How to Make Homemade Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce

When you think of the south, what food do you think of?  I think of barbecue, and since moving South, I have tried to try as much as possible.  DH is taking on a new role and experimenting in the kitchen.  His latest project was to find a few random recipes to see which regional style we liked best.  First up on the trial schedule was a Kansas City style sauce.  In simple terms, Kansas City style sauce typically starts with a tomato base and adds in spicy, tangy and sweet flavors. I like more sweet and tangy, over spicy so I was interested to see how this Homemade Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce measured up to my favorite bottled brand.

I am not a fan of celery seed, so I made a few edits to the original recipe found here.  We tried the sauce on some simple grilled chicken breasts and were happy with the results.  If you like a sweet, tangy sauce then give this one a try.  DH has already professed that we never having to BUY pre-made barbecue sauce again.

This post is so old!  Just look at that picture!  I need to edit it sometime very soon, especially since I just made this delicious Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken using this sauce!  Crazy how things have changed around here on the blog. 🙂


2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter.
2. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
3. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes.

For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed.
Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary.
Brush sauce onto any kind of meat during the last 10 minutes of cooking or use anywhere you normally use barbecue sauce.


What’s your favorite regional barbecue style?


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