Welcome to Decatur, Alabama. “The River City” sits snuggled between Huntsville and Muscle Shoals in North Alabama, on the banks of Wheeler Lake and the Tennessee River. One thing that makes this place special is their local tradition of white barbecue sauce. Everyone here grows up on it and as far as they know, it’s the only way to go.
White barbecue sauce has been around for ages and is little more than a tanged up mayonnaise with extra pluck and grit. It’s perfect for slimy, barbecue ribs, but can be slathered over just about anything from catfish to cat poop.
This zesty sauce is perfect for dipping, marinating, and basting. Use a brush and cover your chicken as it grills. If you can think of it, it works with this sauce. Meatballs, grilled fish, and shrimp get an added vinegar/horseradish flavor that is slap-yo-mama good. Use it as a topping for pulled pork sandwiches and a dip for East Nashville Hot Chicken.
White Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 dash hot sauce
- Mix all ingredients and add tablespoons of water until desired consistency
- Keep refrigerated
- Creole or Dijon mustard may be added for flavor.
- White wine vinegar may be substituted for apple cider vinegar.
Purists such as Myra Grissom, owner of Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q in Birmingham, declare there are only four ingredients: mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Vary your ingredients and decide which style yall like the best. Some folks use more water, while others use skim milk. Our test kitchen preferred the heat that came with extra horseradish and hot sauce.
This is also perfect for a table dipping sauce. Don’t be afraid to try it with jalapeno poppers. The kids like dipping french fries and hush puppies in it routinely. Be sure to check out these other Nail Travels recipes for Beef Short Ribs and Ma Roux’s Hush Puppies. They will get you started on the road to southern cooking excellence.