Home » Blog » Recipes » Barbecue » Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

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.

kansas-city-bbq-sauce

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

  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Paprika (not smoked)
  • Chili powder
  • Molasses
  • Butter
  • Cayenne pepper (adjust the amount to suit your tastes)
  • Granulated garlic (sub with garlic powder or onion powder)
  • Salt
  • Optional liquid smoke
KC BBQ sauce on brush with rack of ribs

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..

Kansas-city-style-sauce-in-bowl-with-brush

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.

More Recipes!

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

This tomato-based BBQ sauce has a little sweet, a bit of heat, and a touch of tanginess. Just the right combination to pull off a sensational barbecue.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: BBQ sauce, BBQ sauce recipe, kansas city barbecue sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 Cups
Calories: 464kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Why butter?

Why butter? Butter has a way of adding just the right touch of silkiness to sauces. Barbecue sauces contain acidic ingredients like tomato and vinegar. Adding the butter at the end tames these flavors a bit and gives it a nice creamy texture. When I say creamy, I don’t mean like a cream sauce. You do not have to make this addition; it’s a matter of personal choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1758mg | Potassium: 763mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 101g | Vitamin A: 2979IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg

Buy Our Books!


Recipes

  • Smoked Leg of Lamb
    Looking for a sensational dish? Try this smoked lamb leg infused with lemon, herbs, and garlic. Perfect for holiday feasts and special occasions!
  • Smoked Chorizo Queso
    This indulgent smoked chorizo queso will be the star of your next or gathering! 
  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs (2-2-1 Method)
    Sink your teeth into phenomenal smoked baby back ribs! Perfect for seasoned chefs or beginners. Get ready to grill!
  • Garlic Herb Rack of Lamb
    Fire up your grill and give this fantastic garlic herb rack of lamb a try. It’s perfect for the holidays and special occasions!
  • Pineapple-Maple Ham Glaze
    This easy, homemade Pineapple-Maple Ham Glaze will make the perfect caramelized candy coating on ham!