Kansas City Style Homemade Old Fashioned Molasses BBQ Sauce

You can make super easy camping meals by grilling or smoking meat that you slather in sauce.

The deep flavors in this Homemade Old Fashioned Molasses BBQ Sauce come from the dark molasses, and Worcestershire sauce while the sweet flavors are brought in by the dark brown sugar and honey. Add a touch of heat with some chili powder and hot sauce and you end up with one of the best barbecue sauces you can imagine!

Old Fashioned Homemade Molasses BBQ Sauce by CampingForFoodies features a mason jar filled with barbeque sauce sitting on a wood log stump in front of a portable smoker at a desert campsite with a cactus in the background under a bright blue sky with text over the image that reads homemade molasses BBQ sauce.

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Prep To Make Your Own BBQ Sauce Recipes

The really nice thing about homemade barbecue sauce recipes is their shelf life. You can make them in advance for future use and just keep them refrigerated until you are ready to use them.

There is not a lot to prep for this recipe so it is really simple to make right at your campsite. You’ll just chop a bit of onion and garlic.

Camping Flexible Cutting MatsCamping Flexible Cutting MatsCamping Flexible Cutting Mats


Methods Of Cooking Popular BBQ Sauce Recipes At Camp

We prefer to make this as one of our camp stove recipes if we are using our stove, smoker or charcoal grill to cook the rest of the meal.

If we are making one of our campfire recipes, we will prepare this easy BBQ sauce over our fire in a campfire-safe pot.

Steps To Make Kansas City Style Molasses & Honey Barbecue Sauce

Step 1. Prepare your ingredients as directed. Chop a bit of onion and mince some garlic.

Step 2. Prepare your heat source. Whether you are using a camp stove or campfire, get the temperature up for cooking over medium heat.

Step 3. Cook the aromatics. Heat a medium saucepan then add some oil and let it heat before adding the onions and garlic. You will be sautéing them long enough to soften them.

Step 4. Add the dried spices. It is time to add the chili powder, black pepper and salt. You’ll cook that for a few more minutes before adding the other ingredients.

Step 5. Add the liquid ingredients. It is time to add the ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, honey and hot sauce. You will be simmering the sauce for about 15 minutes so it thickens a bit.

Camp Cooking Tip: When you are making a sweet sauce, you’ll want to use a dark molasses. Other sauce profiles may include a less sweet and more bitter flavor which come from blackstrap molasses and using ingredients like tomato paste and tomato sauce rather than catsup.

Step 6. Cool and store it. If you are using the sauce immediately, you can use it right from the sauce pan or you can let it cool to room temperature then pour it into a container (glass or plastic) with a tightly sealed lid and keep in a refrigerator for about a month or so.

Camp Cooking Tip: This original recipe makes about 3 cups of the best BBQ sauce! That is enough to sauce several racks of ribs with extra sauce for serving. It is a good idea to pour the amount of sauce you need into a separate bowl for cooking so you can store leftover “clean” sauce for later use.

How To Add Smoky Flavor To Bar-B-Q Recipes

When we are making camping dinner recipes with a smoke flavor, there are several ways we achieve it:

  • We are either making one of our camping smoker recipes where our portable pellet grill provides the smoke, or,
  • We are cooking directly over campfire coals that formed from burning a nice hardwood like mesquite or oak, or,
  • We are making camping grill recipes and using a smoker box inside our little Smokey Joe grill.

If you are cooking with a camping Dutch oven or propane gas grill, you won’t get that smoke flavor unless you add a bit of liquid smoke to the sauce which is what we did when we made our Dutch oven ribs camping recipe.

Camp Cooking Tip: If you are thinking of making life easier by using liquid smoke for the first time, be conservative with it. The flavor is concentrated and goes a long way … you don’t need much of it to get the flavor you want. Also, it is a common ingredient in smoky-flavored grocery store barbeque sauces but self-proclaimed BBQ food snob purists may turn their noses up to a homemade sauce that uses it.

Pairings For Good BBQ Sauce

If you’re in search of family-friendly food for your camp menu plan, bbq chicken is always a good choice. This sauce actually provides a delicious finishing touch to beef cuts, pork chops, whole chickens and just about anything you can prepare at your campsite kitchen. Give your meat several layers of flavor by first using a rub like our Kansas City Dry Rub: Amazing Flavor For KC Style BBQ Recipes, then finishing with the sauce.

Our Chuck Roast Burnt Ends (A Quick Version Of Poor Man’s Brisket) is the best recipe to enjoy this sauce on a meal that seems expensive but keeps you on a budget with a relatively inexpensive cut of beef.

These Smoked Chicken Legs can be served with the dry rub only or slathered in this yummy bbq sauce with molasses.

Print This Kansas City Style Old Fashioned Molasses Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (less if you prefer just a touch of heat)


  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and let it heat up a bit then add the onions and sauté them until they are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for about one more minute.
  3. Now add the, chili powder, black pepper and salt. Continue cooking for about 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Now add the ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, honey and hot sauce. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes with the lid off to thicken the sauce a bit, stirring occasionally.
    Let cool slightly, then pour the sauce into a container with a tight-fitting lid for storage.
  5. This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a month or two.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 595mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 1g

More Unique Camping Meal Ideas

There are so many fun and fabulous tastes you can enjoy at the campsite! Check out all of our camp recipes for each meal of your trip!

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