Friday, September 4, 2015

Alabama-Style White BBQ Sauce – An Almost Labor-Free Sauce for Your Labor Day Grill

This incredibly easy to make Alabama white barbecue sauce was invented in 1925 by Robert “Big Bob” Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q restaurant, in Decatur. When I first read this bit of culinary history, I had to smile, since I actually know the guy. Well, sort of.

I’ve been to two bbq “boot camps,” run by champion pitmaster Chris Lilly, who trained under a guy, who trained under Big Bob Gibson. Hey, that’s only three degrees of separation. Ironically, Chris never made, or used the white sauce on anything we cooked, but still, I know a guy, who knew a guy, who knew THE guy.

Some people find this concoction quite strange, but not me. It’s eerily similar to the Cornell chicken marinade, which I love. In fact, Mr. Robert C. Baker, the creator of the aforementioned recipe, may have borrowed the idea from Big Bob. I would investigate further, but I have real crimes to solve.

Don’t let this mixture’s appearance stop you from trying what is a devastatingly delicious marinade, baste, and sauce. One tip for basting on the grill: make sure you do it towards the end of cooking, and not over too-high heat. You don’t want flame-ups, as that will cause an off taste.

I brush on two or three applications to each side, over more indirect heat, and as you see in the video, it sears on nicely. As a table sauce, it’s great on any of the traditional barbecued meats, but since it’s really just a salad dressing, it’s also wonderful for making potato salad, coleslaw, and grilled vegetables. I hope you give this white barbecue sauce a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 3 cups of sauce:
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup prepared extra-hot horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tsp yellow mustard
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

28 comments:

Mia said...

Prepared horseradish isn't available at my current location.. Should I made it myself, or can I use a smaller amount of grated horseradish instead? If so, how much?

Chris K. said...

Alabama white sauce is fantastic on smoked chicken wings.

Toshiko Suisei said...

Oddly enough Mia, if you type the sentence "how to make prepared horseradish" into Google you are instantly presented with the short and easy recipe to do just that.

Chef John said...

yes, what he said. ;)

Elisabeth Spinney said...

I plan on making this tomorrow for my grandmother and myself. Thanks Chef John!

Joshua Ladd said...

I tried a recipe for white bbq sauce a couple of years ago; really liked it, but I really dig all the cayenne and horseradish that's in your recipe. Looking forward to trying it! (Oh, and another way I really enjoyed using it was drizzling a little bit on top of some homemade tomato soup. Weird but good.)

Jason Smith said...

To: Chris K.


O-h M-Y G-A-W-D...This was SHEER GENIUS on smoked wings!


Thanks!

Toshiko Suisei said...

she -- blows a virtual kiss to Chef John ;)

hazman440 said...

We made this yesterday and they were fantastic ! ... We are going to drizzle the remainder over grilled strip steaks today.

LythaStudios said...

Hi Chef John. This recipe looks fantastic. As does that carrot salad. Can you talk a little more about the carrots? Are they just shaved raw carrots, or are they cooked at all? Did you put anything on them?

Susan Oneill said...

Congrats Chef John... I love love love you. You will never know how much you taught me.

rodentraiser said...

I don't have a grill, so would I be able to use this in the oven or in a slow cooker over ribs like regular BBQ sauce?

rodentraiser said...

Never mind my previous post. I think I can use my broiler. And I can find out if my smoke alarm works at the same time. Win/win.

Azi said...

Made it yesterday for inside skirt steals. It worked very well.
Marinated fir 3 hrs, no basting and plenty of 'finishing' sauce made available.
I did go thinner ... It just made sense fir the he steaks (which were served sliced).
Excellent idea for the weekend.

inchrisin said...

Hi John,

Incredible shot of getting some caramelization on the grill!

I'm with you on wanting this thick. If mine is too thin, is there a way to thicken it up a little? My first guess is more mayo, but I wonder if there's something a little more neutral?

cyn howard said...

I made this sauce today and it is fabulous!!!!!! I did make make one addition; 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke. If I would have been smoking I wouldn't have made this addition

David Fennen said...

Chef John,
I have been a long time follower of your website and wanted to take the time to thank you for all of the effort you have put into Food Wishes. I have prepared probably 100 of your recipes. Bacon chicken ranch skewers, pistachio encrusted sweet potato casserole, chicken parm, shortcut chicken enchiladas, mascarpone mashed potatoes, french onion soup that would make a mime chatty, french onion green bean casserole, duck gumbo, chicken alfredo, granola, Swedish meatballs, seared scallops with orange jalapeño vinaigrette, prime rib, pumpkin cheesecake, flan with the sugar decoration, mayonnaise, creme fresch, banana bread with chocolate chips, pecan pie, etc....etc....the list goes on! Through your recipes and techniques I have gained the confidence and skills to really crank out some fine meals. I have even made a few of my own cooking videos. Your website has converted me from someone who liked to cook into a full on Foodie! Thanks again!

David Fennen said...

Here are a few videos I made.
http://youtu.be/WdQIzOgDUGo
And these burgers were honestly better than any beef burger I have ever had. It might be an abomination to put yellow fin tuna through a meat grinder, but I catch my own and had yellowfin coming out of my ears and was looking for something different...
http://youtu.be/7_PH72UbXWc
And because I had so much tuna, I made a video of canning tuna...
http://youtu.be/-uGUczN0J14

I realize you may not want to make this post public, but maybe you will get a kick out of them. Pardon the production value in advance;)

Knightlite1 said...

We made it last night. It was excellent! Really good. I was thinking next time I make it, I might add some smoked paprika, although that will blow the whole white sauce deal.

inchrisin said...

raw cider vinegar is the base for a lot of Kombucha, so I'd assume that it's mildly fermented and has lots of those probiotics that are great for your gut.

Twilight Princess said...

No horseradish. I used Sriracha sauce instead :D

Twilight Princess said...

No horseradish. Used Siracha. Yum!

Karen Hall said...

I tried this on country pork ribs. Absolutely amazing. This is going into regular rotation.

rotunder said...

Great sauce - I had never tried anything like it! A bit tangy, a bit spicy. It amazes me that a thick semi-solid mayo gets turned into a liquid by adding some vinegar and lemon juice. Tried it your way with chicken thighs on the barbie but also on oven baked chicken on rice, goes really well either way.

live5 said...

Hi chef John is a George Foreman grill good for all grill recipes don't have an outside please answer me

Rafael Herzog Ramos said...

Hi, I'd really like to try it. But I can't find prepared horseradish here in Brazil (or in natura). I can only find it dried powdered, can I use that instead?

Unknown said...

Hi Rafael, I think if you look at the whole recipe, it is just basically Mayo, mustard, seasonings, and vinegar/lemon. So I am sure you can play around with dried horse radish powder to get it tasting good:)

Unknown said...

Yes