South Carolina — arguably the birthplace of barbecue — is home to four native barbecue sauces: a heavy tomato, a light tomato, a vinegar-pepper, and a mustard-based sauce.
Recently, however, an interloper has crossed the border, and we find ourselves with a fifth sauce: the Alabama White Sauce.
The Alabama white sauce got it’s start in 1925 in Decatur, AL, when Big Bob Gibson was the first to whip up a batch. His great-granddaughter’s husband, Chris Lilly, now runs the place and spoke about the origins with AL.com.
Interestingly enough, he may have actually thought of it as a vinegar-based barbecue sauce.
“He definitely had an affinity for vinegar based sauces,” Lilly says. “His pork sauce is what I’d describe as sort of an Eastern-style North Carolina barbecue sauce.
“It’s what you call a ‘sop mop,’ where he basted shoulders during the latter part of the cooking process. And I think that carried over for his chicken when he developed that sauce.”
“His chickens sometimes stayed on his pit for three hours. When you’re pulling a pit of chickens you’ve got to have some way to keep those chickens moist. Keep them from drying out.
“And I think that’s where the mayonnaise came from. The fat in the mayonnaise basically used as a buffer against the chicken drying out once it came off the pit.
“People describe it as a mayonnaise sauce, but I would describe it as a vinegar sauce with mayonnaise in it, more than anything,” Lilly says, who’s been with Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q since 1991.
Alabama white sauce is — to most people — a mayonnaise-based sauce that’s reminiscent of a simple coleslaw dressing; however, there is no question that Home Team’s Alabama White is popular on things other than cabbage, especially with their Smoked Chicken Wings.
The combination of those wings and that sauce are hard to beat.
In fact, Charleston’s news station WCSC featured Home Team in their “Lowcountry Weekend” segment and had the following to say about the wings and Alabama white sauce.
“One of the most popular dishes at Home Team is Fiery Ron’s Smoked Chicken Wings with Alabama White Sauce. The wings are smoked and then quickly flash-fried to give them a crispy, caramelized coating.
“They’re then paired with Home Team’s delicious and creamy Alabama White Sauce.
“You can even get a little saucier if you know how to ask. If you want to kick things up a notch, you can ask for a side of Death Relish, a spicy pepper relish that really lives up to its name.
“The two sauces are a perfect balance for each other and take your wing-eating experience to a whole new level.”
If you’re making Home Team BBQ’s wings or your own, you have to make the sauce, and it won’t take long.
Home Team BBQ currently has three locations in Charleston — Sullivan’s Island, Downtown, and West Ashley — with other locations opening in Greenville and Columbia. There is also a Home Team in Aspen, CO.
Here is the recipe for Home Team BBQ’s Alabama White BBQ Sauce:
- 2 cups Duke's mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Chill until ready to use.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1.5 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
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Check out some of these other authentic SCBBQ sauce recipes we’ve published on destination-bbq:
Sauces and Rubs:
- Jay Phillips’ Whole Hog Sauce Recipe
- Dad’s Mop Sauce Recipe
- Eastern SC Vinegar-Pepper Sauce Recipe
- Moore Family’s Little Fisher Hog Sauce Recipe
- Lowcountry Vinegar Sauce Recipe
- Swig & Swine’s Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Dukes BBQ-Style Sauce Recipe
- Dukes BBQ Sauce – “Actual Recipe”
- Simple South Carolina Mustard Sauce Recipe
- Bessinger’s-Style Gold Sauce Recipe
- John Padgett’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Honey-Hickory Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- Bullies BBQs Thin Basting Sauce Recipe
- Cherrywood Signature BBQ Sauce Recipe
- “Carolina Red” Light Tomato Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- Basic Tomato Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- Home Team BBQ Alabama White Sauce Recipe
- Moe’s Original BBQ’s Alabama White Sauce Recipe
- Brisket Mojo Sauce Recipe
- Roller Family Hot Sauce Recipe
- Salsa Verde with Avocado for Pulled Pork Recipe