Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce 2.500
Smoke Signals Aug 25, 2010

Some like it hot. Some like it sweet. This recipe is a little of both but not too much of either.

It's a good all-purpose sauce, but particularly good with ribs and chicken. Put some sauce into a bowl and brush it onto meat about 10 minutes before taking the meat off the fire. Adding it too soon can cause the sauce to burn.

Serve the remaining sauce at the table. Do not include any of the leftover sauce from the grill, because the brush dipped into it was used on the raw meat and might transmit bacteria.

Make Ahead: The sauce tastes better with a day's refrigeration. It will hold for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Servings: 2.5 cups
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, preferably light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced

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Combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, molasses and water in a large bowl.

Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until barely softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, untill soft.

Add the brown sugar mixture and stir to incorporate; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the ketchup mixture and mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 20 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture forms a thickened sauce.

The onion and garlic give the sauce a bit of texture and a homey quality. But if you prefer a smooth barbecue sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer. Pour or strain the sauce into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cool and cover; the sauce may be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Nicole Schofer.

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