13 Ways How to Thicken BBQ Sauce

Homemade Bbq Sauce In Pot

Does your homemade BBQ sauce look runny? Or, despite many tries, have you failed to achieve the desired thickness of the BBQ sauce that also is your family favorite?

If yes, there is no time to fret. The thick BBQ sauce is a must-have condiment with any bbq meat. Moreover, it also goes well with a perfect sandwich, delicious pizza, and even just fries. So, you can’t have a thin sauce that looks more like spice water than a real sauce.

Luckily, there is more than one method to thicken BBQ sauce. To achieve the desired consistency for your sauce, explore this guide below and save yourself from any disappointment and waste of effort.

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How to Thicken BBQ Sauce – 13 Ways That Will Work for You!

Some tips shared below won’t demand any additional items. However, a few methods might require utilizing some common ingredients that can thicken barbecue sauce. In either case, make sure you follow each step, so you do not miss out on any crucial point.

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Reduce the Sauce

This method is quite simple and easy. You only require a saucepan and low heat to thicken bbq sauce. The process reduces extra ingredients, mainly water which then helps to achieve the desired thickness.

Place a saucepan on low heat and pour in your runny sauce. Stir continuously and then shift to medium heat. While doing so, don’t boil the sauce; just let the water evaporate.

As the water evaporates, the bbq sauce will start to thicken. As soon as you have achieved a thick sauce, move your saucepan away from the heat before the delicious bbq sauce starts burning or evaporates completely.

Add flour

Adding flour to your barbecue sauce will help to achieve an excellent creamy texture. But you can’t add flour directly. Instead, you will have to prepare a solution of water and flour to get this job done.

  • So, make a flour solution containing 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsp of flour for a single cup of bbq sauce.
  • Mix these two ingredients in a bowl and make sure that there are no lumps.
  • Meanwhile, place a saucepan over medium heat and pour in the thin barbecue sauce.
  • Let the sauce simmer, and while it does, add in the flour and water mix.
  • Keep stirring the sauce with a spoon until the sauce thickens according to your standards.

Add Corn starch

A cornstarch mix also works quite similarly to a flour mix. In fact, corn starch helps produce an ideal thick barbecue sauce that you can use on the ribs.

Interestingly, corn starch is a much better and one of the most used thickening agents than white flour. But it might break down by ingredients like tomatoes.

  • For the perfect corn starch mix, add one tablespoon of water in an equal quantity of corn starch in a small bowl.
  • Mix the cornstarch mixture well until there are no lumps and you have a creamy consistency.
  • Now add the corn starch mix to your barbecue sauce and stir on a medium heat using a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat as soon as you are satisfied with your bbq sauce.

Coconut Cream or Coconut Oil

To thicken your homemade bbq sauce, you can use coconut cream or oil as a unique and great thickening agent. Simply add a tablespoon of any of these ingredients to thicken bbq sauce. Of course, you can add more cream or oil to achieve your desired consistency.

Heavy Cream

If you aren’t a vegan and do not mind a rich flavor, add heavy cream or butter to your simmering bbq sauces. The quantity of heavy cream solely depends on the quantity of your sauce.

But make sure not to go overboard with the quantity of the heavy cream. In addition, keep a check on your sauce while it simmers, so it doesn’t get unbelievably thick.

Tomato Purée

Do you know that you can use a variety of pureed vegetables to thicken bbq sauce and simultaneously increase its nutritional value? We love pureed tomatoes and would love it if you would use this hack.

You can add pureed tomatoes to thicken bbq sauce. The best thing about this vegetable is that it blends well with most bbq sauces.

Pureed fruit

If your recipe allows, you can also use pureed fruits instead of vegetables to thicken bbq sauce. Sauces served with pork or chicken usually demand a certain level of sweetness, so in that case, you can add pureed fruits such as apricot and cherries. They will not only help to enhance the overall taste but will also help to achieve adequate thickness.

Food Gum

Food gum is a polysaccharide that you can conveniently source from a land plant. The good thing about this thickening agent is that it doesn’t change the flavor of the sauce and only works on its consistency and texture.

In addition, food gums also eliminate excess oil or fat used in your sauce. To thicken bbq sauce, professionals generally choose xanthan gum. This gum has an elastic texture that easily dissolves in cold or hot water, and it also gives a creamy mouthfeel.

Make sure to mix only a tablespoon of this gum and water in a small quantity of sauce. An excess would ruin your bbq sauce’s texture and may create lumps. Also, ensure to practice occasionally stirring to get a perfectly thick sauce.

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Add Seeds and Nuts

Are you still wondering how to thicken bbq sauce? If the above methods haven’t worked for you (which we doubt), try adding pureed nuts and seeds to your sauce.

Your favorite seeds and nuts will help thicken barbecue sauce and add velvety creaminess and mild sweetness to the end product.

But make sure that no one in your house or the guest list is allergic to these thickening ingredients. Because if they are, the sauce may not be safe for them to consume.

Use Slow Cooker

Instead of a medium saucepan, use a slow cooker to thicken your runny sauce. Run the slow cooker on medium while it has its lid on. This process will remove the excess water and thicken bbq sauce as per your requirement.

You can also speed up this process by adding brown sugar and onion powder to the bbq mix. Brown sugar and other additional ingredients may alter the sauce’s flavor a bit. But as long as you get a thick sauce, you can forgo the slightly changed taste.

Add Egg Yolk

If you didn’t know already, egg yolk is rich in protein, which helps thicken bbq sauce. So depending on your desired consistency and your sauce’s quantity, you can add as many egg yolks as you feel right.

  • But first, separate the whites from the egg yolks.
  • Then add a few drops of hot sauce in your egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling in your sauce.
  • Once whisked properly, add the egg yolk mixture to your bbq sauce and let it simmer.

The egg yolk hack is a thickening method that works perfectly for bbq sauces used for pasta. Egg yolks enhance the rich flavor and get along with other pasta ingredients.


Arrowroot is an identical twin of corn starch, but it has a tropical origin. Moreover, its thickening results are similar to corn starch, but it utilizes low temperature to create a thick, clear, and smooth bbq sauce.

  • To use arrowroot, mix one tablespoon of this ingredient in an equal quantity of cold water.
  • Then mix both the ingredients well before adding the mixture to your bbq sauce.
  • Finally, whisk the sauce on medium heat until it starts to boil.

You can use arrowroot as a perfect alternative to corn starch. Moreover, if your bbq sauce already includes vinegar or lemon juice, arrowroot can perfectly work to increase its thickness.

Beurre Manié

We have finally reached the last method that can magically thicken your bbq sauce. This technique is called Beurre manié, which means kneaded butter.

  • To make this playdough, you need to mix an equal quantity of butter and flour in a bowl.
  • Once the kneaded butter is ready, add it to your bbq sauce and whisk using a wooden spoon.
  • Keep cooking and stirring unit you can’t taste the raw flavor of the flour.

You can use this kneaded butter in bbq sauces that require a glossy and lump-free texture.

Final Takeaway-How to Thicken BBQ Sauce

Here’s hoping that the above ways to thicken your bbq sauce will help you save from any emergency or embarrassing situation. Most of the ingredients, such as flour and corn starch, are already present in most kitchens, so you will not have to rush to a grocery store to buy them separately.

But make sure that while using any of these ingredients, follow the right quantity and method to prevent any further problems. Besides, avoid overcooking your bbq sauce if you want your family to have a good sauce with their bbq meat.

Try any of the above ways to thicken your sauce, and do share your experience.

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