What You Can Do to Thicken Runny BBQ Sauce

Before you start thinking about barbecue sides like baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw, you first need to make runny barbecue sauce. The easiest way to thicken runny sauces, according to Food Fire Friends, is a basic reduction. This will thicken your sauce and concentrate the flavor through evaporation, and it follows the same “low and slow” credo that sets all good barbecue apart. Turn the heat to low and leave the pan on for a good 30 minutes, uncovered of course to help the evaporation process.

Reduction is the first step. The second step is to add one of the common thickening agents for barbecue sauce. By The online grill , flour, and cornstarch provide a welcome thickening to a runny barbecue sauce without any unwanted flavors. Cornstarch is usually the more effective of the two⁠⁠—up to doubling the thickening power, says spruce eats ⁠⁠— but it doesn’t resist the acids of tomato sauce as well. Flour is therefore a better choice for most tomato-based barbecue sauces.

To introduce the starchy element to your runny barbecue sauce, don’t just throw a little flour into the sauce and stir. Instead, first create a slurry by mixing flour and water in a bowl (The Online Grill recommends 2 tablespoons flour to 1/4 cup water), then add the solution to the sauce while it simmers.

Although there are other ways to improve the texture and consistency of your barbecue sauce, start by reducing and adding starch, which should give the desired results; that is, a thick and delicious sauce.

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