How to thicken BBQ sauce

BBQ sauce whether it’s from a store or homemade comes in different flavors and versions. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be too thin and you might end up leaving it on the plate instead of eating it with your food. You might need to make it thicker without changing its taste and flavor.

Thickening your Sause might dissolve the many ingredients used and make it smooth yet fruity. It will cling to your food perfectly well.

Methods for thickening BBQ sauce

bbq sauce

Cook the sauce

This is probably the easiest method. All you need is a saucepan and heat. Place the thin sauce in a saucepan and put it on low heat to allow it to cook slowly. Stir it continuously to avoid sticking and boiling. The excess water in the sauce will evaporate slowly until you achieve your desired thickness. Do not cover the pan at any point to allow continuous evaporation. The result will be a well-thickened sauce.

Add flour

You can use these types of flour for this method:

Grain flour – Grain Flour will dissolve well in water, but will not form a paste making a dense dull paste. Grain flours include:

Wheat flour– White wheat flour dissolved in either hot or cold water, has fats, starch, and protein that when used in the right quantity will make a thick sauce. When you use too much flour it will be excessively thick and not appealing.

Corn starch -When soaked in cold water and put in your thin sauce, it absorbs the excess water easily. It makes the sauce shiny therefore mostly used to thicken ribs sauce. Be careful not to over stir, it will thin out again.

Root tuber flour will not dissolve in water but forms a paste that produces a thick, clear, and shiny sauce. Arrowroot flour has a neutral taste just like other flours. When mixed with cold water it helps absorb the water in a thin sauce. It’s good for freezing your sauce as it reacts well in cold temperatures. It is perfect for more acidic foods.

Whichever flour you choose to use make a paste first, mix well and make sure there are no lumps, put it in a pan, and heat in medium heat while stirring slowly till you achieve your desired paste. Taste it before removing it from heat to ensure the taste of flour is completely cooked off.

Use gums

Food gums are essential in holding the molecules together. In a thin sauce, they will help in increasing the consistency and texture. They will also not interfere with the flavor nor outlook of your sauce. Guar gum will thicken your sauce without depriving it of water.

Xanthan gum does well in both hot and cold water. It adds a creamy taste and only a little of it is requires. You will only need to add it directly to the sauce and stir for that thick paste in the sauce. Pectin gum in its powder form is easily absorbed to form a gel. Mix it with water and add to the sauce to boil for a thick paste.

Use fats

When using fats, you might not want to use the low-quality one since you might not acquire the desired thickness. Types of fats that you may use:

Butter: If you decide to use butter, you will need flour as well. You can either use Roux or Beurre Manie.  For the Roux, preheat it first, add flour and floor as you mix, set it to cook while you stir. It will form a thick slightly brown paste and add the BBQ paste. It will also add a bit of nut taste to it. For Beurre Manie, soften it slightly and add the flour kneading it into balls, heat the sauce, and adds then in as you stir until it thickens. It will also add a creamy taste to the sauce

Cream or coconut oil: Coconut oil will not only help you thicken your sauce but also has health benefits. Its low on cholesterol and will not add fats to your health. cook it under minimum heat to thicken the sauce. Cream on the other hand does not require cooking, you will only add it to the sauce, stir and get your desired paste.

Use Gelatin

Powdered gelatin will also be ideal since it has no taste. It is an animal product, hence ideal for those avoiding plant products. For every cup of sauce, use 4 half teaspoons of gelatin. Mix it with water and cook under low heat and stir. It thickens even more as it cools.

Add tomato paste

This method is best for use in tomato-based sauces. You will only need to heat the BBQ sauce and add the tomato paste slowly as you stir. It will add to the tomato flavor.

Add vegetables

You can add purees starchy vegetables as well. It can be potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, or even eggplants. Add them to the sauce but don’t add too much to avoid a bitter taste. Stir in medium heat and you can always use water in case it’s too thick.

Final word

The main aim of thickening a BBQ sauce is to add value rather than hiding its inadequacies you thicken your sauce be sure to inform other people in case you used something that they may be allergic to. Some people for example are allergic to nuts, and it may save you lots of trouble by informing them beforehand. Thickening may also improve the taste buds

FAQ

How can you make sure BBQ sauce sticks to the food?

For BBQ sauce to stick to food you will need to have added a bit of season to give it something to hold on to. Salt and pepper are ideal. Add them to your food when it’s almost done to ensure they don’t dissolve completely.

Which is the ideal cooker to thicken BBQ sauce?

To achieve a good thick sauce, you will need to cook it under low heat. You can use any cooker as long as you can adjust the heat to cook slowly while stirring