Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: about 1 quart
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons molasses

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons liquid smoke


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, 1 cup water, the vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, mustard, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the liquid smoke. Strain the sauce, pressing on the solids to extract any liquid.
  2.  Photograph by Andrew Purcell
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