• Yield: Makes about 4 cups

  • Time: 5 minutes prep, 70 minutes cooking, 75 minutes total

There are many regional takes on barbecue in the United States, each with its own idea of the perfect sauce to complement barbecued meats. However, Kansas City-style sauces rule supreme when it comes to bottled sauces the supermarket; simply put, it is the style of sauce that most American think of when they think "barbecue sauce." But if you'd rather make your own Kansas City-style sauce at home, try this recipe from America's Test Kitchen. The folks at America's Test Kitchen says they like their barbecue sauce extra-thick. If you like a thinner, smoother texture, the sauce can be strained after it has finished cooking.


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, minced

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup root beer

  • 1 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining ingredients, except for liquid smoke, and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is thick and has reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour. Stir in liquid smoke, if using. (Sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 1 week.)

Copyright 2017 America's Test Kitchen

America's Test Kitchen
The Splendid Table frequently visits with the test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen to discuss a wide range of topics including recipes, ingredients, techniques and kitchen equipment.