Barbecue sauce is a delicious condiment that adds flavor and richness to grilled meats, sandwiches, and more. However, sometimes you may find that your barbecue sauce is too thin or watery.

Don’t worry! There are several simple techniques you can use to thicken your BBQ sauce and enhance its consistency. In this article, we will explore these methods and help you achieve the perfect thickness for your barbecue sauce.

1. Simmering

If your BBQ sauce is too thin, one of the easiest ways to thicken it is by simmering it on the stove.

Start by pouring your BBQ sauce into a saucepan and placing it over medium heat. Allow the sauce to simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until it reduces and thickens to your desired consistency. This method concentrates the flavors of the sauce while evaporating some of the excess liquid.

2. Adding Cornstarch Slurry

Cornstarch is a common thickening agent used in cooking, and it works well for thickening BBQ sauce too. To use cornstarch, begin by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water in a small bowl to create a slurry.

Ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture.

Next, add the slurry to your BBQ sauce while stirring continuously. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens up. Remember to keep stirring during this process to prevent any lumps from forming.

3. Using Tomato Paste

If you prefer not to use cornstarch or want an alternative method, tomato paste can be an excellent option for thickening your BBQ sauce while adding depth of flavor.

Simply stir in a few tablespoons of tomato paste into your thin BBQ sauce until it incorporates fully.

Place the saucepan back on the stove and simmer the sauce for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Keep in mind that tomato paste will also add a slightly richer and tangier taste to your BBQ sauce.

4. Incorporating Bread Crumbs or Crushed Crackers

If you’re looking for a unique way to thicken your BBQ sauce and add texture, try using bread crumbs or crushed crackers.

These pantry staples not only absorb excess liquid but also contribute to a thicker consistency.

Add a small amount of bread crumbs or crushed crackers into your BBQ sauce and stir well. Allow it to sit for a few minutes so that the crumbs can soak up some of the moisture. If needed, repeat this step until you achieve your desired thickness.

5. Reduction Method

The reduction method is another effective way to thicken your BBQ sauce while deepening its flavors.

Start by pouring your thin BBQ sauce into a wide pan or skillet – this will increase the surface area, allowing for faster evaporation.

Place the pan over medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens. This process may take some time, but it intensifies the flavors and gives you a lusciously thick barbecue sauce.


  • If you prefer a sweeter barbecue sauce, you can add honey, brown sugar, or molasses during any of these thickening methods.
  • Remember that as your BBQ sauce cools down, it may thicken further. Keep this in mind when adjusting its consistency.
  • Experiment with different combinations of these techniques to find what works best for your taste preferences.

Now that you have learned these simple methods, you can easily thicken your BBQ sauce to achieve the perfect consistency. Whether you prefer a thick and rich sauce or a slightly thinner one, these techniques will help you tailor your barbecue sauce to your liking. Enjoy the process of experimenting and enhancing the flavors of your homemade BBQ sauce!