• 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups plain tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ketchup, tomato sauce, light brown sugar, red wine vinegar, molasses, and liquid smoke.

  2. Next, add the garlic powder, dry mustard, cumin, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir until the seasonings are well blended.

  3. Reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the barbecue sauce becomes thick. For a thinner sauce, allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve it with your favorite meat.


  • large saucepan

Recipe Notes

If the barbecue sauce becomes too thick, add water until the desired consistency is achieved.

This recipe makes approximately 3 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce.

Kansas City-style barbecue sauce is one of many varieties of sauce used to enhance the flavor of barbecued meats. First concocted by Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City-style barbecue sauce is a sweeter barbecue sauce flavored with either brown sugar or molasses. It's also tangy, since it contains tomatoes, and can be spicy when it is seasoned with chili powder and cayenne pepper. The sauce pairs well with a variety of meats.

There are usually several bottled Kansas City-style barbecue sauces to choose from at the store, but nothing is better than that homemade slow-smoked barbecue flavor!

Types Of Barbecue Sauce

small bowls of barbecue sauce

Kansas City-style barbecue is one of many barbecue sauces out there. Take a peek at some other creatively tasty perspectives on barbecue!

South Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce

South Carolina-style barbecue sauce features vinegary and peppery notes blended with white sugar, red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper. But South Carolina also boasts another popular barbecue sauce that consists of mustard and vinegar -- it's a fantastic addition to brats and hot dogs! Prepare some of this Columbia Gold barbecue sauce for your next cookout.

Saint Louis-Style Barbecue Sauce

Saint Louis-style barbecue sauce may not be as thick as Kansas City-style barbecue sauce; however, that doesn't mean it compromises on flavor! Saint Louis-style barbecue sauce is heavy on the vinegar and tomatoes, and it features a touch of sweetness and heat.

Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce

Texas-style barbecue sauce is more of a thin glaze than a thick sauce. This sauce will add flavor to the meat as it seeps in; it usually includes vinegar, sugars, beef stock, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and an array of seasonings.

Alabama-Style Barbecue Sauce

Alabama-style barbecue sauce may be the most unique sauce on our list. Unlike traditional tomato-based sauces, Alabama-style barbecue sauce consists of mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and additional seasonings.

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

Memphis-style barbecue sauce is similar to some of the other sauces on our list, but it is thinner than Kansas City-style barbecue sauce. Memphis-style sauce is sweet, tangy, and spicy, and it's usually served alongside meats and used for dipping.

Resist grabbing the bottle of barbecue sauce on the grocery store shelf. Instead, prepare a batch of our homemade Kansas City-style barbecue sauce and slather it on your instant pot pork ribs, barbecue chicken, grilled steak, or any other delicious barbecued dish.

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