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BBQ Sauces from the experts – Dry Rub to Yellow to White to Red sauces

Written By | Aug 30, 2019

WASHINGTON: The summer flew by blisteringly fast and the final big summer hurrah, Labor Day, is right around the corner. Its time to create the perfect BBQ for your friends and family. And that means making the perfect BBQ Sauce – yellow, white or red.

Six different Southern BBQ grill masters, many of which offer their spices and cookbooks online can help you recreate the best of “Southern Style Barbecue”:

The Pit from Raleigh, North Carolina, offers authentic North Carolina style chopped whole-hog barbecue with Sweet Potato Vodka, Moonshine and beer from Lone Rider Brewery and it is mighty, mighty good. The BBQ had a tangy smoke flavor and deep red ring of fire.  The BBQ is succulent and mouth-watering.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Pit gets its pork proteins from smaller family farms that have earned the AWA seal. AWA standards mean that animals must be able to behave naturally and be in a state of physical and psychological well-being.

Animal Welfare Approved has the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare currently in use by any United States organization.

Spare Ribs for Labor Day: Tips for buying and grilling BBQ ribs

Doc’s BBQ South Carolina

Doc’s BBQ from South Carolina offers a pulled pork BBQ with Scratch Made Southern Way Mustard Sauce, along with deep fried catfish nuggets along with River Rat Craft Beer. Catfish is a Southern favorite, but it can be quickly destroyed by anything but the freshest cat, too much cornmeal breading or over frying.

Luckily Doc’s keeps it fresh, perfectly breaded and fried just right!  On the side is their Southern Way mustard sauce that is rich and tangy.

While this is not Doc’s recipe, it is a solid South Carolina style mustard sauce great for fish or chicken or sandwiches, slathering over corned beef brisket before baking or any number of uses.

Recipe: South Carolina Yellow Mustard Sauce


3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce


Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Make at least 24 hours prior to usage for best flavor. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered jar for up to two weeks.

Wiley’s Championship BBQ

Wiley’s Championship BBQ of Savannah, Georgia, offered an am amazing low country Jack Daniel’s BBQ shrimp with cheddar cheese grits and local craft beer from Service Brewing Co. Grits are a great addition to your barbecue menu.  Always purchase whole stone-ground grits, not fast or instant.

Linwaun Eauwell, Sous Chef Wiley's Championship BBQ

Linwaun Eauwell, Sous Chef Wiley’s Championship BBQ

Wiley's Cookbook

Wiley’s Cookbook

You can learn some great grits tips from Southern Home Cooking, or order Wiley’s Cookbook from or request a personalized copy for the grill master in your family.

Adding a bit of Jack Daniel’s to a dark, rich, molasses-based BBQ sauce adds a flavor profile pop to the sweet shrimp,  layered over creamy grits with a thick swirl of sharp cheddar cheese to create a sweet, tart, hearty dish filled with plenty of savory umami.

Alongside those succulent shrimp, a serving of tart collard greens can be made without the lard that Grandma used, giving the dish a flavor boost with smokehouse-cured bacon:
Wiley’s Championship BBQ Collard Greens Recipe
How to Prepare Leafy Greens:

Leafy greens of various varieties – collards, turnip greens, cabbage, kale — are nutritious when cooked and seasoned.  Always wash greens very well in several changes of fresh tap water. Drain them dry, remove any thick stems and cut them into smaller bite-sized ribbons.


8 Cups of Water
3 1/2 pounds fresh collard greens, cleaned, stemmed and chopped
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 large onions, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot, combine all ingredients. Simmer covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

With a slotted spoon, remove the ham hocks. When the ham hocks are cool enough to handle, pick the meat from them and put the bits back into the greens.

Simmer another 15 minutes. You can serve the greens immediately, but sometimes the flavors meld and taste even better the next day.

Store any leftover greens, cooled to room temperature, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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For those in the Washington D.C. metro area, Hill Country BBQ & Market from Fort Worth, Texas, has a location on 7th Avenue, N.W. featuring succulent pit-smoked brisket and whiskey from Firestone & Robertson Distillery.  It’s easy to see why this Texas-inspired BBQ spot is rated among the ten best BBQ spots in Washington, DC (The Washington Post).

Truly from Texas is TX whiskey, one of the most enjoyable sipping whiskey’s distilled.  Beneath the distinctive cork adorned with a swatch of boot leather, lies a lovely auburn colored whiskey. The nose brings the essence of vanilla bean, oak and, very forward, pear as flavors of honey, butter, caramel and the lightest under note of coffee pour across your tongue.

A first sip and the realization that this is a whiskey a man will enjoy, but its sweet nose and smooth honey and caramel make it a whiskey distilled for a woman. (Texas corn, Texas wheat, Texas water equal TX Bourbon)

Corky’s Rib’s and BBQ from Memphis, Tennessee, offers slow-cooked BBQ Ribs along with Corky’s Dry Rub Pulled pork, slow-cooked BBQ ribs, baked beans, and creamy coleslaw. And don’t miss Cornbread. Corky’s has developed a dry rub that they call “Better than Sex” and in this case, it may be true.

Cookin' With Corky's cookbook and Better Than Sex dry rub available at

Cookin’ With Corky’s cookbook and Better Than Sex dry rub available at Corky’s BBQ web site

Corky’s dry rub is perfect mixture of salt, sugar, paprika, chili pepper, brown sugar and “other spices” – which I bet includes a bit of ground coriander – melding a sweet and spicy robust dry rub that can be used before grilling, creating a nice caramelized coating to your grilled ribs or brisket, or added to sauces.

Salt, Sugar, Savory and Spice – the four S’s of dry rubs

The purpose of the dry rub is to allow a slow infusion of the four “Ss” of flavor – Sugar, Savory, Spices and Herbs and Salt. The sugar adds a bit of sweetness and it is a known flavor enhancer (which is why high fructose corn syrup – sugar made from corn – can be found in everything from bread to almost all processed foods) and it provides a crust over meat, holding other flavors inside, providing a nice grilled brownness to your grill meats – from chicken to ribs, to chops and even steaks.

The second rule of a good rub is something savory, adding a delicious aroma to your rub that is released upon cooking. Its what creates that “something smells good” aroma in your kitchen.  Savory comes from bay, coriander, garlic, and green herbs. The most common spice in any good dry rub is paprika, and no not all paprikas are equal.

There are basically six types of paprika with some variations available – Hot, Hungarian, Plain, Smoked, Spanish, Sweet.

Visit a spice purveyor spices to see their varieties.

It is always a good idea to buy spices in smaller containers and then throw them out and replace every year as they will lose their potency over time.

The final of the four is spice, usually from ground chilis, which adds a bit of heat and a flavor profile that should move around the sweet and savory with every bite.

The rule of spice is if you take a bit of your dried rub and put it on your tongue, the spice should be the last flavor, detected at the back of tongue, and not burn your sweet and savory receptors at the front and mid area of the tongue respectively.

Corky’s really shone with fabulous southern style deserts – banana pudding, pecan pie and fudge pie accompanied by Memphis Sweet Tea with or without  Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Bourbon for mixing or for sipping.

Recipes for all these treats, and so much more from lemon dill grilled salmon to bacon blue cheese bread are in a book that not only tells you the how but also the why, of many of the recipes.

Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ

Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ from Birmingham, Alabama, amazed with quartered chicken with Morgan Co. Alabama white sauce served over collard greens – and it was amazing.  The white sauce, drizzled over the robustly sauced BBQ chicken thighs, brings a burst of fresh flavor to the sweet and smokey chicken thighs that are super juicy and flavorful.

The secret? That burst of vinegar in the white sauce plays off the sweet with just the right amount of kick. Mixing and melding the new BBQ flavors found at Six in the City, melting a stick of butter, adding a bit of minced onion and garlic and a generous dusting of Wiley’s Sex in the City seasonings, when hot, adding chicken thighs, turning over in the sauce and sprinkling a bit more Wiley’s as you go cooking to “almost cooked”, still a bit pink and moist on the inside (its always good to have a “test” piece you can cut into).

Recipe: Summer Shish Kabobs

Take the chicken off the heat, add some Jim N’ Nicks Barb-B-Que sauce to the butter and cook down to sauce, skimming the fats from the butter and chicken off the top. Strain the sauce once to remove the onion and garlic, and set aside. Then strain two more times to make a nice silken sauce.

If you like, you can also add a generous portion of Jack Daniels or Woodford Preserve bourbon to your sauce.

The alcohol, which will burn off, will balance the richness of the sauce due to the butters and sugars.

Jim N' Nicks - Cheesey muffins, BBQ Chicken and Sauces | Image by Jacquie Kubin

Jim N’ Nicks – Cheesey muffins, BBQ Chicken and Sauces | Image by Jacquie Kubin

Do this the day before your BBQ, place your chicken in a sealed container, toss the onions and garlic you set aside on the container and drizzle well with your sauce, reserving enough for grilling.  Bringing your grill to medium heat, place your room temperature chicken on the grill and brush with your warmed sauce, sprinkle a bit more Better than Sex, or paprika based dry run seasonings, and grilling to reach a nice browned color and a cooked temperature of 165-170.   When cooking chicken thighs, or breast, use tongs to turn, avoiding piercing and keeping the flavors inside.

Before serving, drizzle with Morgan County White Sauce for an incredible flavor profile that will take you from some that grills to a master of the grill.

Hard to believe that much flavor is only $5.99 a bottle. Visit Jim N’ Nicks website to order and while you are there order a bag of Jim’ N Nicks Cheese Biscuit mix.  Easy to make, they will make all the difference to your BBQ picnic table.

Bib Bob Gibson’s Alabama White Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

How to Make It

Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Serve immediately or chilled. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

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Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.