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How to Make Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Learn how to whip up a batch of Kansas City-style barbecue sauce from Pork Barrel BBQ pitmasters Heath Hall and Brett Thompson in this Howcast video.


There are lots of great barbecue sauces out there, but one of our favorites is a Kansas City styled barbecue sauce. Kansas City being one the Mecca's of barbecue in the United States, known for a sweet, spicy, rich tomato based sauce that really goes great on pork, on chicken, and on beef.

So, this is a real basic sauce. Feel free to up or lower the ingredients. You want it a little spicy, you may add a little more of the red ground pepper or the chipotle chili. You want to go a little sweeter, you could add some addition brown sugar. It's really up to you. The only thing I caution you, you want to keep it a nice, balanced sauce. A little bit of sweet. A little bit of heat. A little bit of acidity.

So, we're going to start with two cups of simple ketchup. Just whatever you've got in your refrigerator that you use on hamburgers will do just fine. Next, we'll have some kosher salt. Some celery seed, which is a very quintessential Kansas City flavor. Some cumin, some ground red pepper, some granulated garlic, some coarse ground black pepper, a little chipotle chili powder for some heat. Apple cider vinegar, give it a nice little acidity. A little bit, just a little bit of hickory flavored liquid smoke. And then some light brown sugar.

You just want to incorporate all that together. Give it a nice stir and then we're going to stick it over here on the stove. You want to cook it for about ten minutes. Bring it to a nice simmer and let that simmer for a couple of minutes. And then what you got is a really versatile Kansas City styled barbecue sauce. So, lets bring it back here to the stove. Get the stove turned on.

Now, if you've never been the Kansas City, there are really very few places in the barbecue world that I recommend going to quicker than Kansas City. Not only is like one of the four kind of Mecca's of barbecue in the United States, but it is also home to the world's largest barbecue contest, The American Royal, which is held every fall. It attracts around 500 to 550 teams from all over the world. Now, I would be reminisce, if I didn't talk about our pork grill original sauce, which is a Kansas City style.

I lived in Kansas City for a number of years and I grew up loving the Kansas City styled sauce. That was really the inspiration for our first sauce. So, give this a try. Simply, let it come to a simmer, you can see we're already getting there on this stove. Take a whisk after you have really incorporated. This will make sure you get all the lumps out. Let this cook, like I say, for about ten minutes.

And then pour it into a mason jar or some kind of sealable jar. Put it in your refrigerator, and it will easily last for three to four weeks. So, you make a larger batch of it and use it over the course of several barbecue's. So, this is simple, basic Kansas City style barbecue sauce. You can't go wrong with it. It's great on poultry, beef, on pork. So, give it a try.

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