Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Martha's take on this classic BBQ sauce has a lengthy ingredient list including apple cider vinegar, molasses, and ketchup. Each element adds to the sweetness and complexity of the sauce. And it's quick to make; a few minutes on the stovetop, then it's blended and ready to be used for your favorite ribs.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • ½ small onion, grated

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 ½ cups ketchup

  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • cup cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne

  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire, mustard, cayenne, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Sauce can be cooled completely and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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