what makes kc bbq sauce different

As any Texas culinary arts student knows, the secret to a great barbecue lies in the sauce. And, typical of classic American fare (hot dogs, anyone?), barbecue sauce preferences vary widely by region. From the Lone Star State to the shores of North Carolina, you can find great barbecue doused in sauces that are sweet, savory, tangy, and just plain delicious.

Of course, we’ll start with Texas, that bastion of mouth-watering barbecue. Here you’ll find brisket infused with quintessential Texan flavors like chili powder, garlic, hot sauce, cumin, and Worcestershire. The consistency is thin, but the flavor is earthy and robust as ever. Basically, be ready for some serious spice–Texans don’t do anything halfway.

Kansas City BBQ sauce has a thicker consistency and is sweeter than a classic BBQ sauce. Made with onions, spices, ketchup, and molasses, other ingredients are often also added to give it a variation of flavors, such as liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce.
what makes kc bbq sauce different

Kansas City, Missouri

Now, let’s talk KC. Sauces here are a little sweeter, and usually have a molasses-like quality to them. When making your own, you’ll likely use ingredients like tomatoes, brown sugar or molasses (as the main sweetening agent), plus onions. That doesn’t mean residents of Kansas City don’t like their barbecue to have any kick to it, though–feel free to throw in some black pepper and hot sauce too. Typically, the “syrupy” nature of KC barbeque sauce complements any meat, but it’s truly glorified on a rack of ribs!

The barbecue in Memphis is tangy and thin, which makes it starkly different from its Kansas City competitors. While the sauce is also tomato-based and contains brown sugar, it includes mustard and vinegar among its ingredients as well. Side note: There’s a heated rivalry between Kansas City and Memphis barbecue, so if you find yourself in the region, be sure not to pick sides unless you can make a compelling argument for your favorite!

The folks in Tennessee don’t mess around when it comes to barbeque, and Nashville is no exception. In the eastern region, you’re bound to find sauces with a detectable vinegar base. It gets progressively sweeter as you make your way into Memphis. But in Nashville, you’ll find a complex blend of all of these flavors, with a much smokier undertone. In fact, some sauces are infused with liquid smoke! It’s almost a given that Nashville sauce will satiate your barbeque desires.

what makes kc bbq sauce different

Meanwhile, in Texas, the pitmasters who do give the thumbs up for barbeque sauce (and there are actually plenty of them) are sure to incorporate Worcestershire sauce, likely because of the prominence of beef ribs and brisket in Texas barbecue, per Webstaurant Store. The Carolinas are home to three distinct types of barbeque sauces: Tangy, mustard-based South Carolina sauce; vinegar and little else in Eastern North Carolina; and a vinegar-heavy sauce that includes ketchup in Western North Carolina, according to Outer Banks Coastal Life. Finally, Escoffier describes the sauce in Memphis as tomato based, but much more tart and thin than its Kansas City counterpart. Clearly, each style is very different, but youll have to be the judge of which you find most delicious.

If you want to dive into the diverse world of authentic barbeque, you need to know that all barbeque is not the same. Regions are fiercely loyal to their specific style, and they all claim to be the best in the country. The differences between each regional style range from what type of meat is put on the grill to what goes into their barbeque sauce … if there is a sauce at all. Some Texans will scoff at the mere mention of barbeque sauce (they mostly prefer dry rub only), and Alabama showcases its white sauce, which, contrary to popular belief, is not Ranch dressing but a tangy condiment made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and lemon juice, per Southern Living.

According to Webstaurant Store, the four major regions of American barbeque are Texas, Memphis, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Kansas City, Missouri. While many others exist, these are the big dogs, so to speak. Arguably, the barbeque sauce that most Americans are familiar with, due to its prominence in restaurants and grocery stores, is Kansas City style, which is a thick, sweet, and dark red or brown. It is served with everything from chicken nuggets to cheeseburgers. But if you go to any other barbecue region other than Kansas City, dont expect your sauce to be the same.

Kansas City barbeque sauce was designed to accompany the citys unique style of meats, which use a dry rub, and can range from beef to fish,according to MasterClass. The accompanying sauce is made from a tomato base like ketchup, plus molasses and brown sugar for plenty of sweetness, per Serious Eats. Other ingredients like onion, garlic, and spices are also utilized. The sauce cooks until it is rich, thick, and suitable for finger-licking. About 250 miles from Kansas City is St. Louis, which many would agree is also a prominent area for barbeque. Youll find the sauce here similar in taste but thinner with a tangy twist due to its addition of cider vinegar, suggests The Spruce Eats.

How to Make Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce with Michael Symon | BBQ USA | Food Network


What makes Kansas City BBQ sauce different?

Kansas city BBQ sauce has got it’s own flare and flavor. Most Kansas City style sauces are tomato based, almost all have molasses, and from the ones that I tasted, they all give you a little kick of heat at the end from chili powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or a combination of all three.

What is special about KC BBQ?

Kansas City–style barbecue is a slowly smoked meat barbecue originating in Kansas City, Missouri in the early 20th century. It has a thick, sweet sauce derived from brown sugar, molasses, and tomatoes.

What distinguishes KC BBQ?

It all comes down to the sauce. When compared to other prominent styles, Kansas City style sauces are sweet and thick. The recipe usually includes a base made with tomato and molasses, and you may find brown sugar as well. The sauce is cooked into the meat or brushed on immediately after cooking.

What is the difference between Kansas City BBQ sauce and Memphis BBQ sauce?

Even though Memphis BBQ sauce is tomato-based and contains brown sugar like Kansas City BBQ sauce, it also includes mustard and vinegar. Because the BBQ sauce is thin, it makes a great marinade. It can also be mopped or basted on pork shoulders, butts, ribs and fresh pulled-pork sandwiches.

What is Kansas City BBQ sauce?

Kansas City BBQ sauce is a thick, sweet, and tangy variation of barbecue sauce. It is typically made from a base of ketchup and molasses; giving it a syrupy and gloopy consistency while ingredients like liquid smoke give it a smoky flavor, too. You’ll often find it in restaurants across Kansas City.

What is the difference between Kansas City and Carolina BBQ sauce?

The main difference between Kansas City and Carolina BBQ sauce is the use of molasses and sugar. Kansas City BBQ sauce uses molasses/sugar much more liberally which results in a sweeter, thicker sauce. Carolina BBQ sauce is much thinner as a result. What Is The Difference Between Memphis And Kansas City BBQ Sauce?

What does Kansas City BBQ sauce taste like?

Kansas City BBQ sauce is rich, sweet, and tangy, with a subtle hint of heat and smoke. It is thick in texture and consistency. However, depending on the recipe or brand, you may get peppery or extra vinegary flavor notes. Ultimately, it depends on the recipe.

Can you use Kansas City style BBQ sauce for kabobs?

You can use Kansas City Style BBQ sauce as a condiment, or as a sauce to brush on meats for recipes like my Easy Beef Kabobs during the last 10 minutes of cooking. This sauce is even better after 1 day if you let the flavors meld together, by sitting it in the refrigerator overnight.

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