazing!! I don’t know if there is anything this sauce wouldn’t work on!

  • Pat E.

    Marvelous! But how can you get such a bright yellow color using Brown sugar? When I made it, it was brownish, not really bad but not as gorgeous as on your picture.

  • barbara nascimben

    Made this and fell in LOVE!!


  • Jenni

    I have to say that you are my fave person right now. we recently moved to ky from sc and i’ve already run out of my stash of maurices bbq sauce. i appreciate you posting this great recipe(hubby thanks you for stopping my whining).i added another tsp of cayenne(if its not spicy its not worth eating in my book) to the recipe and now im in pulled pork heaven. thanks again!


  • Mary C.

    I made this last night for grilled chicken and it is now my new favorite bbq sauce!!!!!! Everyone loved it, mostly my 8 y/o daughter :)
    Thanks and I love your blog and recipes (I’ve made a bunch!!!!)


  • Jenna

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I tried it and it is wonderful. Since we boycott Maurice’s in SC, I haven’t had a decent mustard sauce in years. This one hits the spot.


  • Tre

    Absolutely wonderful sauce. I made this about a week ago and the entire family loved it! This is definitely a winner!


  • Lester

    I love this sauce! I used on a Bacon Explosion this weekend to tremendous response. I made pork ribs the next day with the leftover sauce. Delicious!


  • Lori

    I had been looking for a mustard bbq recipe — I had one years ago but lost it. This one is very good and so easy! I used molasses instead of brown sugar and it came out great.


  • John Mill

    Wow! I just made this for dinner tonight, and it is so refreshing after all of the red BBQ sauces I normally make.


  • KariVery

    I ran out of cider vinegar so I used Balsamic vinegar and it was really good too! The color is not nearly as pretty, but it tasted wonderful.

  • Elita

    Hi, I’m planning on making this tonight, but the grocery store didn’t have dry mustard. I do have mustard seeds at home, though, can I just grind them up? Or just omit the dry mustard? Thanks!

    Yep. Grind ’em up fine and you will be in business… ~Hank

  • Marshall Senk

    Made this for a bbq last weekend along with 2 other homemade sauces (root beer from epicurious and Michael Symon’s with coffee) and this was the only one to disappear. Guests were intrigued by the color and blown away by the flavor. Also please tell your father that his fish stew is one of our family favorites.

  • Jamie

    I made your mustard-based sauce after a recent trip to Myrtle Beach, where we enjoy bbque at Maurice’s on the way down and back…my husband said your sauce was just as great and with a little kick! Thanks for the recipe:)

    That’s a rare compliment! I know how much people love Maurice’s – I’ve eaten there a couple times, and it is good bbq! ~Hank

  • Debbie

    I had this at a bbq hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation in SC. Of course, the mustard bbq sauce graced a big tray of shredded turkey, and it was fabulous!!!

    That sauce on wild turkey? Ooooh yeahhh… Me likey! Me likey a lot! ~Hank