A well-balanced, made-from-scratch Kansas City BBQ Sauce with the perfect balance of sweet and heat! Brush it on ribs, chops, or chicken, or serve it on the side with a pile of pulled pork.
This Kansas City style sauce has the perfect combination of sweetness, heat, and tanginess that will make your barbecue sensational. It pairs beautifully with our Kansas City Rub, and you can even make a double batch and split it in half. Use one portion for basting smoked pork ribs or chicken, and save the other half to serve as a table sauce to serve with pork roasts or beef chuck roast. Try it on burnt ends and BBQ beans too. It’s a win-win situation!
BBQ Sauce Ingredients
- Brown sugar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Paprika (not smoked)
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper (adjust the amount to suit your tastes)
- Granulated garlic (sub with garlic powder or onion powder)
- Optional liquid smoke
Note on Butter
Why add butter to homemade BBQ sauce? Butter is an excellent tool for making a delicious sauce. Most barbecue sauces contain sharp acidic ingredients like tomato and vinegar. Adding the butter at the end of cooking will both tame and silk the sauce, giving it a nice creamy texture. When we say creamy, we don’t mean a cream sauce like Béchamel. It will look and taste very much like BBQ sauce. If you are lactose intolerant, omit from the recipe or use a lactose-free substitute..
Steps to Make Kansas City BBQ Sauce
- Simmer BBQ sauce ingredients (except butter) in a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will be thick.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter until melted.
- Allow the sauce to sit for 15-20 minutes. Use immediately, or place into a jar or plastic airtight container for storing. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days after preparation.
- If using this BBQ sauce for basting, let it cool for 10 minutes before applying it to the meat.
- When serving as a side sauce, let the mixture cool a little longer.
- Store in a mason jar or other airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons paprika (not smoked)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add all ingredients (except butter) to a medium saucepan, and stir through. Let sauce come to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be nice and thick.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter until melted through. Let the sauce sit for 20 minutes. Use immediately, or place into a jar or airtight container for storing. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days after preparation.
- If using the same day. Let sauce cool for at least 10 minutes before applying on to the meat. If serving as a side sauce, let the sauce cool a little longer.