KC-Style Chipotle BBQ Sauce

KC-Style Chipotle BBQ Sauce

This chipotle BBQ sauce recipe was originally created for our appearance on Food Network's The Kitchen.  It was used as part of a dressing for our now famous Grilled BBQ Potato Salad.  It adds a touch of spice and smokey richness to compliment a medley of roasted potatoes, bacon, celery and green onion.

But that doesn't mean this sauce should ONLY be used on potatoes.  It's also a fantastic glaze for smoked ribs, chicken wings and pulled pork.  Or anything that you'd want to enhance with a sweet and spicy glaze. Just make sure to baste it on at the very end of your cook to prevent the sugars from burning.

This chipotle BBQ sauce recipe is based on a classic Kansas City style BBQ sauce.  That means it's a tomato based sauce that is sweetened with molasses.  In this version we add molasses two ways: directly out of the jar and through brown sugar.  We then add cider vinegar to balance out some of that sweetness.  Next is Worchestershire to deepen the flavor of the sauce.  Layers of smoke are added through the chipotle peppers, ancho chile powder, and a tiny splash of liquid smoke.  We follow that up with a touch of cocoa powder to neutralize the bitterness introduced by the chilli powder.  And finally we balance everything out with a blend of herbs and spices.

It's a simple yet complex sauce all at the same time.  Enjoy!

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup pureed chipotle peppers in adobo 
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon molasses 
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and gently warm over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves. Do not boil.

The sauce can be used immediately. The flavors will continue to meld if allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

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