Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken Recipe

Light and tangy, Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken is the best way to mix things up at your next cookout. A mustard based sauce that’s a little sweet with a pleasant tartness is absolutely perfect for your grilled chicken. Ready in minutes!

Sweet and tangy, this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken recipe is a fabulous addition to every cookout or picnic! |

Happy Monday, y’all!  I hope you had a great weekend! Saturday was kind of a washout but we took a trip to the mall and stocked up on a few vacation essentials because we’re days away from our trip to the Caribbean! I’m super excited to soak up the sun and just laze around for a few days….it definitely couldn’t come at a better time.  But today, I’m taking you back to the south again….I simply can’t help myself. I guess I’m just a southern gal at heart dreaming of long summer nights batting away the gigantic palmetto bugs and chasing down teeny lizards. I really do love it there, prehistoric bugs and all….nothing beats the leisurely southern pace and the food…..oh, the food.

Sweet and tangy, this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken recipe is a fabulous addition to every cookout or picnic! |

My last trip to South Carolina included a trip to a rib joint that was simply spectacular in every way.  From the fall off the bone racks of ribs to the crispy, crunchy hushpuppies…everything was a big bite of comfort food that forced you to change into stretchy pants as soon as you got home. My favorite part about this restaurant was all the different sauces they had piled on the table.  From the super, insanely spicy to something so sweet you could actually eat it for dessert.  It was so much fun to try a variety of sauces and narrow down your favorite….which was nearly an impossible task. They were all so good.  But, I managed and my hands down favorite was the Carolina Style Barbecue Sauce….which inspired this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken. (But you probably already knew that was coming, right?)

Sweet and tangy, this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken recipe is a fabulous addition to every cookout or picnic! |

Carolina Barbecue Sauce is more of a vinegar/mustard based sauce rather than the tomato-y sauce that is so common to many of us. There are so many variations of Carolina Barbecue Sauce and many people will say it’s just vinegar based…no mustard and others will totally say they’re sooooo wrong…mustard is a necessity. Well, to me…for the purpose of barbecue, I like my sauce a little thicker so I use mustard to give it a little body and help it adhere to the chicken better. Plus, it’s a very lovely color….and since we eat with our eyes this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken is basted several times to ensure it develops that gorgeous golden color. So delish!

Sweet and tangy, this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken recipe is a fabulous addition to every cookout or picnic! |

And this Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken couldn’t be simpler to make.  The sauce whips up in about 10 minutes and you don’t need to wait for it to cool to use it.  You could also make the sauce in advance, I like to mix up a big batch and store it in the fridge for barbecue chicken emergencies. There are a lot of those here….more like, we have nothing to make for dinner so I pick up some chicken on the way home and have a finger licking good sauce to slather on at home. Always be prepared.  This is definitely one of my favorite barbecue chicken recipes but I’m also a huge fan of this spicy barbecue chicken….and leftovers are totally FAB in this Cobb Salad!!!

You’re going to love this one as much as we do, I promise you that!

Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins

A lighter sauce you will fall in love with, this Carolina Style BBQ Chicken is what Southern life is all about.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ
Servings: 6
Calories: 609 kcal
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow mustard
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken legs
  1. For the full recipe instructions visit
Recipe Notes

Sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts
Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 609 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 55%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 173mg 58%
Sodium 1367mg 57%
Potassium 525mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 36g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 19%
Vitamin C 1.6%
Calcium 9%
Iron 15.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


2 comments on “Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken Recipe”

  1. I am anxious to try this barbecue chicken recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing, have to say I love your writing style too

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