If you go outdoors and smell the delicious aroma of sizzling food cooking on the good ole’ grill wafting through the summer air, then you can be assured that the BBQ season has well and truly arrived. And we all know what that means: a jolly good time with friends and family. It’s great to see the children playing by the pool while the adults chat and soak up the beautiful summer sun. And of course, let’s not forget the fantastic meat being served up in the backyard. Nothing beats this. It does not matter which part of the world you live in, everybody, from all walks of life, loves a good BBQ party.
What really excites me is getting the grill all fired up so that I can cook up a wide array of meat with some of my seriously delicious BBQ sauce. We all know the quality of the meat is very important, but so is your BBQ sauce. A good slather of sweet and tangy BBQ sauce will turn you into a grilling legend in the eyes of your loved ones.
The secret to making a good BBQ sauce is its thickness. In fact, the thicker the BBQ sauce is, the more flavor it will give to your meat. A good coating will stick better to whatever you are cooking, give a caramelized crunch to your ribs, and a bolder, deeper flavor to your meat.
After all, there is nothing quite as disappointing as a watered down BBQ sauce. It’s really tough to see fantastic cuts of meat being wasted by a sub-par sauce. I swear a thousand butchers weep every time a piece of meat is grilled with watery BBQ sauce, so I have written this article for all the butchers and aspiring grillers out there! I want to share these five guaranteed ways to thicken BBQ sauce with you all.
Cornstarch is a tried and tested way of thickening BBQ sauce. Make sure you add it while you are cooking the sauce. This is because the heat and liquid will turn the cornstarch into a gelatinous substance that effectively thickens the sauce. Use an excellent whisk that is sturdy, as it will make your mixing more comfortable and ensure that your sauce has no nasty clumps in it.
You could also use potato starch, rice flour, or even tapioca flour as alternatives, although cornstarch has a subtler flavor that is superior. They all efficiently thicken your sauce, but each one gives a different flavor to your sauce, so experiment to find out which one you prefer.
- Pro Tip: A lot of my friends use flour to thicken their BBQ sauces. However, I find that it imparts a bolder flavor to the sauce and does not thicken it as effectively as cornstarch. I also use cornstarch to thicken my soups and gravies.
Making Beurre Manie (kneaded butter) is another efficient way to thicken BBQ sauce. Just knead some butter and flour together until it turns into a paste-like consistency (similar to dough). Roll it into small balls, slowly add them to your BBQ sauce and mix them well into the sauce!
As well as thickening your sauce, Beurre Manie provides a buttery flavor, so this method is highly recommended if you like the flavor.
- Pro Tip: If you plan to make large quantities of kneaded butter, then it is best to use a food processor instead. Trust me, your arm will thank you tomorrow if you do.
If you have taken culinary classes, then making a roux to thicken your sauces will already be very familiar to you! To do this, cook and mix some flour and butter together (or whatever fat you prefer) in a saucepan for a couple of minutes, making sure that you do not burn the butter. Wait until the mixture starts to froth and then take it off the stove. Set it aside until it cools and then add the mixture to your BBQ sauce for thickening.
- Pro Tip: Adding hot roux to your sauce will cause it to separate. So cool it first before you add it to the BBQ sauce in order to ensure that it’s well mixed and has the thick and creamy consistency you like.
While this method is not as effective as the others on the list, egg yolks can be used to thicken your BBQ sauce. Simply crack open two large eggs and separate the yolk from the white. Using a separate bowl, start whisking the egg yolks until they are a little frothy and creamy. Using a metal spoon, slowly scoop small portions of your beaten egg yolks into your BBQ sauce and mix them. Add water to the mixture, if necessary.
- Pro Tip: Slowly add the egg mixture in portions so that the egg doesn’t cook, then mix it in seamlessly with the BBQ sauce.
Once your mixture comes to the boil, lower the heat and start mixing. This will help you to achieve a thicker consistency but it does takes some time, so don’t forget to keep on mixing to stop the sauce from burning. Once you have reached the desired thickness, turn the stove off and serve.
- Pro Tip: Reducing is one of the best ways to thicken your sauce. While it is the most time consuming method, the results are pretty amazing. Lowering the heat will deepen the flavors of the spices and other ingredients in your sauce, creating a more robust BBQ flavor.
There you go, those are the five best ways to thicken your BBQ sauce. While there are thousands of legendary sauces out there, they all have one thing in common – a fantastic thick and creamy coating. So if you want to impress your guests at your next BBQ, make sure that you keep this article to hand, so that you can provide them with the best BBQ sauce.
BBQ parties have been part of my life for as long as I can remember and BBQ sauces have always played a big part in that, so I had a blast writing this article.
If you love having a BBQ, please feel free to share this article with your family and friends. And if you want to share your very own BBQ experiences, please write to us in the space below. Here’s to many more scrumptious BBQ parties!