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How to Make Kansas City Barbecue

In Kansas City, barbecue is dry-rubbed, cooked for hours, and served with a distinctive sauce.


  • Step 1: Pick the meat Get the meat. In some regions, barbecue focuses on specific types of meat, but in Kansas City anything and everything can be barbecued. Use your favorite beef, pork, and poultry.
  • Step 2: Prepare the rub Prepare the dry rub. Mix the paprika, ¼ cup of salt, ¼ cup of black pepper, sugar, garlic granules and powder, oregano, powdered mustard, and 2 tablespoons of dark chili powder together. Put on your gloves, coat the meat in yellow mustard and liberally sprinkle the seasonings over the meat.
  • TIP: Let the meat stand at room temperature for one hour before grilling to allow the seasonings to penetrate.
  • Step 3: Make the mop Make the mop by mixing the coffee, Worcestershire sauce, butter, 1 cup of ketchup, and 1 tablespoon each of pepper, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool.
  • Step 4: Prepare to 'cue Oil the grill rack, and prepare the barbecue pit or smoker according to its instructions, using hickory wood chips to flavor the meat. Maintain a temperature between 250 and 300 degrees.
  • Step 5: Cook the meat Cook the meat for one to two hours per pound depending on the meat. Consult a cookbook for exact cooking times. Starting an hour after you begin cooking, apply the mop to the meat with a sauce mop or brush every hour.
  • Step 6: Make the sauce Make the thick, sweet sauce Kansas City barbecue is famous for. Mix 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard, the remaining ketchup, water, vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, onion and chili powder, black pepper, celery seed, and smoked salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until it thickens, stirring often.
  • TIP: Make a Kansas City favorite known as "burnt ends" by trimming the charred edges and ends off of beef brisket or pork, chopping them into bite-size pieces, and serving them with plenty of sauce.
  • Step 7: Use the sauce Slather the sauce on the meat about 10 minutes before you take it out of the smoker and serve it alongside the finished product for extra dipping. That's good eating!
  • FACT: The man credited with inventing Kansas City-style barbecue is Henry Perry, who sold slow-cooked meats from an alley stand, at the beginning of the 20th century.

You Will Need

  • Meat
  • 1 c. smoked paprika or pimentu00f3n
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. oregano
  • 2 tbsp. powdered yellow mustard
  • 4 tbsp. dark chili powder
  • divided
  • Yellow mustard
  • 1 c. strong coffee
  • 1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 4 c. ketchup
  • divided
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. tomato paste
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground celery seed
  • 1 tsp. smoked salt
  • New gloves
  • Smoker or barbecue pit
  • Wood chips
  • Meat thermometer
  • Basting brush or sauce mop

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