When is comes to barbecue sauce, there sure are a lot of them on the market. Shelves are full of different kinds of sauces all claiming to be the best, smokiest, tangiest, or the spiciest, with a wide range of pricing from .89¢ to $5.00 a bottle. With so many options and attractive labels, it all gets a bit confusing.

That’s why I have taken to making my own. I find I really enjoy creating my own flavor of sauce to express my personal taste. For me it is fun to have several different varieties on hand to offer my friends when I am grilling. Barbecue sauce is not real difficult to make, and the odds are you probably have most of what you would need already in your pantry. So why not give it a go, and impress your guests by making your own private label sauce.

Because of its long history of being a major trailhead for cattle drives moving from the Southwest to their eastern markets, Kansas City is considered the epicenter of American barbecue. Everything is up to date in Kansas City with over 100 barbecue restaurants to choose from. Kansas City barbecue sauce gets its flavor from a combination of a sweet tomato sauce, herbs, and mustard, with a spicy, smokey kick. For me, I find this is a great “base sauce” to start with in creating my own flavor.

To prepare KC Style BBQ Sauce:

Cooks Note: This is a good base recipe that can be adjusted to your own taste. Keep track of your changes so you are able to reproduce them another time. This is one sauce that I do use measuring utensils when making. I also  keep written notes of my changes for future versions. It is important not to add ingredients “along the way”. Get everything in the pot and allow it to cook. You can make your changes in the next batch. The sauce will take on a much different flavor after it has full developed and cooled.

  • 3 cups ketchup
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ chili powder
  • ¼ liquid smoke

In a heavy sauce pan combine all ingredients and mix together well. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring often. Cool sauce at room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

Have fun making this more or less spicy, or adding more smoke and less sugar. Experiment, just keep track of you’re changes and soon you will have branded your own “house sauce” that will have folks begging you for the secret.

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