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'Big Bob' Gibson's Alabama white BBQ sauce

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 11:16 PM

Shotgun Red’s version of…


‘Big’ Bob Gibson’s Alabama White BBQ Sauce


If you weren’t a regular viewer of the ‘Hee Haw’ TV show, you might not know who Shotgun Red is – he was a puppet who for ten years was a frequent guest on the show and a well-regarded performer on the country music live circuit as well. His owner was Steve Hall, a Minnesota native who eventually moved to Nashville and became very successful in numerous aspects of the country music business. For just one example, he and Shotgun Red performed on the General Jackson Showboat at Opryland for 15 years.


For three years, until his passing in Dec 2018, Steve produced a YouTube cooking channel titled ‘Cooking with Shotgun Red’ and this is one of the recipes he featured there. His former partners continue the channel today and there are a lot of great recipes there.

It’s his interpretation of Alabama White BBQ Sauce, which ‘Big’ Bob Gibson developed in 1925 as an alternative to the more common red BBQ sauce. The recipe was not revealed for many years, and when it was, Steve felt there were a couple of things omitted. Over the years, by paying careful attention to the people who ran the company producing this sauce commercially, he felt he had figured out the omissions. This recipe incorporates Steve’s additions, which he claimed made this recipe taste exactly like the commerical ‘Big' Bob’s white BBQ sauce. Steve always said that this white BBQ sauce is so popular in Alabama that you’ll find a bottle of it on just about every restaurant table in the state.


I made a batch the other night and it’s really delicious. I marinated some boneless skinless chicken thighs in the sauce for about six hours and after draining off the marinade, baked them in a dish in the oven after tossing them with a few grated garlic cloves and some seasoning salt. Target temp was 165 degrees F and they were perfect. And of course, I drizzled them with more of the BBQ sauce as I chowed them down.




2 cups     mayonnaise

1 cup       white vinegar

1/2 cup    apple juice

1 tsp        salt

2 tsp        coarse black pepper, fresh ground

½ tsp       cayenne pepper

2 tsp        prepared horseradish

Juice of half a lemon

½ cup      white sugar




Combine all the ingredients and mix together, using a hand mixer, stand mixer, or whisk, until well-combined.


The sauce will seem thin and runny, but that’s the way it is supposed to be. Add more mayonnaise if you prefer a thicker sauce.

In Alabama, fried chicken is often dunked in the sauce after frying and before serving. And, of course, drizzled with more sauce at the table.

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#2 Shruska55


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Posted 28 April 2020 - 06:42 PM



I was working in IT for a large Japanese automaker which had facilities near Talledega and Darlington. I spent a weekend in Birmingham while in the field and ran up to Decatur to Big Bob Gibson's. I'd seen their BBQ team compete at Memphis in May and wanted to see if that BBQ Champion label was real. It is. Amazing food!


I'm not a big fan of hot mayonnaise, but this sauce doesn't taste like a big glop of mayo. Nor should it. If anyone has that idea, give this recipe a try. This is great with smoked chicken leg quarters BTW.


Thanks for posting this!



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Scott Hruska
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Posted 29 April 2020 - 01:07 AM

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