3 Classic American Barbecue Sauce Recipes

AdobeStock by Amie Johnson

The backbone of a classic American barbecue is delicious sauce. Whether its on ribs, chicken, pulled pork or burgers a rich BBQ sauce is an absolute must.

We’ve hand picked our favourite Kansas City, Carolina Mustard and Spicy Texan sauces for you to enjoy.

Classic Kansas City Sauce

Want to know what makes this sauce different from the others? Well, Kansas city sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and sour. With its rich molasses and subtle heat flavours, you’ll definitely be double dipping.

This recipe makes approximately 6 cups.


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper



  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary. Brush sauce onto any kind of meat during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Carolina Mustard Bbq Sauce

South Carolina is known for producing one of the finest and most classic American barbecue sauce. Here we have the Carolina mustard sauce that is just the right amount of tart.

This delicious sauce is best used on pulled pork, chicken and ribs.

This recipe makes approximately 2 cups


  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce (to taste)


  • Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Whisk to combine and occasionally while simmering for 20-30 minutes.
  • Let cool before serving

classic American barbecue sauce


The Spicy texan classic american barbecue sauce

Texas is known for being both independent and loving spice. A classic Texas BBQ sauce has little of each. This recipe is spicy but not too hot, with just the right amount of smoke.

This sauce goes best with ribs, chicken or even steak. A little goes a long way!

This recipe makes approximately 2 cups


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the orange juice, cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon slices, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, molasses, and brown sugar.
  • Season with dry mustard, salt, red pepper flakes, cumin and paprika. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove lemon slices before using.


Alright folks, there you have it! Our top picks for classic American barbecue sauce.

Each with sauce has it’s own unique personalities that will surely bring some flavour to the family BBQ this summer!

Let us know which sauce is your favourite!



What’s for breakfast this week? Find out our secret recipe for banana bread!

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