Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Barbeque ribs

Pam McLean / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 3 servings

This variation of the traditional Kansas City BBQ Sauce is a thick sweet sauce with a touch of heat to give it a little kick. This is a great barbecue sauce on BBQ Ribs.


  • 1 1/4 cup/300 milliliters ketchup
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters water
  • 1/3 cup/80 milliliters cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup/60 milliliters ​dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters molasses
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters allspice
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters cayenne (use less if desired)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes.

  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be good and thick. 

  4. Remove pot from heat and allow the sauce to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before using it. If making ahead of time, cool sauce for 30 minutes and then store in an airtight container.

  5. Enjoy!


Keep in refrigerator for 5 days after initial preparation. Warm sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave before using it. The sauce should be warm, but not too hot. Use on ribs or as instructed or serve as a side sauce.