Thick, tomato-rich Kansas City sauces are sweeter than those from other barbecue regions. While commercial renditions can overdo the sugar, this version (inspired by the scrumptious Gates Original) balances sweet with spice.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
3/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (such as McCormick)
How to Make It
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thickened.