This BBQ Sauce recipe is a Kansas City-style barbecue sauce that is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy with a hint of a smoky flavor. Try this homemade sauce on my Barbecue Chicken Tenders next time!

Dipping Brush into BBQ Sauce in a Jar

BBQ Sauce

There are many barbecue sauces out there, but this homemade sauce is probably the most well-known flavor of sauce. It is a Kansas City Barbecue sauce, which means it is tomato-based (ketchup) and is made with vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, and lots of spices. It is also a thicker barbecue sauce compared to other varieties. 

BBQ Sauce Recipe

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients that go into this sauce, but the taste is worth the many spices you will have out on your counter!

Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Ketchup
  • Tomato sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Molasses–Choose unsulphured molasses if you can.
  • Hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Celery seed
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Jar of Homemade BBQ Sauce Surrounded By Chicken

How to Make BBQ Sauce

To make this bbq sauce, get out a medium saucepan and combine all the ingredients together. Mix them well and bring to a simmer. After the sauce has come to a simmer, reduce heat to low. Let the sauce cook on low for about 20 minutes. If the sauce isn’t thick enough after the 20 minutes, keep it over the low heat a little longer. You can add a little water to the sauce if it is too thick.

The BBQ Sauce is ready to use immediately on chicken, pork, or on whatever you want to add a little bbq sauce. Store the sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Unsulphured vs. Sulphured Molasses

You may have noticed I recommend unsulphured molasses for this recipe. So, why choose unsulphured molasses over sulphured? Unsulphured molasses (regular molasses) is richer, thicker, and sweeter than sulphured. It is made with fewer preservatives because it is made with more mature sugarcane. Sulphured molasses has added sulfur dioxide to the younger sugarcane, so that can alter the flavor of the recipe.

There is also a variety of molasses called blackstrap. Do not substitute molasses in a recipe (including this one) for blackstrap unless the recipe is very specific about using it. 

What is Liquid Smoke?

Liquid smoke is used for flavoring to give foods that smoky flavor without using a smoker to cook the food. You can find bottles of this liquid at your local grocery stores, and it is actually used commercially in many food products now. You can always leave it out if you do not want that smoky flavor in the bbq sauce.

Chicken Smothered in Homemade BBQ Sauce

More Sauces

BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
This BBQ Sauce recipe is a Kansas City-style barbecue sauce that is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy with a hint of a smoky flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 4 teaspoons liquid smoke, hickory flavored
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, add ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke, butter, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix well and bring to a simmer.
  • After the sauce has come to a simmer, reduce heat to low for 20 minutes. For a thicker sauce, keep in on low heat for a little longer. Add a little water to the sauce if it is too thick.
  • Serve warm. Or, store the cooled sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

This recipe was adapted from Big Al’s K.C. Bar-B-Q Sauce on allrecipes.com

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Reader Comments

  1. Going to try this recipe this weekend and will let u know how I like it on smoked ribs. Thanks for sharing.

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