Kansas City Sweet Red BBQ Sauce

Ask most Americans (other than Southerners and Texans) to describe the perfect BBQ sauce and they’ll evoke a thick, sweet, deep-red, ketchup-based sauce with a subtle tang of vinegar. This is that sauce. Barbeque is serious business in Kansas City. The motto of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, where this recipe comes from, is “Barbecue – it’s Not Just for Breakfast.”

American south Smoky BBQ Sauce

Sweet and Smoky Barbeque Sauce

This BBQ sauce is incredibly versatile and is great slathered over all types of ribs, pulled pork, grilled chicken, added to baked beans, or used as a dip or a baste.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Course: BBQ, Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American, American Southwest, North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 5 cups
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large saucepan or pot


  • 6 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Molasses
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dark rum
  • 2 tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp Liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 2 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp Ground cloves
  • 32 oz Ketchup
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients, except ketchup, in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously to combine everything. Stir in ketchup and bring to a boil, partially cover to keep splatter from painting everything nearby. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove cover and reduce heat to low. Gently simmer the sauce until it turns a deep red and thickens, about 30 minutes. Use right away or cool slightly and put in a sealed container (empty ketchup bottle?) and refrigerate for months.


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 472mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 496IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg

Search All MHT Recipes:

Key Ingredients
Cooking Method

Search all Recipes 

Load More