Giddy Swamp, South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

By Bubba Mac
May 6, 2013

Author Notes: Most people know BBQ sauce to be the tomato or ketchup versions of Texas or Kansas City, the dry rub with mop of Memphis, or the vinegar versions of Eastern North Carolina. But there is another version in South Carolina that originated with the Germans that settled in Central South Carolina and brought their love of mustard to the traditions of low and slow smoking of PORK. This tradition of mustard BBQ sauces has been made famous by some great BBQ joints like Shealy's, Sweatman's, Hite's, Lever's (now defunct, but still selling sauce) and the most famous ... and not the best BBQ, Maurice's Piggie Park. The sauce can be used on chicken, ribs, hash (a SC tradition) but is best with pulled pork.Bubba Mac

Food52 Review: WHO: Bubba Mac is a new Food52er! (Where have you and your sauces been all along?)
WHAT: Your new grilling condiment, with a serious kick.
HOW: Are you ready for this? Sauté, whisk, simmer. Boom.
WHY WE LOVE IT: You probably have everything you need for this sauce, just waiting in your fridge. Combine the powers of all of them, and you're left with a glorious thing -- a tangy, spicy sauce that is much more than the sum of its parts.
The Editors

Makes: about a cup of sauce


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow ballpark-style mustard, like French's
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil on low heat until soft and transparent.
  2. Whisk in remaining ingredients, cook on low heat for 30 minutes stirring often.
  3. Thin sauce if necessary with additional water.
  4. Add more red pepper flakes if you want it spicier.
  5. Cool then refrigerate.

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Reviews (73) Questions (0)


Angela A. July 4, 2016
Bubba, how does this compare to the Dexter MO sauce?
Jesse P. October 10, 2015
Awesome sauce Bubba Mac. made er last night. great flavour and color.
Momof3Ms June 4, 2015
I cannot wait to try this sauce. My husband has been looking for a good "Yellow BBQ Sauce", as he puts it, and this may be the one. Thanks for sharing. :)
Alex D. May 2, 2014
Hey bubba mac! Give us another recipe of mustard, bbq, or rub...<br />I loove these mustard sauce, so i hope you can give us another delicious rub, mustrad, or something like these.<br />Thanks.<br />
pvmeer May 2, 2014
How long will this last in the refrigerator?<br />
Alex D. April 7, 2014
Delicious, i put on a texas style pulled pork sandwich!<br />Uffff! Delicioso!<br />Gracias ! <br />Thankyou !
Alex D. March 31, 2014
What can i use instaed of dry mustard?<br />Mustard seeds will work?<br /> Its the same thing?
Author Comment
Bubba M. March 31, 2014
yes….you just need to grind them up….mortar and pestle…or a spice grinder…Ihave a coffee grinder I use exclusively for spices
Alex D. April 1, 2014
Thanks for your response, i will try with the mortar and pestle, thanks! <br />:D
CountryCook March 31, 2014
Thanks for the recipe, Mac. However, as a chef and former resident of South Carolina, I came up with a very similar recipe. For a variation, I suggest adding beer and just a touch, a bare touch! of apple cider vinegar. this does not make it a 'vinegar base' sauce. It just gives it a little extra oomf. And of course the beer has to be a good beer. The best I've tried so far with my sauces is a rich porter like Sierra Nevada or even a stout like Guinness. And i like to put a bottle of the same beer in with the pork as its cooking (i use my slow cooker for now, since i am in the process of building a proper smoker), also with a touch of apple cider vinegar.... mmm mmm good. And still very German. ;)
EmilyNunn January 7, 2014
This would be good on ice cream.
Author Comment
Bubba M. August 21, 2013
Mike: I smoke my pork butt with minimal seasoning, letting the smoke and the pork (fat) do all the work. I season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to create a crusty bark....After 12 hours or so in the smoker, I pull the pork and add a sprinkling of cider vinegar. I then will mix about half of the pork with Giddy Swamp, say about half a cup and leave the other just pork. The rest of the sauce is served on the side. My feeling is you want the sauce to complement the pork, not the other way around. Happy smoking. B M
Mike August 24, 2013
Thanks a lot for your tips Bubba. Dinner was last night and everyone loved the food and the sauce. Thanks again!
Author Comment
Bubba M. August 24, 2013
Glad it worked out for you. Try it on chicken and ribs as well. B M
Mike August 20, 2013
I'm going to be making some pulled pork, but I want to try something a little different. I've made a Carolina sauce before, but I usually use the East Carolina vinegar base for my pulled pork. I'm just curious if I should use a rub on the pork ahead of time if I'm planning on using this sauce.
Author Comment
Bubba M. July 7, 2013
let me know what you i said in the descrip....its not pretty, but it makes up for it on the comfort scale....and it is one of those "go to" items on the sc bbq circuit......
Bill July 7, 2013
Not yet - But I have it on my list!
Author Comment
Bubba M. July 7, 2013
I actually have tried Maille...when I ran out of French's ...and the flavor is too need the bite of the american mustard...not the winey flavor of a european mustard. But I am approaching the problem as an historian....recreating a taste that I grew up with. Not a culinary variation on a theme. As for syrup...I am a huge fan of sorghum and molasses....use them whenever I can. To me, the OOMPH of the sauce is the bite of the "yeller" mustard, but anything is game. Did you try the giddy swamp hash recipe?
Bill July 7, 2013
Now I want to try an experiment - What do you think would happen if we changed the mustard from French's to something like MAILLE or AMORA - I am wondering how it might change the taste? - - and if we changed the sugar to one of those newly produced Southern Sorgum Syrup - Be an interesting try!
Author Comment
Bubba M. July 7, 2013
You have been reading up on your BBQ is a link to the SC BBQ Association web site which talks more about the different styles and the people that brought those styles to the state....I know there are many stories of food and culture, but I think this type of "country cooking" is closest to the bone of people and a sense it is "first generation" I grew up with this stuff real wasn't until years later, when I started to investigate the origins that I discovered its origins. Read em and salivate! <br /><br />
Bill July 7, 2013
How very interesting! - I actually took a graduate level geography class quite some years ago and a portion of the class covered "a geography of BBQ" - in SC = We actually drove up highway 76 from Columbia to Greenville - the back way - and stopped at numbers of places along the way - detailing how the sauces changed as you moved up the line! - I am from the Pit Cooked Pee Dee area and had never even heard of mustard sauces until I moved to Columbia. I recently attended a Church PicNic in Eastern NC - all vinegar - but with a few additional sauces - no mustard - but then - My lowcountry family - (some of those very first Dorchester County Germans (Shuler) - that German enough for you? - They have every reunion catered by Sweatman's - And OH it is so very very good - Everyone takes home a plate! Maybe I should smuggle one of those mustard based BBQ sandwiches on the plane in a sealed container - I think people would be jumping over the seat because of that overwhelming smell! - Needless to say - I am totally excited about the emerging Food Culture in Our New South!
Bill July 5, 2013
The SC mustard based sauces have an interesting historical element - Many of the colonial immigrants were of German descent and consequently were addicted to their mustard - It is said that is why Central SC has mustard based barbecue. Interesting history on the geography of BBQ in the South
KelsoKitchen July 1, 2013
Smoked a pork butt, shredded it and put it on a potato roll & added this sauce--AH-MAZING. The tang cut through the rich pork & added depth. It's definitely hot but it was perfect for this use. Will use this again & again. Thanks for sharing!
MarcosB June 23, 2013
Yikes! I love spicy food but this had real heat. I only put in one teaspoon of red pepper flakes and it was still too hot for my fellow spice-lovin' guests. After a generous helping of honey and some white vinegar it was ready to shine. Great recipe, just adjust for heat. Bravo for a great alternative to more common BBQ Sauce recipes!
Joe M. June 23, 2013
Glad you added the honey and vinegar. A little apple juice will help the sauce as well. Not toooooooooo much honey -- we South Carolinians don't want it toooooo sweet!
Joe M. June 23, 2013
There should be some honey in this sauce!!!!! Even though the mustard has vinegar, a bit of vinegar and some apple juice also enhances "Carolina Gold" BBQ sauce. I grew up on it in South Carolina; love it!
ktchnninja June 12, 2013
congratulations, bubba mac! I lived in SC for 4 years, and this really takes me back! we just bought a grill, and I can't wait to out this on almost everything! can't wait for the hash recipe :)
Author Comment
Bubba M. July 1, 2013
Finally got around to revising my hash recipe for a small crowd...and not 300 people. Give it a try and let me know what you think. BMac
Katie June 11, 2013
I just made this delicious sauce to slather on grilled chicken kabobs for dinner tonight. I can't stop eating it out of the pan; let's hope there's enough left for the chicken! Thanks for sharing this wonderful sauce recipe. I'm sure to make it over and over.
za'atar June 9, 2013
I've never had a mustard-based barbecue sauce before, and while I can't say I'm completely sold, this was a nice change of pace from the tomato-based sauces I'm used to. It was definitely better on the pulled pork than just dipping my fingers into the pot. I only added 1t of red pepper flakes and that was plenty spicy.
Author Comment
Bubba M. June 5, 2013
SC Hash is a strange concoction that is part stew and part gravy. Made from pork butt and sometimes beef boiled in water and stock with some potatoes and onions then pureed. In some parts of the state, you would add tomatoes for red hash...other parts, mustard BBQ sauce and vinegar for "yeller" hash. It is typically served over rice or grits or maybe on a bun like a sloppy joy. Attached is a link from a southern documentary maker that gives additional information. I will post my recipe for Carolina Hash later. <br />
Jimbob67 June 5, 2013
No Fair!! You post has me drooling for Carolina Hash. Please don't wait too long to post that recipe!
Joe M. June 23, 2013
Bubba Mac -- Man after my own heart!!! I grew up in South Carolina loving all this stuff!!!!!!!!!! Hash over rice -- wonderful!!! REAL honest-to-goodness fried pork skins--wonderful!!!!!! Cracklin' cornbread -- to die for!!!!!!
Author Comment
Bubba M. July 1, 2013
Just added my Giddy Swamp Hash...give it a try.
Joe M. July 1, 2013
Where do I find the recipe for the hash?
BoulderGalinTokyo June 5, 2013
Great color, great flavor, and a really great name! Can't wait to give this a whirl. By hash, you mean potatoes and what? Thanks, and congrats.
Trena H. June 3, 2013
Delicious! I roasted a whole chicken, shredded the meat, and slathered it with this BBQ sauce. I think the shredded chicken in BBQ sauce would also taste great on a soft roll with lettuce and a sliced heirloom tomato...mmm good stuff!
EmilyC June 2, 2013
Dinner tonight was hickory-smoked pulled pork (with a salt and sugar rub ala David Chang); this sauce complemented it perfectly. Mustard sauces are my absolute favorite for pulled pork. As others have noted, I cut back on the red chili flakes. Congrats on your win!
DeannaMarie May 31, 2013
Love love love this recipe! I added cayenne pepper instead of red chili flakes (1 tsp) and it came out extra spicy. Too spicy for me, so I added about 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. of non fat greek yogurt to make it a bit richer, and even out the spice. Worked perfectly, and I love it! If anyone wants to take down the spice factor, this is a great way to do it!
Tina October 9, 2013
Great idea. I grew up 20 miles south of Columbia, SC and my grandpa always added mayonnaise to his gold sauce. I bet the result was similar.
Jimbob67 May 31, 2013
I'm puzzled---I love spicy sauces but thought this was a little too hot, and also had a bitterness to it. I triple checked the proportions and they were correct. Did anyone else have this problem? Adding more sugar helped, but next time I'm going to cut the spices in half to start, then add as I go along. I love mustard BBQ sauce and ain't gonna give up yet!
Thomas L. May 31, 2013
As I mention below, being a diabetic I thought I would try splenda rather than sugar and talking about it being extremely hot, I was coughing after each taste test. So, I ended up adding regular sugar in to it to make it bearable. But I'm going to do the same thing as well next time I make this recipe with my pulled chicken.
Pegeen May 30, 2013
Congratulations! Looks great and what a nice change.
Kitchen B. May 30, 2013
Congratulations. Planning on making this tomorrow to serve with BBQ'd fish! Love the colour
Kitchen B. May 31, 2013
making this now. Love the colour. It is spicy though, perfect for the Nigerian heat. I subbed mustard seeds for the powder which I don't have, frying the seeds with the onions at the start. Thank you. will feedback how well it goes down tomorrow!
Mark O. May 30, 2013
THANK YOU! Now I don't have to wait for a friend of mine to come back from Charleston with a bottle of Melvin's.
pierino May 30, 2013
This is a damn fine sauce. While my preference is for Kansas City or St. Louis style, I do respect the barbecue traditions of the Carolinas. I will be putting this to use as soon as I'm able to stand at a grill again. Hopefully that won't be too long.
mediameck May 30, 2013
Glad to see something representing the Carolinas!
CookLikeMad May 29, 2013
Congrats! I'm so excited to see that someone else knows Sweatman's -- it's my absolute favorite bbq joint! I don't know of anywhere else that separates light and dark pulled pork meat. My husband and I drove from DC last year just for a plate. Very excited to try your sauce recipe!
fiveandspice May 29, 2013
Congratulations Bubba Mac! This is one spectacular sauce. It's a keeper.
Congratulations on the win Bubba Mac!
stephanieRD May 28, 2013
wow! I just went to a rib cookoff this memorial day weekend and discovered the "Golden" bbq sauce...just learned something new about BBQ and I can't wait to try this recipe!
Thomas L. May 26, 2013
I just made it this sauce and I must say, it was very spicy for my taste. But that's my fault though...with me being a diabetic I tried to replace the sugar with splenda but with nothing to offset that heat I ended up putting sugar in it for now since I had nothing else sweet to put in it. Overall though I love it.
hardlikearmour May 26, 2013
Congratulations! I love mustard sauce on pulled pork -- it's one of my favorite foods.
Mommabear May 26, 2013
Mommabear here. Just whipped this bad boy up and lathered it on some homemade biscuits. YUM YUM! Gosh if I'd known about this recipe before I'd put it on just about anything. I'm thinking about going vegetarian...possibly toss that on some smoked tofu? What are y'all thoughts?
Author Comment
Bubba M. May 26, 2013
I actually do BBQs for Charity auctions and had someone request grilled tofu...I have two semi veg kids and have smoked tofu and it works...I did the tofu in the smoker and then finished on the grill where I applied the Giddy Swamp for me.
Trena H. May 29, 2013
Mommabear - why not try it on some beans for a nice vegetarian twist.
fiveandspice May 25, 2013
Congratulations Bubba Mac! This looks like one seriously awesome sauce. I can't wait to give it a try!
Waverly May 25, 2013
Mustard and Worcestershire? I love it already! Congratulations.
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 24, 2013
Just finished making this - delicious. Easy and different then the typical BBQ sauces. I used a sugar substitute, btw. Trying it on Chicken kebabs tonight.
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 26, 2013
Great marinated on the kebabs, btw. Also great for a dipping sauce on the side. Thanks for a great recipe!
Triantafyllos May 24, 2013
congrats!!!! the recipe is a winner!!
This looks fantastic! Congrats on being a finalist!!
EmilyC May 23, 2013
Congrats! I love Carolina-style mustard sauces!
The P. May 23, 2013
I live in Columbia, SC and this recipe looks like a winner!
Midge May 23, 2013
Woohoo! Glad to see SC bbq sauce getting some attention.
fundrew11 May 23, 2013
Woo doggy! Never had a mustard sauce before on BBQ but this is my all-time new favorite. Heck, I'd put this on an old shoe and eat it!
funjack5 May 29, 2013
hell yeah fundrew! remember when you were the big spoon and i was the little.<br />p.s. great sauce Bubba Mac
gingerroot May 23, 2013
Congrats on the finalist nod! Looking forward to trying this soon.
inpatskitchen May 23, 2013
So honored to be in the spotlight with you! Your sauce looks and sounds absolutely AWESOME!!!
Loves F. May 23, 2013
Mustard BBQ sauces are my FAVORITE! Really is the best thing to put on pulled pork.
creamtea May 23, 2013
Wow, this looks good.
This looks awesome; I'm not much of a ketchup based BBQ fan and I love Mustard... as soon as the rain here goes away, I'll have to try this out! Congratulations!