Is your hot sauce too thin and runny? Worry not as hot sauces contain high levels of acid that may cause thickeners to lose their ability. Even so, there are plenty of ways to thicken the hot sauce without affecting the flavor. You only need simple ingredients that are easily available in the UK.
Today I will be discussing seven easy ways to thicken hot sauce using natural ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen right now. These methods work on both homemade hot sauces, and store-bought ones too.
How to Thicken Hot Sauce in the UK – 7 Ways
Here are seven ways to thicken your hot sauce without changing the flavor. You can follow any one of these methods and the end result will be the same.
1. Reduce the sauce over low heat
One of the easiest and most recommended methods to thicken a sauce in the UK is to reduce the mixture over low heat. Reduction is a process that basically means simmering the sauce until the extra moisture evaporates.
What I love about this method is that you don’t need to add any ingredients and the end result is a concentrated and flavorful sauce.
While you are reducing the sauce, make sure to simmer in a large pot over low heat because we don’t want it to burn.
Make sure to stir constantly, so there are no lumps, and be ready to cook for about an hour or two depending upon the quantity of your sauce.
2. Add Vegetables or Fruits to your Sauce
Another way to thicken hot sauce is to add vegetables and fruit. It not only thickens the sauce but also adds more flavor. Depending on your choice of fruit/ vegetable, it will add more sweetness or tanginess to the sauce.
For example, you can use mango or peaches to add a bit of sweetness to your sauce. For more savoriness, opt for onions or celery. If you don’t want to change the taste of the sauce, you can opt for potatoes or cooked beans.
Once you have chosen your desired fruit or vegetable, turn it into a fine puree using a blender. Once the puree is prepared, make sure your hot sauce is simmering in the pan, and then add the puree so there are no lumps.
Pectin is another common way to thicken sauces. It’s a natural, gluten-free gelling agent that is found in most fruits. If you have made jams and jelly such as Fireweed Jelly, then you must have used Pectin before.
However, when you are using Pectin be careful when it comes to the quantity of the gelatin powder used because aggressive use can turn your hot sauce into a jelly.
- Use 1/8 tsp per cup of hot sauce mix the powder into a bit of hot water and make sure it’s completely dissolved.
- Add the mixture to your hot sauce and boil it for about 30-40 seconds and you are done.
4. Xanthum Gum
Xanthum gum is a popular substitute for cornstarch used to thicken sauces and soups. Xanthan gum is made from fermented sugar, and the powder helps thicken and stabilize hot sauces. It is readily available in local markets in the UK.
It gives instant results and keeps the natural taste of the sauce. Also, for this method, you don’t need to heat your sauce as it just requires a blender.
- Use 1/8 tsp per cup to thicken the sauce. For more thickening, you can opt for 1/4 tsp.
- Add xanthum gum powder to the sauce and blend it until the required consistency is achieved.
- Avoid adding to stationary sauce, because it solidifies instantly, causing lumps.
Arrowroot is another substitute for cornstarch that is derived from the tuber. Like xantham gum, Arrowroot helps thicken hot sauce without affecting its flavor.
Arrowroot also gives the sauce a glossy sheen, making it more appealing to look at and tasty as well. However, keep in mind that high heat can cause the sauce to thin down again.
- Use 1 tsp of Arrowroot mixed with 2 tsp of water per cup of sauce.
- For an even thicker consistency, you can double the quantities.
6. Use Flour
If you cannot seem to find pectin or other alternatives for thickening hot sauce, simply use flour as it works like a charm and is a go-to method for most home chefs.
Flour or cornflour is mostly used to make the roux, but it can also help you thicken your sauces, and soups without affecting the flavor.
Here’s what you need to do:
- In a small bowl, add 1 tbsp of flour/ cornstarch for every 2 cups of hot sauce. Mix it with 2 tbsp of water until the mixture is non-lumpy.
- Add hot sauce to a pan and let it simmer. Now add the flour mixture to your sauce and stir constantly.
- If your desired consistency is not reached, you can add another tablespoon of flour to the sauce.
- Turn off the flame and let it cool. If you feel the mixture is too thick, you can add more hot sauce or some water.
7. Potato Starch
Most popular hot sauce brands in the UK use potato starch for thickening. It is mostly used because of its bland flavor that does not alter the taste of your hot sauce. It is also very low in calories as compared to other methods.
Unlike other methods, Potato starch needs to be mixed into water and then added to the sauce while it’s simmering.
- Use 1 tbsp of potato starch per cup of sauce.
- Mix the potato starch in 2 tbsp of water and add it to your sauce while stirring to achieve the desired consistency.
- You can always add more if you feel the sauce is still loose.
There you have it! I have shared seven simple ways to thicken hot sauce using natural ingredients. All these methods work like a charm, and they will not affect the taste of your sauce.
You can use them on homemade sauce or store-bought hot sauce in the UK, and they will work perfectly, no matter what you try.