Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

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Thick and sweet with just a bit of heat, this barbecue sauce is a classic!


  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke


In a large Dutch oven (use a large one to contain any sputtering), heat oil until shimmering over medium-high heat. Add onion and a pinch salt, and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often.

Whisk in broth, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard powder, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Bring sauce to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 4 cups or to desired thickness, watching closely at the end, about 20 to 25 minutes. (It will thicken more ss it cools.)

Off heat, stir in liquid smoke. Let sauce cool to room temperature. Taste and add salt or more pepper if needed. For a thinner, smoother texture, strain sauce before serving and for a thicker texture, blend the onions in.



Store in refrigerator; keeps well for three to four weeks.

Keywords: Barbecue, Barbecue Sauce, Chicken Stock, Condiments, hot sauce, Kansas City, ketchup, liquid smoke, molasses, Tomato paste, Vinegar

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