How to Thicken BBQ Sauce (7 Easy Ways)

Are you wondering whether there is a way to salvage a BBQ sauce that turned out too thin and watery?

Here are the best methods for thickening barbecue sauce and turning it into a delicious and properly textured rich condiment to season your meat, burgers, or other grilled or cooked food.

Here are some ideas for how to thicken BBQ sauce.

Reduce the BBQ sauce in a saucepan

Reduce-the-BBQ-sauce
Photo credit: foodsogoodmall.com

This is one of the quickest and most straightforward solutions for turning the watery BBQ sauce into a rich and thick one. It doesn’t require anything to the sauce, and the only thing you will need is a saucepan and a stovetop.

With the sauce reduction method, you will be removing the liquid instead of adding thickening ingredients such as cornstarch or flour.

A reduction with a saucepan will help evaporate the excess water, vinegar, or other liquid from your barbecue sauce.

You just need to pour the sauce into a suitably sized saucepan and bring it to low heat while stirring it continuously. You can then start increasing the heat gradually but prevent the sauce from boiling.

Thanks to the heat, the water will start evaporating, and thus the sauce will become thicker.

Keep in mind that the sauce will continue evaporating even after you take it off of the stovetop, so be careful to remove it from the heat as soon as it approaches (but has not reached) the desired thickness.

Use flour to thicken the BBQ sauce

Flour is starch that can help thicken the sauce to the required thickness without adding a taste to it.

By adding starch such as flour, this tasteless powder will absorb some of the excess liquid without affecting the overall flavor of your barbecue condiment.

Flour and other similar starches are excellent thickening agents that can work with any type of sauce. You can thicken a watery sauce without adding or removing any of its flavors.

Here is how to thicken BBQ sauce with flour:

Mix ¼ cup of water and 2 tablespoons of flour in a bowl until you get a consistent liquid without lumps.

Heat a saucepan to medium heat and pour in the barbecue sauce. Let the sauce simmer but without allowing it to start boiling.

When the liquid begins simmering, add the flour and water mixture while continuously stirring the sauce.

Keep stirring it for a couple of minutes while it is simmering, and remove it from the heat source when it approaches the desired thickness.

Use cornstarch to thicken the BBQ sauce

This method for thickening a sauce is very similar in principle and approach to the previous one.

Cornstarch is even more suitable than flour for improving the texture of your BBQ sauce, as it will give the sauce a glossy sheen while not affecting its taste.

The downside is that the cornstarch can be broken down by the tomatoes or other ingredients in the sauce in some cases.

To thicken a BBQ sauce with cornstarch, first, prepare the thickening agent by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of water per cup of the BBQ sauce.

Combine the water with the cornstarch with the water in a bowl, making sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.

Then you can add the cornstarch and water to the sauce while stirring it until you get the consistency that you want.

Some people add flour or cornstarch in the sauce directly, but by mixing it with water well, you can ensure that it is smooth and doesn’t create lumps in your sauce.

Use butter to thicken the BBQ sauce

Butter is a great way to make your BBQ sauce thicker and creamier-looking and tasting.

Make sure that you choose a good quality, organic butter if you want to get the best results. Do not use margarine.

Use heavy cream for thickening the barbecue sauce

Just like with butter, you can use delicious creamy heavy cream to make the sauce smoother, richer, and thicker.

Add the heavy cream while the sauce is simmering in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep stirring it, and take it off the heat when it approaches the consistency you want to achieve.

Use coconut oil for thickening the BBQ sauce

Yes, you can use coconut oil instead of butter to thicken the barbecue sauce. This is a healthier option and is suitable for vegans who do not eat heavy cream or butter.

Use tomato puree to thicken the barbecue sauce

tomato-puree-to-thicken-the-barbecue-sauce
Photo credit: gimmesomeoven.com

Using tomato paste will add delicious tomato taste and fiber to your thin BBQ sauce.

You can use your own homemade tomato puree or a store-bought one of your choice.

This method will add some nutritional value to your sauce and add to its taste but may not be the most suitable method for every type of sauce or preference.

It is a perfect way to thicken your pasta sauce if it ends up being too watery as well.

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