How to thinken bbq and recuce molasses

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Original poster
Mar 5, 2014
I use a good amount of molasses to thicken and flavor my bbq. Unfortunately it is still runny and is ending up just tasting like burnt sugar. is there anyway to reduce the amount of molasses and still thicken. Any thoughts?
Xanthan gum works good but you have to very careful with the quantity used...too much and your BBQ sauce will be like snot.
It's essential that you use an immersion blender or regular blender to get good dispersion and hydration of the xanthan.


Without knowing what all you're putting in your sauce, it's hard to say. What I usually do is reduce the liquid ingredients before adding things like molasses. Reduce your vinegar and/or any juice you're using down to a syrup, then add things like molasses and ketchup. This will not only provide for a thicker sauce, but a more intense flavor by reducing the amount of water in the sauce.
Sugar is considered a liquid when cooking and with increased temp you'll see a decrease in density causing the liquid to become less viscous. There are many other ways to make your sauce thicker. You could obviously use different thickening agents like flour or cornstarch. You could reduce it down further in the process of making it. You could use thicker ingredients like tomato sauce in the making (that's if you are using tomato sauce).

As to the burnt, sugar will always caramelize, its why we use it. It encapsulates the meat, gives a bit of flavor, and holds in the moisture. That being realized, burnt is not good. That is why for the most part normally sauces , mops, spritzes, are saved for the last hour of cooking. That's is usually the lowest and slowest heat. If you start saucing immediately after putting the meat on the pit, it probably going to burn every time.

Sounds like maybe both your problems would be helped by one change, reducing the sugar (Molasses), content in your sauce if possible.

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Hope it helps, if you'll allow us to see your sauce recipes I am sure we could better help you. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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