Kansas City is known for many things, but none quite so much as their delicious contributions to the world of BBQ. At the heart of nearly all Kansas City BBQ inventions is some variation on the venerable sweet and tangy Kansas City BBQ sauce. Fathers around the nation looking to become backyard grilling and BBQ legends in their own home and neighborhood need to learn to ditch those store bought imitations and cook the real deal right in their own homes. Luckily, it really is not that hard:
Step 1: Start with around 1 ½ cups of water and around ½ a cup of tomato ketchup and mix them together in a bowl until well blended. Tart ketchup is preferable, but sweetened ketchup is acceptable.
Step 2: ½ cup of cooking cider or white vinegar should be gradually added to the mixture, which will become increasingly thin and start to shows its true bite with a powerful aroma.
Step 3: Add 1/3 cup of thick tomato paste. The secret to a sensational sweet and tangy Kansas City BBQ sauce is to make the tomato paste instead of buying cheap store-bought canned tomato paste. Making tomato paste takes time but the process is simple: cut tomatoes up, let them blanch for around 30 seconds in boiling water before icing them for an hour or so. Add generous amounts of sea salt then let them simmer on low heat for around an hour in a fresh pot. Leave the seeds in if a blender with a fine setting is available as the seeds capture the flavor of the tomato at its freshest. If that sounds too complex then go to the local supermarket and get some canned tomato paste.
Step 4: Add 1/3 cup of molasses to the mix. Experiment with different molasses flavors as this truly makes or breaks any Kansas City style BBQ sauce and there are so many flavors to choose from.
Step 5: Add 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of packed brown sugar. The mixture of brown and white sugars will blend well and help thicken the base. Furthermore, the different melting points and physical characteristics of the two types of sugar will create a rich sweet medley of flavor.
Step 6: Stir in a teaspoon or liquid smoke for added flavor. Liquid smoke does generally take a long time to stir in, so do not be surprised if this is one of the longest steps in the entire process.
Step 7: Being to slowly bring the base to a boil, a process that should be done over 5 to 6 minutes while following the next step. A non-stick pan is highly recommended for this process.
Step 8: Mix half a teaspoon of each of the following ingredients in a small measuring cup: onion powder, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce. Add to this a ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, crushed celery see, and dill weed for additional flavor. Once these ingredients are mixed together, it is time to add them to slowly to the sauce base and stir as the base begins to approach the boiling stage. It is important to note that the sauce should not reach a hard boil, but should only start to bubble slowly before going on to the next step. The goal is to have all of the ingredients together and thoroughly stirred by the time the sauce reaches a soft boil.
Step 9: Once the sauce has reached a boil it is time to let it simmer on low heat and stir until it thickens. This process might take as long as 30 minutes and now would be a good time to add additional flavors if desired. Some fathers choose to add a pinch of citrus during this stage. It might be a good idea to experiment over time to see what works and what doesn’t.
That is all it takes to make amazingly sweet and seriously tangy Kansas City BBQ sauce at home!