Our Basic KC Barbecue Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Here is a simple version of Kansas City–style sauce—tomatoey, tangy, thick, pungent, and sweet—similar to bottled sauces in the store. We like this sauce because it goes together very quickly with simple ingredients.

Cooker: Medium round or oval

Setting and cook time: LOW for 5 to 8 hours

Cooking Methodslow cooking



Total Timehalf-day

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free

Equipmentblender, crock pot, food processor

Taste and Texturesavory, smoky, spiced

Type of DishCondiments, barbecue sauce, sauces


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 32-ounce can tomato puree
  • ½ cup bottled chili sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and sauté until limp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker and add the tomato puree, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 8 hours. If the sauce is not thick enough for you, remove the cover, turn the setting to HIGH, and cook for up to 30 minutes longer, until it reaches the desired consistency. Puree in the crock with an immersion blender, or transfer it in batches to a blender or food processor and puree. Cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 months.



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