Homemade BBQ sauce couldn’t be easier! This sweet and slightly spicy homemade BBQ sauce represents the flavors you would expect out of Kansas City. With a tomato base, molasses, and sugar, you get that classic flavor with a little bit of heat.
Add to ribs, or a burger, this versatile and easy Kansas City BBQ sauce is finger smacking good.
What Is A Kansas City BBQ Sauce?
Sauces come in all flavor profiles. Really it reflects the flavors regionally that evolved around the country. In the Carolinas, you have vinegar based sauces (among others). Texas, you’ll find less of a sauce and more of a flavor mop while cooking. And in Alabama it’s a mayo-like white sauce.
But in Kansas City, it’s all about the sweet and slightly spicy tomato and molasses based sauce. The kind that we all grew up with. The kind that BBQ joints throughout the city tend to toss their famous burnt ends in. If you haven’t been to Oklahoma Joe’s, or some of the other pit houses in the state, it is worth the trip. You can learn more about other styles of bbq sauces at this post about bbq sauce styles.
How to Make BBQ Sauce From Scratch
It’s quite simple. All you really need to think about is finding the balance between sweet, which will come from your sugar, molasses, and ketchup, and savory and heat, which is driven by onions, garlic, peppers, or dried spices.
Let them simmer together and you have sauce!
Fresh Ingredients for Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
You will see many recipes that call for dried onion powder, or granulated garlic. While dried spices are fine, taking the extra step to sauté and use fresh ingredients will go a long way in the flavor arena. Use good quality ketchup, and if you supplement with tomato sauce, be sure it is unseasoned so you add that yourself.
How to Cook Homemade BBQ Sauce
We start out by sautéing our fresh ingredients first, then we add our liquid. At this point, we puree the sauce to get all the chunks out using an immersion blender (or transferring to your countertop blender). Then we let it simmer and taste test until we like the consistency and acidity.
Shelf Life for Homemade BBQ Sauce
Adding a little apple cider vinegar is a great way to maintain a shelf life on your sauce. How long can you keep a fresh BBQ sauce you may ask? Several weeks or more, especially with high acid sauces.
What to Put Homemade BBQ Sauce on
- Pulled Pork
- Baked Beans
- … and so much more!
Easy BBQ Sauce - Kansas City Style
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, diced
- 2 cups ketchup
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat a 3 1/2 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add olive oil.
- Next add onions and sautee for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring often, or until translucent and soft, but not caramelized. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add ketchup, tomato puree, molasses, and apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Should take about 5 minutes to come to a simmer.
- Finally add sugar, salt, cayenne, and black pepper and stir. Using a hand immersion blender, blend the ingredients to grind up the onion and garlic.
- Bring back to a simmer and cover for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and then using a funnel, pour the sauce into a mason jar.
Ideas For Using Your Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce
This sauce is versatile. Slather onto ribs, maybe use as the glaze base for your burnt ends, or maybe just serve the sauce for our poultry friends to dunk into. Here are a few recipes to use this sauce in!
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