How To Thicken BBQ Sauce In 5 Easy Steps

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Barbecue sauce is commonly used in various dishes because it elevates the dish to a higher level. It's tangy, sour, sweet, and salty flavor adds a “wow factor” in soups, meats, appetizers, vegetables, sandwiches, and so on.

I really hate it when restaurants serve a slab of ribs with a runny barbecue sauce that’s like water and doesn’t stick to the meat.

Anyway, If you’re one of those BBQ fanatics like me, and you can’t get enough of this sauce, this post will show you how to thicken your BBQ sauce in 5 easy steps.

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    Note: All of the mentioned thickening methods aren’t exclusively for barbecue sauce, it can also be used in other sauces.

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How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

5 Ways To Thicken BBQ Sauce

1. Reducing (Easiest Way to Thicken Your BBQ Sauce)

Let’s begin with the easiest way to thicken your sauce that even cooking amateurs can perfect -- reducing the sauce.

Thickening doesn’t necessarily mean adding more ingredients. Sometimes removing ingredients is a better way, so to speak.

Reducing is quick and easy to do. It doesn't matter if you bought that BBQ sauce in the grocery or you made one for yourself. This method reduces any excess water or liquid that has been added to the sauce.

Procedure

  1. To do this just pour the BBQ sauce in a saucepan.
  2. Turn the stove on and set temperature at low heat.
  3. If you see tiny bubbles in the surface of the sauce, that means the excess water is slowly evaporating. If the sauce has evaporated to half or until your desired thickness, turn the heat off.

No added ingredients, no muss, no fuss. Easy right?


2. Flour As A Thickening Agent For BBQ Sauce

This method is perhaps the easiest way to thicken sauces. Sometimes time is your enemy and it gets in the way of perfecting your barbecue sauce.

Introducing the mystery thickeners -- flour and cornstarch!

Using these food items is also helpful in maintaining the flavor of the sauce since flour and cornstarch are almost tasteless. Thus, the outcome is not too salty nor bland -- just pure barbecue goodness!

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

What You Will Need

For thickening 1 Cup of barbecue sauce.

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    2 Tbsp of All-Purpose Flour
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    ¼ Cup of Water

Procedure

  1. Mix all-purpose flour and ¼ cup of water in a small bowl. Mix well until there are no lumps.
  2. Put the barbecue sauce in a saucepan. Let it simmer at low heat.
  3. Place the flour and water mixture into the pan while stirring.
  4. Heat until the desired thickness is reached.

3. Corn Starch As A Thickening Agent For Barbecue Sauce

This method is basically the same with the flour method. The process is the same, but the ingredients are different.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

What You Will Need

For thickening 1 Cup of barbecue sauce.

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    1 Tbsp of Cornstarch
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    1 Tbsp of Water

Procedure

  1. Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Mix well until there are no lumps.
  2. Put the barbecue sauce in a saucepan. Let it simmer at low heat.
  3. Place the flour and water mixture into the pan while stirring.
  4. Heat until the desired thickness is reached.

This method is ideal for cooking beginners. Furthermore, this method is best used when your barbecue sauce is already flavorful but still calls for a little more wow factor.


4. Thickening Your BBQ Sauce With Butter and Cream

Butter and cream can thicken your barbecue sauce and add so much flavor to it. And no, these things don’t change the overall taste of the sauce, they only give it a creamier, velvety texture.

Butter’s natural balance of water and fat content creates a creamy, luscious consistency on its own. You can also make a roux out of flour and butter for added thickness.

Coconut oil or cream isn’t your average thickening agent for barbecue sauce or any sauce, for that matter. Try using this in your roux mixture instead of butter; it’s healthier and gives your barbecue sauce that creamy, coconutty flavor.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Cream made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or other dairy sources adds an intense thickness to your barbecue sauce. Like butter, it’s naturally creamy and luscious on its own.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

However, it’s worth noting that adding these ingredients can increase calories so weight watchers should be extra careful when using them.

On the brighter side, reaching the necessary thickness of your barbecue sauce isn’t limited to these ingredients.


5. Adding Fiber To Your BBQ Sauce (Yes, by adding veggies!)

I’m not talking about the chewy, grainy fiber. I’m talking about pureed fiber.

Adding pureed vegetables to barbecue sauce is a unique way to thicken it. Your friends and family will be surely be dying to know your BBQ sauce secret, not to mention gaining extra nutritional value!

Here are some vegetables that you can try to thicken your sauce:

Pureed potatoes is a wonderful sauce thickener. These spuds naturally thicken the sauce by adding a grainier texture to it.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Sweet potato can be pureed as well to give a grainy texture like the pureed potato. But the catch here is, it’s much healthier than potatoes.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Tomatoes are one of the best vegetable thickeners out there. Commonly, ketchup is used in barbecue sauces for its color, consistency, and flavor. But it contains a lot of MSG (Monosodium glutamate) that isn’t healthy at all.

Instead of using store-bought ketchup, why not make your own at home? Just cook down the tomatoes with salt and pepper then puree it. There you have an instant homemade healthy ketchup!

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Eggplant and pepper pureed together creates a unique flavor as well as thickens the sauce.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Be careful as to not overpower the barbecue sauce because the combination of eggplant and pepper can make the sauce bitter. Remember that a little goes a long way.

Here’s a secret: any vegetables can actually be pureed to thicken barbecue sauce. If it’s too thick, just add a little water to loosen up the sauce.

Here is a wonderful barbecue sauce recipe by Jamie & Buddy Oliver. Enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Thickening barbecue sauce can be tricky because you don’t want it to be runny nor too thick. You just want that “perfect coating” of sauce in your meat -- glistening, sticking to your fingers, and screaming “eat me”.

How To Thicken BBQ Sauce

Your creativity is the best part of thickening your barbecue sauce. You can use just about anything as long as it’s edible. For best results, you can use the methods we’ve listed to thicken any kind of sauce.

Do you have any additional tips to thicken barbecue sauce? Teach us master! Leave suggestions and comments in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this post. Thanks for reading!

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