Best Alabama White Sauce

Written by Mike Futia | Updated October 18, 2023

Alabama white sauce is one of the best BBQ sauces you can make at home. We're taking tangy mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and spices to create a versatile, delicious white barbecue sauce that goes perfectly on chicken, turkey, and seafood.  

alabama white sauce

This simple recipe is the best way to make your own homemade white BBQ sauce.

We're inspired by Big Bob Gibson's Original White Sauce, which is a legendary BBQ sauce in the south. We're putting our own spin on this Alabama White Sauce with a little hint of smoked paprika to give it a little extra smoky kick.

You can put this sauce on all kinds of chicken, like smoked chicken thighs, smoked whole chicken, and of course smoked chicken wings.

How To Make Alabama White Sauce (White BBQ Sauce)

This Alabama white sauce recipe calls for nine ingredients. Chances are, you already have most of these in your refrigerator and pantry. 

The recipe comes together in less than 5 minutes, but we highly recommend you let the sauce meld together in your refrigerator for at least an hour.

alabama white sauce spices

Alabama White Sauce spices: black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika

The Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise (2 cups). A creamy base and adds a subtle sweetness and tanginess that balances out the other flavors.
  • Apple cider vinegar (1/4 cup). Apple cider vinegar brings a fruity acidity that brightens the sauce and cuts through the richness of the mayonnaise.
  • Fresh lemon juice (juice from 1/2 lemon). A fresh, citrusy tang that enhances the overall flavor and lightens the sauce.
  • Worcestershire sauce (1/2 tbsp). A complex, savory depth with its blend of vinegar, molasses, and spices.
  • Black pepper (1 tsp). A mild heat and a slightly woodsy, pungent flavor that adds complexity.
  • Salt (1/2 tsp). Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and brings balance to the overall taste of the sauce.
  • Cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp). A spicy kick that adds a layer of heat to the sauce
  • Smoked paprika (1/2 tsp). A smoky, sweet, and slightly earthy flavor that complements the tanginess of the sauce, and a nod to traditional BBQ flavor.
  • Prepared horseradish (1 tsp). A potent, spicy, and slightly bitter flavor that gives the sauce a unique edge.

The Directions

alabama sauce chicken thighs

1. Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Stir and mix thoroughly to combine.

2. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the ingredients to come together. 

3. Serve on your favorite smoked chicken recipe and ENJOY!

Tips For Making Alabama White BBQ Sauce

I've whipped up a fair share of batches of Alabama white sauce. Here are my top tips for making sure this recipe comes out great every time.

  • Use a quality mayo. While there's nothing wrong with Hellmann's mayo if that's all you got, try to get your hands on Duke's mayo or a Japanese mayo for an even more explosive flavor profile.
  • Use fresh lemon juice. In this recipe, I used freshly squeezed lemon juice from half a lemon. It adds a zesty brightness that bottled lemon juice can't match.
  • Pepper variation. Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe. Instead of using cayenne pepper, for example, feel free to swap it out in favor of chipotle pepper.
  • Let it rest. You really need to let this white BBQ sauce rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour, and preferably longer (overnight) if you have the time. This allows the ingredients and flavors to really marry together.

Storage Tips

  • Store this sauce for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to check for signs of spoilage (smell, discoloration) before using.

What To Serve With Alabama White Sauce

Alabama white sauce goes amazing with all things chicken. Check out some of our favorite smoked chicken recipes below.

Recommended Tools

  • Mason Jars. Store your leftovers in one of these jars, either a 12-ounce jar or a 1-pint jar.
  • Small Glass Bowls. If you're like me and like to lay out all of your ingredients in front of you, these small glass bowls are great for staying organized when you're cooking.

About Alabama White Sauce

gibson sauce

image credit:

While nobody knows the exact origins of Alabama white sauce, Bob Gibson is credited with popularizing the sauce. 

Gibson opened his restaurant—Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Que—in 1925. The restaurant's original sauce was a tomato-based sauce, but in the 1960s, he experimented with a mayonnaise-based sauce that was inspired by his wife's recipe for coleslaw dressing. The new sauce was a hit with customers, and it soon became the signature sauce of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.

alabama white sauce

Best Alabama White Sauce

Alabama white sauce gets a smoky twist in this unique recipe. Perfect for grilling, it's a tangy, creamy delight that elevates any BBQ dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 8 ounces
Calories 385 kcal


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish


  • Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Stir and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the ingredients to come together.
  • Serve on your favorite smoked chicken recipe and ENJOY!


Calories: 385kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 25gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 518mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 152IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Mike Futia

Hello, I'm Mike Futia, a passionate griller and BBQ enthusiast. I'm the creator of Grill Frenzy, and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge of grilling and smoking with you. I believe that BBQ and grilling should be accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, I'm here to guide you on your grilling journey. Welcome!


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