Bama Style Smoked Chicken with White BBQ Sauce

There are a lot of great regional BBQ sauces. Vinegar based sauces from the East Carolina region, tomato based sauces from Kansas City and Memphis and mustard base sauce from South Carolina. From North Alabama comes a unique mayonnaise based sauce popularized by Big Bob Gibsons. Chris Lilly is the current pit master at Big Bob Gibsons and my version of Bama White Sauce combines elements of his recipe with some of my own. The bite of the horseradish is offset by the mayonnaise. It’s fantastic on smoked chicken and also makes a great dressing for cole slaw.

Chicken thighs and legs with White Bama Style BBQ sauce

Ingredients to make enough for 2 pounds of chicken thighs or legs

  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp prepared creamy horseradish
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Colman’s mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground cayenne pepper to taste

Pre- heat your smoker to 325 degrees. Prep the chicken by spraying lightly with olive oil. Then season liberally with your favorite BBQ rub. For this recipe I like the All Purpose rub from Eat Barbecue.

Chicken prepped with olive oil and rub

A great all purpose seasoning

Place the chicken in the pre-heated smoker.

The prepped chicken in the preheated smoker

While the chicken is smoking it’s time to prepare the sauce. Combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, apple juice, garlic powder, creamy horseradish, black pepper, mustard powder, smoked paprika, Kosher salt and cayenne pepper in a glass bowl. Using a whisk thoroughly combine the ingredients. Place the sauce in the refrigerator and let it chill while the chicken cooks.

White BBQ sauce ready to go in the fridge for 2 hours

After the chicken’s been in the smoker about 2 hours check the internal temperature. Leave it in the smoker until that internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and the chicken is a nice golden brown. An alternative I prefer is to take the chicken out of the smoker when it hits 155 degrees and finish it over the firebox until it reaches the safe temp of 165 degrees. Turn it frequently to crisp the skin without burning.

Place the cooked chicken in a pan and spread chilled white BBQ sauce liberally on all sides.

Spread the chilled white sauce on all sides of the chicken

Serve immediately with the remaining sauce on the side. It’s also great shredded, tossed with the remaining sauce and served on slider buns.

Bon appetit!









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