Sauces and Condiments

How To Make The White BBQ Sauce That’s Fascinated Us Since 1925


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How to make Alabama White Sauce A.K.A White BBQ Sauce

White BBQ sauce? For most of us, that idea is a stretch. Throughout the Midwest and south into Texas, BBQ sauce is red because it’s tomato-based. The usual elements added are sweeteners like brown sugar or molasses, spices like cumin, chili powder, mustard, or pepper, and liquid smoke.

But as you head east, the sauces used in barbecuing change. You see more vinegar-based, light-colored concoctions. There is usually some sugar in all barbecue sauces because it helps form the meat’s tasty crust. That crust also keeps the juices inside!

Once upon a time in Alabama, a very large guy named Big Bob Gibson invented a new sauce that took the South by storm and is still popular today.

Why? Because it simply does amazing things for food! Bob started out cooking for friends and family. He dished out his now-famous sauce on smoked chicken and served it on an oak plank table nailed to a sycamore tree in his back yard. He began doing that in about 1925.

Over time, a restaurant still bears his name and has immortalized the magic white barbecue sauce he dreamed up almost a hundred years ago.

white bbq sauce

Why Does This White Barbecue Sauce Taste So Delicious

No one left today worked directly with Big Bob, so the original secret recipe has almost become a legend. However, the basic ingredients have not varied for nearly a century. Bob liked to slow-roast and smoke whole chickens for more than three hours in a barbecue pit.

He knew they needed more fat to keep them juicy and moist. That’s what inspired his novel creamy white sauce that combined full-fat mayonnaise with vinegar, salt, pepper, and a touch of lemon juice. It’s smooth and creamy with a pleasant bit of tang and tastes great on many foods! Those five ingredients alone changed Alabaman’s taste buds!

Over decades of experimentation, other ingredients have been added, and it seems each cook has a unique twist on what makes this incredible white sauce their signature white sauce.

Interestingly, this white BBQ sauce has exploded onto the food scene this summer. It’s a hot ticket these days, and you don’t want to miss out!

This is Everything You Need To Make White BBQ Sauce In 10 Minutes

You will need full-fat mayonnaise, not salad dressing! This recipe also calls for apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I added a spoonful of brown sugar to smooth it out and a teaspoon of horseradish for a little kick.

There’s nothing to making this delightful concoction! All you need is a bowl and a whisk. Please don’t wait to make it!

I test drove it the first afternoon on two granddaughters who declared it “amazing!” They gobbled it down on woven wheat crackers and chips. I wouldn’t get to the grilled chicken until a couple of days later!

Grilled Chicken And White Alabama BBQ Sauce Is A Marriage Made In Heaven

I’m here to tell you Big Bob was right! Over the holiday weekend, I grilled some boneless, skinless chicken breast. I had marinated it for a couple of hours and pounded it out pretty thin. You know how dry a skinny cut of chicken like that can get.

But the white sauce was magic! I basted a little on each piece as I grilled it. Incredibly, it stayed tender and moist. When we served it, we drizzled a little more sauce on top for good measure. It was fabulous! The teenagers all wolfed it down!

Here’s A Delicious Idea For What I Call Next Day Planovers

At our house, we never call them leftovers! I call them “plan-overs” or “bonus meals” on tip-the-refrigerator nights! I have to give credit to our daughter for making this spectacular lunch from the last pieces of grilled chicken, lettuce, berries, and the remaining sauce. Isn’t this gorgeous?

All she added was some packaged cranberry and walnut salad topping. Absolutely genius and so very delish! The white BBQ sauce became the dressing on an Insta-worthy salad the next day! Here’s a closer look.

I bet you’ll come up with some very creative ways to use Alabama white BBQ Sauce, and when you do, we sure hope you will share!!

Printable recipe:

Yield: 12 servings

White BBQ Sauce

Alabama White Sauce A.K.A White BBQ Sauce

A unique mayonnaise-based sauce that's perfect for chicken and great on raw veggies, chips, even sweet corn!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup full fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Whisk together all ingredients in a medium-size bowl until everything is well-blended. Transfer to a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to a week.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share it on your social media! I would love for more people to try this delicious and easy-to-make recipe. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you! Shhh… Join our secret foodie group on Facebook


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  1. Is this white Alabama barbecue sauce good for pork too

  2. Andrew Barlow

    It tastes mostly like vinegar. I’ve never had this before, but is that what it is supposed to be like? I can’t really taste any of the spices and seasonings.

    • Oh my gosh! This makes me so sad! This was not our experience at all. In fact, our teenagers practically drank it! Did you use full-fat mayonnaise? That should certainly tone down the vinegar taste! Du=id you try adding a little more sugar? Since all of our “tasters” are unique, please play with it and try it again! My motto is always, my kitchen is my playground and my laboratory!

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  15. OhMyWord Boy Howdy! This sauce is….. magical. I made it to use as a dipping sauce for breaded chicken fingers. Ended up using it not only as a dip but also as a dressing for some coleslaw. Safe to say I will ALWAYS have a jar of this made and ready to go on….whatever! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!!!

  16. I made this & its great! Love it with most anything. Better than Chic A Fil. Just don’t slip with vinegar.. .less better than more.

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