Saturday, February 20, 2016

White Barbecue Sauce - A Recipe

I live right around Huntsville, Alabama which is an area known for 2 things - the first is a ridiculous number of Aerospace Engineers (I'm the daughter of one and the wife of another and I've worked on a few space related projects myself) and the second is White Barbecue Sauce.  I'm not sure how well known White Barbecue sauce is.  Years ago you only knew about it if you lived in North Alabama but now the world is so much smaller so it wouldn't surprise me if this has spread.  If it hasn't it should because it's amazing!
The sauce was created by Bob Gibson who owned a little barbecue restaurant called Big Bob Gibson's which still exists in Decatur, AL.  He came up with this tangy sauce in 1925 and it's been a staple ever since.  It's delicious on chicken, hush puppies, and pretty much anything else you can come up with.  There are a few bottled versions you can buy (including one by Gibson's) but it's so easy to make and tastes so much better that I always make my own.

Today I thought I'd share a recipe for White Barbecue Sauce.  It's so simple that you probably already have all the ingredients.  This recipe comes from Southern Plate which is a cookbook (and blog) by Christy Jordan who lives in the same area that I do.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
6 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together and stir well to dissolve the sugar.  Refrigerate several hours before serving.

And that's it!  This recipe tastes very similar to the sauce you'd find if you were eating at Gibson's where it was originally invented.  Now while this is a really good simple recipe I actually prefer this more complicated recipe from Southern Bites.  If you can't find creole mustard I've used just regular spicy brown in a pinch and it's worked fine.

I take chicken breasts pounded to between 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and brush them with a little olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and then on a greased broiler pan I pop them under the broiler for about 8 minutes or so.  I then brush the sauce over each side, flip the chicken and broil for another 8 minutes or so.  Then I brush both sides of the chicken and serve them with a bit of sauce on the side for dipping.  

This works great with most barbecue type sides though I like sweeter things like this corn casserole or baked beans to balance out the acidity of the sauce.  The sauce is also great with all kinds of things that could use a bit of a kick!  

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. You & I were just talking about white BBQ sauce the other day. I've never had it and I am not a mayo lover, but I would still like to try it. We try and ride to eat on weekends but I think Huntsville would take us too long 😒
    One day, when we can travel again, I would love to stop in your area of Alabama and try the local BBQ! I didn't know you were married to a rocket scientist!

  2. Wow. That sounds way too good. Bet it is wonderful to dip all kinds of things.

  3. Long long ago, before when Christy Jordan was just a beginning blogger, before cook books and magazines, I entered a give-away on her blog and got two cotton hankies. LOL That's my claim to fame. I will give this sauce a try---altho I think I like the sound of the Southern Bites version better too--I am intrigued by all the regional types of bbq sauce.

  4. I've never heard of white BBQ sauce. I too am not a huge mayo lover, so I'm a little hesitant. But maybe my husband would be a fan.

  5. I'd never heard of white barbecue sauce -- very interesting! Also didn't know about all those aerospace engineers around Huntsville. :) The recipe looks easy to make and I imagine it would add great flavor and moistness to grilled chicken.

  6. I am intrigued! Have not heard of white BBQ sauce before. But my kids would love it as its got mayo! My younger son (who's 2) isn't a fan of regular bbq sauce!

  7. White BBQ sauce, another thing I've not heard of, but want to give a try - especially with the pounded chicken breasts. That is definitely on the slate.

    1. I use sauces like this all the time on potatoes/veggies - who knew what it was called! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  8. Never heard of White BBQ sauce before. Hmmm....I do love BBQ sauce on like everything though. Of course I'm more on the tame honey garlic side. But I might just give this a go. Try it out. Especially because it's so simple.

  9. How interesting. I've never heard of White BBQ Sauce before. You are surrounded by aerospace engineers. I'm surrounded by computer engineers here in Silicon Valley.

  10. I have never heard of white BBQ sauce and here I thought I was a southern girl when it comes to my diet. I will definitely have to try this. Great post!

  11. I am not a huge mayo person so I might not like this but I have heard of it. :)

  12. I'm intrigued by the idea of so much sour and sweet mixed into mayo. Barbecue sauce is so linked to regional foodways that it never fails to amaze me. Also amazing how many things you say it could be served on!

    best... mae at

  13. I don't do mayo so probably not one I would dive into but whoa I'd never heard of that! I know some who I bet would totally love that.

  14. Is it similar to ranch dressing, I wonder? I don't like mayo plain, but I like it spiced up! My parents were not barbecue sauce users and I never have become a big fan, either, but I wonder if I would like this white BBQ sauce better????

  15. My mother was an aerospace engineer for General Electric before it became Lockheed Martin, and my uncle was an aerospace engineer for Singer-Link! This BBQ sauce sounds great. I will have to make it for myself because my son hates mayo, can you believe that?! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  16. That sounds really good. I'll have to make some soon, so I'm pinning it for later.