5 Easy Ways on How to Thicken BBQ Sauce

How to Thicken BBQ Sauce with 5 Easy Ways Final

BBQ Sauce is one of the most used cooking sauce and that's because of its amazing taste. I think BBQ sauce adds a palooza of goodness to soups, meats, veggies and even bologna sandwiches.

It comes in different forms and flavors but the base taste stays the same.

Sometimes it is too thin for your taste and you want a deliciously thicker BBQ sauce that won't dribble off that hickory grilled slab o' beef.

Sometimes you want a thicker BBQ sauce just because that's how you like it and we hear you!

I am going to show you 5 easy ways on how to thicken BBQ Sauce like a pro.

Note: All the mentioned methods in this article are for BBQ Sauce but, they can work very well on any other similar sauces.​

1. The Easiest Way to Thick Barbecue Sauce

Let's begin by taking baby steps to thickening your BBQ sauce.

The first method I will show you to learn how to thicken bbq sauce is also the easiest and the quickest one.

It doesn't matter if your sauce is homemade or store bought. Thickening a sauce isn't always about adding ingredients or thickening agents.

Sometimes it is just about removing ingredients, so to speak.

The Fastest Way to Thick BBQ Sauce

Here, the simplest way to thicken any sauce is by removing any excess water or liquid that has been added to the sauce.

To do this, just pour your sauce into a pan and simmer on low heat until the liquids in the sauce begin to evaporate. This will magically thicken the sauce you can't wait to eat. No added ingredients. No muss. No fuss.

The Fastest Way to Thick BBQ Sauce

Sometimes you don't have time to wait on the simmering BBQ sauce thickening method.

Here is another easy thickening step that takes no time at all. This method works well when flavors need to remain consistent, too. You will love it. It's easy. What is this mystery thickener? Flour or corn starch.

2. How to Use Flour to Thick your BBQ Sauce

Down below, you will find the basic required ingredients and how to use flour as your BBQ sauce thickener explanation:

What You Will Need

Flour-Based Thickener (For Thickening 1 cup of BBQ Sauce)

  • 2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • ¼ Cup of Water

In order to use flour as your barbecue sauce thickener, you should mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup of water. Mix well to remove lumps and then add to sauce.

This ratio should be used for every 1 cup of sauce you are working with.

3. How to Use Corn Starch to Thick your BBQ Sauce

The corn starch based thickener is almost the same as the flour thickener. Overall, the preparation process is the same, just the ingredients are different.

What You Will Need

Corn Starch-Based Thickener (For Thickening 1 cup of BBQ Sauce)

  • 1 Tablespoons of Corn Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon of Water

For the corn starch-based thickener, you should mix 1 tablespoon of cold water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch and mix well to remove any lumps. After there isn't any lumps left, add it to your barbecue sauce.

The three upper mentioned methods are great and easy for a beginner to learn how to thick the BBQ sauce. They are also good to use when your sauce is already flavorful enough but just needs a little more substance.

But, If you are looking for a way to thick your BBQ Sauce by adding some tasty ingredients and improving its base taste, then here are some other great methods you can try.

4. How to Thick Your Barbecue Sauce with Tasty Thickeners

Another great method to thick your BBQ sauce is by using the so-called Tasty Thickeners.

Tasty thickeners can add so much flavor to a BBQ sauce and meanwhile can thick it to your desired level. That doesn't necessarily mean they change the integrity of the recipes overall taste, but these next thickening ingredients are powerfully delicious and often add a creamier, velvety texture to sauces.​

Tasty Thickeners
Some Tasty Thickeners:

1. Butter

Organic butter is always best. Margarine is not a good choice. Butter's natural balance of water and fat creates a creamy, dreamy consistency on its own. You can also make a rue out of flour and butter for added thickening measures.

2. Coconut Oil or Coconut Cream

Coconut oil or coconut cream may not sound like a typical BBQ sauce ingredient but, try adding a little to your rue and watch out. This is one of nature's finest ingredients to add to almost anything.

3. Heavy Cream

Heavy cream made from cow's milk, goat's milk and other natural sources adds intense richness to a sauce's thickness. Add to sauce and simmer until the desired thickening is reached.

These are some of the tasty thickeners you can add to your sauce to make it thicker.

Adding oils and creams to a BBQ sauce does increase calories substantially. But, reaching optimal flavor goodness knows no bounds!

5. How to Thick Barbecue Sauce by Adding Some Fiber

We have all heard that fiber bulks up things. You bet it does, especially in BBQ sauces.

We aren't talking chewy, grainy fiber, either. We're talking - pureed.

Adding favorite pureed vegetables, nightshades and even fruits to your sauce is a delectable way to thicken and add extra nutritional value.

Nightshade Foods Thickener
Some Nightshades Options:

1. Baking spuds are wonderful thickening potatoes that add a little bit of a grainier texture.

2. Red potatoes can be pureed or mashed to a creamier texture.

3. Tomatoes off the vine is a superior example of a dynamic thickening agent for BBQ sauces. Pureed tomatoes work best for smoother BBQ sauce. Any color tomato will do.

4. Eggplants and peppers pureed together have an incredible taste, as well as thickening support. Easy does it, though, as bitterness may be a factor. A little goes a long way.

Almost any vegetable can be pureed to satisfy your BBQ sauce thickening preference. If the puree is too thick, slowly dilute with water or your favorite liquid.

These are some nightshades family foods you can add to your BBQ Sauce to make it thicker.

If you tried all the mentioned methods and your sauce doesn't come out like you though it, I recommend you to read and try this easy recipe for a delicious BBQ Sauce.

NEELY'S BBQ SAUCE RECIPE (from Food Network Channel)

Neelys BBQ Sauce Recipe

Below is one amazing and well-known BBQ sauce recipe we think you will love.

Note: The only non-original ingredients added to this recipe will be the thickening methods.

Required Ingredients

Original Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Ketchup
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Ground Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Thickening Ingredients (Non-Original)

  • 1 Medium Red Potato
  • 1 Small Carrot
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


First, peel the potato and carrot. Make sure to save potato and carrot skins to bake later with salt and a little olive oil.

Dice potato and carrot into chunks. Peel garlic clove and sauté it with all other ingredients until tender.

Place all three ingredients into a food processor and use the puree button process. Check the puree inside the processor and add a little water if necessary. After the puree is ready, set it aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine all original Neely ingredients.

After you bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Also, you should cook it uncovered and keep stirring it frequently, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After the sauce is ready, add the non-original thickening ingredients slowly to reach desired consistency.

After it reaches your desired consistency, it is time to serve it on your food and enjoy it!

This is one of the easiest BBQ Sauce Recipe and one of the most popular ones because it was firstly published on "Food Network".

Please, keep in mind that this is not my recipe and it belongs to The Neelys.​

Final Thoughts

​The best part about learning how to thicken BBQ sauce is your own creativity.

We bet that once you successfully incorporate any of these handy how-to tricks, you will become the BBQ sauce thickening pro we always knew you could be.

Also, have in mind that you can use any of these methods on other similar sauces which you would like to be more thick.​

We hope you won't mind our being the first to say, "Congratulations and please pass the sauce"!


Just an ordinary man living in Kansas, USA who has a degree in Food Technology and loves to share his knowledge and passion about grilling and smoking food.