Bill's KC BBQ Sauce

Kansas City is known for its combination of tomatoes, molasses, honey, vinegar, and spices for a tangy jar of wonderful. This is Bill's take, not too sweet, not to spicy and vaguely mirrors Bill's pork shoulder spices.

Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 76 kcal


  • 8 ounces tomato sauce or passata (in Sweden), see note 1.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or in Sweden use cider vinegar, see note 2.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses or Muscovado sirap in Sweden, see note 3.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or Ancho chili peppar in Sweden, see note 4.
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste if desired


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium and heat gently. Reduce the mixture by half (takes about 15-20 minutes or about an hour when using passata).

  2. Adjust seasoning if needed. 
  3. Refrigerate after using.  Use or discard within a couple of weeks.

Recipe Notes

Please note that the quantities can be changed by entering the amount you wish in the quantity indicator.  However, the metric will not change. 

For our Swedish readers, I've included the suggested substitutes for the USA ingredients in the recipe. 

  1. Tomato Sauce in the USA is cooked and processed tomatoes, usually with herbs.  It is not common to find tomato sauce in Sweden, so we’re suggesting using passata.  One can use Swedish tomato puree, but it’s not as tasty.  When using passata or puree you must cook the sauce about twice as long (about an hour) to cook down the tomatoes.
  2. White vinegar as noted in the recipe is not Ättika!  In Sweden substitute cider vinegar.
  3. In Sweden there is not a direct duplicate to "unsulphured molasses"(Black Treacle in the UK).  The best substitute I was able to find is Muscovado sirap, it's close, but lacks the depth of molasses.
  4. American chili powder is different than Swedish Chili peppar, Ancho chili pepper is closer and the best substitute.