We like our Carolina BBQ! It’s tangy and vinegar-y, with mustard and vinegar at the heart of it. So the next time you head to the grocery store, instead of buying store-made BBQ sauce, which is choc-full-o’-nasty preservatives you don’t need or want, why not try your hand at your own sauce!? Here’s our simple recipe for Carolina BBQ sauce that’ll make your grilled meats taste that much better!


  • 1 cup yellow mustard (you can also try Dijon for a slightly different flavor profile)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (you can add more for extra kick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon hickory-flavored liquid smoke or hickory powder*


  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients (save for the liquid smoke) and bring to a simmer–cooking just long enough to dissolve all dry ingredients.
  2. Stir thoroughly.
  3. I advise you taste the sauce before adding the liquid smoke/powder. If you like it, leave out the smoke. If you definitely want it smoky, then stir in the liquid/powder smoke after removing the saucepan from the stove.
  4. If you want a thicker version of the sauce, turn the heat up and constantly whisk the sauce as it reduces. (You can also add in a little flour–like a teaspoon–to help the thickening process).
  5. Marinate your meats in the sauce (I like to marinate mine in large Ziploc bags, what I leave in the fridge a minimum of one hour) or brush the sauce on and go to town on that grill! Be sure to save a little sauce for extra topping when you’re done cooking.

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