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Thickening BBQ Sauce: Easy Guide to Enhance Your Barbecue

BBQ sauce is a Western term that refers to a style of sauce used in American, Canadian, French, and Australian cuisines.

The various terms for BBQ sauce can mean barbecue sauce, tomato-based chili sauce, or smoke flavoring sauces such as Worcestershire sauce or liquid smoke.

There are many different types of BBQ sauce in the world today.

All native cuisines from the Western Hemisphere have their form of BBQ sauce.

If you are interested in a certain BBQ sauce, it is recommended that you research the various types.

This article will guide you on how to thicken BBQ sauce and why it is important to add the right amount of thickeners. Read on for more details.

Why Thicken BBQ Sauce?

why thicken bbq sauce

Barbecue sauce can be used in many different dishes like hamburgers, sausages, steaks, and many other dishes that use meat as their primary ingredient.

This means that you will need a lot of it to serve your guests or family a good meal.

But, the problem with BBQ sauce is that they tend to be very watery when mixed.

If you are cooking in large quantities, then an overly thin barbecue sauce will not do you any favors, as all of the flavors of your wonderful sauce would quickly disappear from the meat as soon as it is cooked.

Thickeners such as flour or corn starch will help you keep the consistency of your sauce and allow all that wonderful flavor to be retained in the meat that you are cooking.

So, let’s get started.

How to Thicken BBQ Sauce?

how to thicken bbq sauce

Now that you have decided that it is time to thicken your barbecue sauce, you need to know how exactly you will do this.

Several methods can be used to thicken the sauce: by adding a thickening agent, cooking, or more.

Method 1: Adding a Thickening Agent

The most common thickening agents used in BBQ sauces are flour and corn starch.

Both of these thickeners are easy to find in the local supermarket or grocery store, and they are relatively cheap compared to other ingredients that you can buy for your BBQ sauce.

Flour is preferred over corn starch because flour is less likely to create lumps when added to the sauce.

Method 2: Cooking the Sauce

method cooking the sauce

A BBQ sauce can be cooked just like any other food preparation method.

By cooking the sauce, you are essentially evaporating water from it and creating a thicker sauce ready to use in your meat dishes.

If you are in a hurry, this is the preferred method to thicken your BBQ sauce without adding any additional ingredients.

If you are not in a rush, then wait for the water to cook out naturally by simmering or boiling your sauce on the stove.

Method 3: Add Cornstarch

method add cornstarch

This seems like a no-brainer, but it does not hurt to highlight the importance of this step.

By adding a bit of cornstarch to your sauce, you can create a thicker consistency that allows all those wonderful flavors of your sauce to be retained in the meat itself.

Method 4: Add Cream

The cream is a very good thickener in creating sauces that are tasty as well as creamy.

It can be used to thicken your BBQ sauce if you want to enjoy its creaminess without sacrificing flavor by simply cooking it for an extended period.

Method 5: Add Tomato purée

Tomato purée is a very good option to thicken your BBQ sauce.

It allows you to avoid adding other ingredients like flour which might ruin the taste of your sauce.

If you think about this method, you have to boil your tomato purée for an extended period of low heat until it becomes thick enough.

Method 6: Add Coconut oil or Butter

method add coconut oil or butter

Coconut oil is a great thickener that can be used to thicken your BBQ sauce.

It is already liquid at room temperature, and when it blends with the sauce, it becomes a lot easier to coat the meat with the thickened barbecue sauce instead of having a watery texture in the meat itself.

Another method is to use butter.

Butter is a very good option because it does not alter the flavor of the sauce.

The only downside to this method is that you need to increase the amount of salt and pepper in your recipe.

Some sauces already have butter as an ingredient, so all you have to do is let the sauce boil longer for it to thicken naturally.


BBQ sauce is a great condiment for your grilled food.

Making it at home allows you to have complete control over the ingredients added into the BBQ sauce, which means no preservatives and artificial colors or flavorings.

Using the many methods on how to thicken barbecue sauce, you can achieve a thicker consistency without sacrificing the taste of your sauce.

You can choose the most applicable option in your case and adjust it depending on how thick or thin you want your BBQ sauce to be.

how to thicken bbq sauce

How to Thicken BBQ (Barbecue) Sauce? Easy Guide to Fix BBQ (Barbecue) Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cooking


  • BBQ Barbecue Sauce
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Stovetop
  • Your preferred thickening ingredient


  • Prepare all the required ingredients and equipment in the article.
  • Select and follow your desired method to thicken.
  • Depending on your desired thickness, you can add more or less.
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