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South Carolina Mustard Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

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South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Baby Back Ribs!


Anyone up for some DANG good ribs? 😉 I went in the opposite direction this time, and instead of making a “red sauce” or even one of my crazy “chocolate-bbq” concoctions, I decided that it was WAY past time that I reached for the good, spicy brown mustard! I hadn’t had some old-fashioned, “Carolina-style” ribs in like….forever.  Yea. That’s a long time. 😉 So “South Carolina Mustard Baby Back Ribs” it would be!! 🙂 And they were flipping AWESOME!

Now, mustard barbecue sauces are completely different than your regular red sauces, obviously, but not just due to the mustard. They’re also much, much tangier, especially the Carolina ones, than the average joe sauces, too.

Neither my hubby nor I, are big on too tangy, so I think I’ve come up with a sauce that will please just about everyone!


south carolina bbq sauce!


It still has quite a nice tang, without the vinegar being completely overpowering. I didn’t want it to taste like you were doing a shot of straight-up vinegar….ya know? That’s just TOO much!

I also wanted it to have a little sweetness, to tame the vinegar a bit, too, without it being considered a “sweet sauce”.


south carolina mustard bbq sauce


So a nice amount of dark brown sugar , which is my favorite because it has more molasses than regular light brown sugar, was my sugar of choice! (It also keeps very easily, and doesn’t turn into a BRICK like the light kind always does! 😉 )


south carolina ribs


With an already nice balance of tangy and sweet going on, it just needed a little kick in the trunk! 😉 A nice bit of after-burn heat! But don’t worry! They’re not hot at all. Just an enjoyable, mild heat, that slowly warms you up, and not a fire-breathing dragon kind of heat. 😉


south carolina baby back mustard ribs


After adding a “little bit of this, and a little bit of that”, I think I have come up with a VERY good mustard barbecue sauce! It’s different than what I used to make. I searched through everything that I had and knew where to look, all over the house, and could NOT FIND my old, ancient, standby one, but I think that this one is close, and every bit as good. 😉


South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Baby Back Ribs!


And if you’re just like me, you’re a bit picky, and like to play with recipes, this one has wiggle room for you! You can decrease the sugar, or up the vinegar, or make it a bit hotter, all to suit your own personal taste! As we all enjoy things a little differently. Thank goodness, or what a boring world it would be, right? 😉

So I hope that you enjoy this sauce, and use it to make these incredible ribs we enjoyed with it! I designed the rub the match the sauce, and everything was….outstanding….if it’ ok to say. 😉

I hope that you enjoy as much as we did! 🙂 Be sure to keep this recipe in mind for all of those summer barbecues coming up! And let’s get summer started with a BANG!! 😀


*This sauce would also be delicious on pork chops, chicken, bratwursts and hotdogs, or even a nice beef brisket!

South Carolina Mustard Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
Yield: 1 pint to the brim (2 cups)

South Carolina Mustard Barbecued Baby Back Ribs


  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs, (rinse, pat dry, remove sinew from back)

Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl. paprika
  • 1/2 Tbl. regular table salt
  • 1/2 Tbl. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama!

Mustard Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 Tbl. butter
  • 1/2 cup regular yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. regular table salt
  • 1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama!
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce would also work well for this


  • For Ribs:
  • Rinse ribs with cold water, pat dry with paper towels, and remove sinew from back.
  • In medium-small bowl, mix together well the Dry Rub ingredients. Place a large sheet of foil, several inches longer than the ribs at each end, onto working surface dull side-up. Spray center with non stick spray. Place ribs, meat side-up, onto foil. Coat, pressing on, a little over half of the dry rub coating well. Turn ribs over, making sure they are in the center, and coat bone side with rest of rub. Bring long-edged sides of foil up to meet and carefully roll down to meet the top of the ribs. Fold ends of foil inward like an envelope and roll up. It should be a nice closed package touching the meat. Just be careful not to tear the foil. You want it sealed closed.
  • Place rib package onto foil-lined baking sheet folded side-up (meat side-down). Let rest and preheat oven, or place into fridge to marinate up to two days.
  • For Sauce:
  • In small saucepan, add all ingredients. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and deeply rich.
  • Remove from heat and let col down for 5 minutes. Stirring once or twice.
  • Pour into a pint jar, and cool completely. Place on lid, and refrigerate until needed or overnight.
  • To Cook Ribs:
  • Pop into preheated 300º F oven for 2½ hours. (If cooking after chilling, let sit out at least 30 minutes before baking).
  • When ribs are done, remove from oven, and turn oven up to 350º F. Carefully open foil package, and transfer ribs to clean, foil-lined backing sheet bone side-up.
  • Coat well with almost half of the sauce.
  • When oven has reached new temp, pop into oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove, turn ribs over, and baste with rest of sauce. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer.
  • Slice into serving-sized pieces and serve hot with any extra sauce if desired.


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    Friday 15th of March 2024

    Been using this recipe for a couple years now, wouldn’t use anything else now, hands down the best, my taste of course. If you like to try a mustard base sauce , this is it!

    Edward Wood

    Saturday 24th of June 2023

    Did these with St. Louis style ribs on my smoker. Perfection. I am a fan of Kansas City and some Memphis style BBQ, but curious about the Carolina mustard style sauce, especially pertaining to ribs. Bravo! This is definitely my go to recipe for this style now. Might even be my new favorite in all things rib.


    Tuesday 12th of March 2019

    I'm going to try this on the smoker. Not going to cover at all. Gonna slap the sauce on it for the last hour or so. Gonna take longer but we'll see how it turns out


    Friday 22nd of February 2019

    I have tried many different recipes looking for a great Carolina mustard bbq sauce to come close to the one at a local restaurant. I'm glad I've stuck with the search because now that I have found this recipe I have succeeded. By far the best I've tried, my search can now stop! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

    Brendan - Western Australia

    Friday 6th of October 2017

    Hi, I was looking for an authentic Carolina style mustard-bbq sauce to use in a big rib cook-up I did, and your recipe turned out great! Took the sauce in to work and all the guys were asking for the recipe as well. Thank you very much! The tanginess in the sauce is sensational. Seemed to get better with a few days age too.


    Saturday 7th of October 2017

    Fantastic to hear, Brenden! And so happy that you and your friends enjoyed!! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to let me know!

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