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Alabama White BBQ Sauce With Chicken Recipe

Chicken quarter with Big Bob Gibson Alabama white BBQ sauce
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4.59 from 214 votes
Made famous by Bib Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, this white BBQ sauce adds an unexpected but delicious zip to smoked chicken.

Serve with: a pale ale.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Difficulty: Moderate


Servings: 4 cups of sauce


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


White BBQ Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon powdered garlic
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish from a jar (either in vinegar or creamy)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Morton coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground cayenne pepper


  • 2 whole chickens, approximately 4 pounds each.
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.


  • Prep. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate in a jar for at least 2 hours, if possible, to allow the flavors to meld.
  • At Bib Bob Gibson's, Chris Lilly butterflies his chickens, which makes sense in a high production environment, but I prefer to quarter them so I can make sure no part is overcooked since breasts and thighs cook at a different rate. I recommend you cut the bird into quarters: Two drumstick and thigh combos, two breasts, and remove the wings from the breasts. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on both sides
  • Fire up. Crank up your smoker or prepare the grill for 2-zone indirect cooking. Shoot for 325°F in the indirect side.
  • Cook. Place the chicken skin side up on the indirect side of the grill. Put a handful of wood chips, chunks, or pellets on the heat source. Use a foil packet with wood on a gas grill and on a charcoal grill put the wood right on the coals (no need to soak the wood). Just a handful of wood. Don't overdo it. Nothing will ruin chicken faster than too much smoke.
  • Check the temp of each piece independently because they will cook at different rates. Place your probe in the thickest part of each chunk but don't touch the bones. The wings will finish much faster than the other parts so put them on late and be prepared to remove them early. When all parts hit about 155°F, flip the bird and put the skin face down on the hot side. When they reach 165°F, paint them generously on all sides with the sauce (at Big Bob's they dunk the birds in a vat of sauce).
  • Serve. Plate the chicken and serve immediately with additional white BBQ sauce.