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What Is White BBQ Sauce?

We’ve all heard of, and the majority of us have tried barbecue sauce. We are all familiar with its sweet taste, brown color, and somewhat thick consistency. But what about white barbecue sauce? That’s new to most of us. Besides, it’s not quite as popular, so no wonder why you may have never heard about it until now. Either way, you want to know what it is, right? How does it differ? Well, here is all you are going to want to know.

So, what is White BBQ sauce? White BBQ sauce is a variation of regular BBQ sauce. Although instead of being predominantly made from tomatoes or ketchup like regular BBQ sauce, it is made from a base of mayonnaise instead. It is therefore mostly creamy in flavor and is off-white in color.

White BBQ sauce is also known as Alabama White BBQ sauce, by the way.

So you may see the terms used interchangeably. Just consider that.

And that’s due to the origins of the sauce.

As you can probably guess, it originated in Alabama – specifically at Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q and was created by Robert Gibson.

Since then it gained in popularity.

To the point where many brands of the sauce have come to market. And now, many grocery stores and online merchants now stock it.

Of course, just like with any sauce there are subtle variations – so do consider that.

As we shall now see in the following sections below.

What Is White Barbecue Sauce Made Of?

White BBQ Sauce is typically made of mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and horseradish along with a number of other flavorings. Although, home recipes and branded product versions of the sauce can vary.

In fact, if we take a look at a typical home recipe we can see how it differs from those offered on the market.

Home Recipe White BBQ Sauce Ingredients

While quantities of each recipe vary, the typical home recipe of white BBQ sauce typically contains:

  • Mayonnaise,
  • Apple cider vinegar,
  • Brown mustard,
  • Brown sugar,
  • Horseradish,
  • Lemon juice,
  • Worcestershire sauce

From there you will typically see other flavorings, sometimes hot sauce, and then usually herbs and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.

Branded White BBQ Sauce Ingredients

There are a number of different branded white BBQ sauces on the market.

The following four are some of the most popular.

Dukes Alabama Style White Duke’s Southern Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Soybean Oil, Water, Sugar, Distilled and Cider Vinegar, Dijon Mustard (Water, Mustard Seed, Vinegar, Salt, White Wine, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Spices), Egg Yolks, Horseradish (Horseradish Roots, Vinegar, Salt, and Flavoring), Salt, Natural Flavors, Onion*, Garlic*, Spices, Lemon Juice, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Protect Flavor. *Dehydrated. Contains egg.

TGI Friday’s White BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Mayonnaise (Soybean Oil, Vinegar, Eggs, Water, Salt, Egg Yolks, Sugar, Disodium Edta (To Protect Freshness), Water, Granulated Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Horseradish, Salt, Granulated Orange Peel, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Celery Seed, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavor, Natamax (Natural Preservative).

Lillie’s Q Ivory White Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

Mayonnaise (Soybean Oil, Water, Corn Syrup, Egg Yolks, Distilled Vinegar, Contains Less Than 2% Of Salt, Spice), Cider Vinegar, Filtered Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of Spices, Lime Juice Concentrate, Salt, And Food Starch.

Wide Open Foods White BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Non-Gmo Expeller Pressed Soybean Oil, Water, Cider Vinegar, Salt, Spice, Lemon Juice, Mustard Powder, And Xanthan Gum. Contains: Soy

So as you can see, this sauce can actually vary quite a bit.

Still, it always remains a mayonnaise-based barbecue variation at its core.

What Does White BBQ Taste Like?

White BBQ Sauce is sweet, creamy, tangy, and has a hint of spice. While it does taste a little like regular BBQ sauce, it tends to have more peppery notes.

In fact, some consumers of this sauce have described the flavors as follows:

  • Vinegary mayo with pepper,
  • Like coleslaw dressing with less vinegar.
  • Creamy coleslaw dressing to with a little heat

Of course, flavors may alter slightly depending on the recipe or brand but a creamy tangy flavor is generally commonplace among them all.

What Does White BBQ Sauce Go Well With?

White BBQ sauce was originally created to be served with BBQ chicken, and other grilled meats. Chicken drumsticks, wings, and quarters work particularly well. It is often used as a marinade.

Although, there is no reason why this sauce cannot be paired with other foods, too.

Or be used as a dipping sauce for chips, a spread for sandwiches, or in any other context that calls for mayonnaise!


White BBQ sauce, or Alabama White sauce, is certainly an interesting twist and variation of the regular, and more common condiment.

The best way to imagine it is this; a mayonnaise-based alternative.

And with a few other flavor notes in there too; it certainly makes for a nice change.

Especially with chicken.

So do give it a try.

Ever when ordering out or perhaps even by buying a bottle from the grocery store/or online.

You may even find that you prefer it…

Besides, mayonnaise, is great – isn’t it!

Love BBQ sauce? Then my other guides may be of interest: