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I’m originally from Little Rock, Arkansas but my father is from Kansas City, MO. Around 8 years of age I was introduced to the magical world of Kansas City BBQ and have been hooked ever since. I’ve resided in Texas for over a decade and please believe I’ve eaten my fair share of Texas BBQ. The focal point of Texas BBQ is the spice rub. That’s cool, but to me, good BBQ is nothing without a full-flavored balanced BBQ sauce.
After researching the ingredients of the best bbq sauce from a few of my favorite bbq restaurants like Gates, Simm’s, and Feastro’s, I was surprised to find simple, everyday ingredients. Ketchup, brown sugar and spices, were the cohesive threads in all of them! As this recipe is my first attempt at making scratch bbq sauce, I wanted to find a recipe that was easy to follow and yielded delicious results. Vindulge’s recipe for Easy BBQ Sauce – Kansas City style provided a great
guide for me to follow.
WHAT MAKE KANSAS CITY BBQ SAUCE DIFFERENT?
Kansas City BBQ sauce embodies the perfect balance of sweetness from the molasses, acid from the cider vinegar, and heat from the blend of spices like cayenne and paprika.
Its thick consistency is perfect on:
HOW DO YOU MAKE SWEET BBQ SAUCE FROM SCRATCH?
I grew up eating more of a zesty and sweet sauce in Arkansas. It’s different from KC sauce as it often incorporates more sweet elements like molasses, pineapple juice, and brown sugar. Additionally, mustard makes Arkansas bbq sauce tangier.
If you’re looking for a sweet sauce, this recipe will still work. Adding two additional tablespoons of dark brown sugar will yield a sweet sauce. There are also
flavored ketchup that you can use. I haven’t tried them, so I can’t recommend them, but I’ve seen them used in certain recipes.
BBQ SAUCE FROM SCRATCH WITHOUT KETCHUP
Making BBQ without ketchup is simple. I’d suggest using 2 cups of homemade organic tomato sauce, or your favorite brand of jarred tomato sauce. I used a taco sauce, that I found too mild for actual tacos. It worked perfectly and added the necessary balance of sweetness and heat that I was looking for.
I will keep this a secret from my dad!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE KANSAS CITY STYLE BBQ SAUCE
This specific recipe does require the use of an immersion blender. The reason for that is because it includes fresh ingredients. Most bbq sauce recipes call for onion or garlic powder. Not this one. Freshly, chopped onion and garlic are used in this recipe. These ingredients need to be blended to ensure your scratch bbq sauce is smooth.
Extra virgin olive oil
freshly chopped onion
freshly chopped garlic cloves
blackstrap molasses j
arred tomato sauce apple cider vinegar
dark brown sugar
salt & pepper
I truly appreciated the way the recipe laid out the exact steps of how to create the best bbq sauce, so I listed them below.
and soft, but not caramelized. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Soften Fresh Ingredients: Start by warming up a stockpot, then sautéing the fresh onion until translucent
Add Liquids: Pour ketchup, tomato puree, molasses, and apple cider vinegar into the pot and bring to a simmer.
Add Seasonings: Finally add sugar, salt, cayenne, and black pepper and stir.
Blend: Using a hand immersion blender, blend the ingredients to grind up the onion and garlic and get a nice smooth consistency.
Simmer: Bring back to a simmer and cover for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and then using a funnel, pour the sauce into an airtight container with a lid. OTHER BBQ RELATED POSTS:
Tangy Baked BBQ Turkey Meatballs
Crispy Gluten-Free Baked BBQ Chicken Wings AMAZON PICKS FOR THIS RECIPE
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Homemade Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce Recipe
This easy homemade recipe for Kansas City Style BBQ is sweet, tangy, and delicious. Add this zesty bbq sauce to your ribs, chicken, or pork dishes. You'll never buy BBQ sauce again.
Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 2 Cups Calories 49 kcal
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Cup Yellow or white onion Diced 2 Garlic Cloves Diced 1 1/2 Cups Ketchup 1 Cup Jarred Tomato Sauce 1/2 Cup Blackstrap Molasses 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar Tightly-packed 1 tsp Cayenne 1 tsp Smoked paprika 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Black Pepper
Preheat a 3 1/2 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Next add onions and sautee for 5 – 6 minutes, stirring often, or until translucent and soft, but not caramelized. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add ketchup, tomato puree, molasses, and apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Should take about 5 minutes to come to a simmer. Finally add brown sugar, salt, cayenne, and black pepper and stir. Using a hand immersion blender, blend the ingredients to grind up the cooked onion and garlic. Bring back to a simmer and cover for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and then using a funnel, pour the sauce into an airtight container with a lid.
Keyword BBQ Sauce, Best BBQ Sauce, Homemade BBQ Sauce, Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce, Scratch BBQ Sauce
13 thoughts on “Homemade Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce Recipe”
My boyfriend loves Kansas style BBQ sauce and was sooo happy when I made some! This recipe is absolutely perfect and I used it on some grilled chicken! Thanks for the recipe!
I love this BBQ sauce on meatballs! It’s delicious!
Glad to hear that.
I’m a Texan who spent a lot of time in KC growing up. So in my friend and family groups there’s always a lot of back and forth about which style is best, lol. I love both and this sauce recipe definitely did not disappoint. Delicious in all the right ways! A winner for our household.
So happy to hear that. We feel the same way!!
I lived in KC for a few years as a child, and they’re BBQ is amazing! This sauce was perfect, and definitely took me back!! Thanks for sharing.
Glad you enjoyed!!!
I will never buy store-bought sauce again! This bbq sauce hit all the right notes and was so easy to make!
What a joy to hear. Glad you enjoyed.
I just made some pulled pork and needed an awesome BBQ sauce to go with it and this totally fit the bill. This made by pulled pork sandwiches over the top!
Okay, so, don’t judge me, but I totally ate a spoonful of this KC BBQ sauce on its own. I felt no shame as it was amazingly flavorful and delicious. I DID get funny looks from my family, though.
This is easily the best barbecue sauce I’ve ever had! I can’t wait to eat this with some ribs!