What You Can Do To Thicken Runny BBQ Sauce

Before you start thinking about BBQ side dishes like baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw, first you need to fix the runny BBQ sauce. The simplest method to thicken runny sauces, according to Food Fire Friends, is a basic reduction. This will thicken your sauce and concentrate flavor through evaporation, and it follows the same “low and slow” credo that distinguishes all good BBQ. Set the stove on low heat and leave the saucepan on for a good 30 minutes, uncovered of course to aid the process of evaporation.

Reduction is step one. Step two is adding one of the common thickening agents for BBQ sauce. Per The Online Grill , both flour and cornstarch offer a welcomed thickening to a runny BBQ sauce without any unwelcome flavors. Cornstarch is generally the more effective of the two ⁠⁠— as much as double the thickening power, says The Spruce Eats ⁠⁠— but it doesn’t hold up as well to the acids in tomato sauce. Flour is thus a more sensible choice for most tomato-based BBQ sauces.

To introduce the starch element into your runny BBQ sauce, don’t just toss some 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 of flour to 1/4 cup of water), then add the solution to the sauce while it’s simmering.

While there are other ways to boost your BBQ sauce’s runny texture and consistency, start with reduction and some added starch, which should achieve the desired results; that is, thick, delicious sauce.

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