• Barbecue sauce (Mark Roper)Source: Mark Roper

This is where brown sugar and ketchup, or tomato sauce, find true love - BBQ sauce love. Kansas City BBQ sauce is the style of sauce that is most commonly associated with BBQ sauce. Thick, tomatoey and sweet with some background spice are the characteristics that make up this sauce. This is not the Kansas City sauce we serve at Big Boy BBQ, but it is still a wonderful sauce that is easy to make at home. Feel free to double or triple the recipe, add or subtract the ingredients of your choice, until you make the sauce of your dreams.

1.5 cups





Skill level

Average: 3.9 (29 votes)


  • 1½ cups tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp molasses
  • ½ tsp chilli sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to the simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens. 

Allow to cool and then smother it on everything that takes your fancy. 


Photography by Mark Roper. Styling by Vicki Valsamis. Food preparation by Lance Rosen. 


This recipe was published in Temples of BBQ, by Lance Rosen (templesofbbq.com.au, hbk, $49). Read our review here


This is part of our Ultimate BBQ series. For recipes, our guide to American BBQ and tips on smoking, head here.