Pulled Pork BBQ Sauce Recipe Kansas City Style

by Backyard BBQ Blog

in Sauces and Rubs

I like a good Kansas City style BBQ sauce for my pulled pork which is typically tomato based and is generally sweet, spicy and tangy. This pulled pork BBQ sauce recipe is what I like to make when I’m not being too lazy. If I don’t make my own, I usually buy something off the shelf that’s not overly sweet.

I recommend that you put it on the side so that people have the option of how much, if any, sauce they want.  Maybe if they can grab a chunk or two of your awesome pulled pork before it’s doused in sauce, they’ll get the full smoky experience and appreciate it the way god intended it. If you do mix it with your pulled pork, go lightly, you can always add more.

Pulled Pork BBQ Sauce Recipe

Try not to make your sauce so loud that it drowns out the subtlety of the pork itself. There’s no sense in spending all that time and energy making the perfect pulled pork if all you taste is sauce.  You might as well cook it in a crock pot.

A nice balance between the sweet and smoky crust of the pork, the tender, juicy inside and the sweet spice of the sauce is my goal. If i can taste all of those different flavors mingling, then I feel like I’ve won.

My Kansas City Style Pulled Pork BBQ Sauce Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until they’re soft, then add the other ingredients. Simmer it just hot enough to make the edges bubble a bit in the pan, and stir often. You don’t want the bottom to burn. Give it a minimum of thirty minutes but, an hour wouldn’t hurt. Just like when you cooked your pulled pork, low and slow is the key when cooking this pulled pork BBQ sauce recipe.

Make any adjustments you want to my pulled pork BBQ sauce recipe to make it your own. Think of my recipe as a starting point. The best part of making your own sauce is you get it exactly like you like it and, busting out the homemade stuff makes you look like a rockstar when you have company over.

Some other additions you can try to kick up your own pulled pork BBQ sauce recipe could be red wine vinegar (instead of apple cider), liquid smoke, ground cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, dried mustard, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, ground red pepper, vegetable oil (instead of butter), lemon juice, steak sauce (eww, anchovies), Louisiana style hot sauce, apple juice or chipotle powder.

Let me know if you make any adjustments and how it worked out for you in the comments below.


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