How To Thicken BBQ Sauce In A Few Easy Steps

Whether you make your own BBQ sauce at home or you buy it at the store, you might find that it’s too runny to give you that thick, delicious, authentic BBQ feel that you and your guests will be looking for.

But don’t worry - I’ve got you covered! I used to struggle to thicken up my sauces, but a few simple tricks have made it possible for me to make an even better meal.

Having a thick BBQ sauce helps add extra flavor to your dishes, sticks better, and will make for a better overall meal, so it’s important to learn how to thicken your sauce. Thankfully, it’s not hard at all to do this!

In this article, I’ll teach you what I know about thickening BBQ sauce so you can get yours going and ready for your next big event!


What You Will Need

For all methods, you will need the following items:

BBQ Sauce

There are hundreds of different kinds of BBQ sauce. From sweet to fruity to spicy, you can find it all if you just travel the world and try out different sauces!

For this technique, you can use any type of BBQ sauce. No matter what the flavor profile of the sauce is, you will be able to make it thicker using one of the following methods. Give them a try, and let me know what works best!



To thicken BBQ sauce, you will need to heat it. No matter which method you choose to use, heat is essential for removing any excess liquid and activating thickening agents.

You can use any type of pan for this, but I recommend choosing a nonstick pan so that you don’t have a super messy cleanup! This type of pan is one of my favorites.

Each method will use a different thickening agent. These agents include:

Flour Water Mixture

One common thickener is flour! Flour is very easy to use as a thickening agent and has been used this way for hundreds of years. But it’s not as simple as tossing some flour into your sauce, as this will cause lumps to form.

To make a flour water mixture, simply use 2 tablespoons of flour with ¼ cup of cold water. Mix this thoroughly, ensuring that there are no lumps in the mixture, before using it.

Corn Starch Mixture

Similar to flour, corn starch has been used for a long time to bind ingredients together and help them get thicker. And just like flour, it cannot be used on its own!

To use corn starch as a thickener, it needs to be mixed with water. But the proportion is much different from flour!

Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water. Mix thoroughly to prevent lumps, and then use this mixture as your thickener.

Step-By-Step Instructions

The Simplest Method: Pan & BBQ Sauce!

Step 1: Pan It

First, put your BBQ sauce into a pan. It doesn’t matter what kind of pan you use, but if you use a pan with more surface area (such as a frying pan), you will be able to thicken the sauce more quickly. However, you will have to pay more attention to the sauce, so it does not burn.

Whether you have a store bought sauce or something you made yourself, this method will work for you.

Step 2: Simmer

Then, turn the heat up to a low simmer. Let the sauce simmer until it begins to thicken.What you are trying to do is remove water from the sauce to make it thicker. The less water in the sauce, the thicker it will be. This will also concentrate the flavor.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Once the sauce is thick enough, remove it from the heat and enjoy!

The Fastest Way: The Flour Or Corn Starch Method

Step 1: Make Your Mixture

Make a mixture of corn starch and water or flour and water. One of these thickeners isn’t necessarily better than the other - it just depends on what you have and what type of flavor you prefer!

Choose one, and then make your mixture:

  • Corn starch: Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of cold water.
  • Flour: 2 tablespoons of flour with ¼ cup of cold water

When using either of these mixtures, make sure that you mix them thoroughly, ensuring that there are no lumps in the mixture.

Step 2: Put Your Sauce In A Pan Over Low Heat

Just as you would in the simple method, put your BBQ sauce into a pan. Turn the heat to a low temperature and heat the sauce up a little bit before continuing, as this will help the thickening agent work better.

Step 3: Add The Thickener

Now, add your thickening agent to the sauce. Mix it in constantly and continuously until it is completely combined.

As you are stirring, you should notice that the sauce will immediately begin to cling to itself more, indicating that it is thickening.

Step 4: Finish & Enjoy!

Heat the sauce until you are satisfied with the thickness. If it’s still too thin, you can make another batch of the thickener and try again, but be careful - adding too much flour or corn starch can muddle the flavor of the sauce.

If you want to avoid this, try using tomato paste instead of a flour or corn starch mixture! Mix it in as described in step 3 above, and see the wonderful result!

It’s easy to make any sauce delicious:

Thicken That BBQ Sauce!

There you have it - that’s how to thicken BBQ sauce! It’s easy to do, right? Did you learn something new today?

I hope that next time you need to put together a tasty BBQ meal you are able to put the sauce together without any problems with it being too thin, runny, or tasteless. Follow my tips & tricks, and you’ll find nothing but success!

Do you have any other BBQ tips or questions? Let me know in the comments!

Sophia Gardner

I'm Sophia, food blogger, dog lover, homemade cooking and travel passion. I really hope you enjoy my blog, i'll do my best to share great recipes, healthy living tips and just general 'food' thoughts!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments
%d bloggers like this: