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Honey-Hickory Barbecue Sauce Recipe

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Tomato-based barbecue sauces are the most dominant selling sauces on the market, but historically, South Carolinians have favored a different option.

South Carolina has 4 distinct regions where particular types of BBQ sauces have long been favored: vinegar-based, mustard-based, light tomato-based, and heavy tomato-based. See the map below:

Map of SC's four BBQ Sauce Regions

Map of SC BBQ Sauce Regions

Clearly, the smallest of these regions is the heavy tomato so much of the US seems to favor. I guess it is also true that SC has a history of standing up against the rest of the country.

Civil war allusions aside, tomato-based sauces do have their place in SC, and if you’re going to make your own at home, you might as well go to the master!

Here is a traditional tomato BBQ sauce recipe you can make at home sent in by Mike Sexton, SCBA District Chief, Marshall, and Master Judge.

Mike says it is one of the sauces he keeps in his fridge at all times. In fact, his youngest daughter, at the time a sophomore in high school, and made this sauce for her teachers as a Christmas gift, and it was quite the hit.

Mike got the recipe from champion BBQ king Myron Mixon, the “Lord of Q.”

We think you’ll enjoy it, too. Homemade Honey Hickory BBQ Sauce recipe:

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Honey-Hickory BBQ Sauce

Honey-Hickory Tomato-based Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 32
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A zesty homemade BBQ sauce shared by the Lord of Q, himself, Myron Mixon. Amazing on BBQ and versatile enough for hot dogs and hamburgers!


  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, smoked
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.
  2. Pour into pot and heat over medium heat without boiling.
  3. Use hot or refrigerate for use later.


Myron Mixon is "The winningest man in barbecue." This is his basic formula for a hickory sauce. It is supposedly close to the one he uses in competitions. It lends zest to any meat, even hot dogs and hamburgers!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 545mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

Want More Authentic SC BBQ Recipes?

Check out our SC BBQ Cookbook. Complete with over 150 pages of recipes from generations-old family cookbooks and today's top pitmasters.

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Check out these other authentic SCBBQ recipes we’ve published on destination-bbq:

Eastern SC Vinegar-Based Sauce Recipe

Home Team BBQ’s Alabama White Sauce Recipe

South Carolina’s Best Mustard-Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

And we’ve published the following sauce recipes in the SCBBQ Recipes: Going Whole Hog cookbook 

You can read more about that here.

Sauces and Rubs:

Vinegar-Pepper Sauces
Mustard Sauces
Tomato-Based Sauces
Other Sauces
  • Sticky Fingers’ Basic Dry Rub Recipe
  • JB’s Smokeshack-Style Spicy Dry Rub Recipe
  • Sticky Fingers’ Texas Rub Recipe
  • BlackJack Barbecue Dry Rub Recipe
  • Sticky Fingers’ Sweet Rib Rub Recipe
  • Home Team BBQ Dry Rub Recipe for Chicken Wings Recipe
  • John Lewis BBQ-Style Brisket Dry Rub Recipe


Monday 23rd of March 2020

Great recipe! Do you know how long it lasts in the fridge?

James Roller

Friday 27th of March 2020

Great question. I don't actually, so the safest answer is 3-5 days, as is the case with most foods. That said -- and not saying it is safe to do this -- we leave our sauce in the fridge somewhat indefinitely. I mean it's ketchup, which you don't even have to refrigerate -- spices, which you don't refrigerate, and things we use as preservatives like salt and sugars. Again, the safe answer is 3-5 days.

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