Thickening a homemade BBQ sause w/Arrowroot - when to add?

Joined Dec 19, 2014
I cant seem to find any info on this anywhere.

I recently started making my own BBQ sauce, and I would like to thicken it up. I bought some arrowroot powder, but am not sure when to add it. With all of the rest of the ingredients before I start cooking? When the cooking process is done? While still hot? Room temp?

Thanks in advance.
Joined Jun 23, 2015
Use the search on this webpage and you will find a thread that discuses this.  Arrowroot will not stand up to high heat.  You may want to cook your sauce longer and reduce it to thicken.  Good luck.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
I'm in the "reduce" crowd. Easy.
Me too - reducing concentrates the flavors whereas arrowroot will not.  The only time I'd use a thickener like agar agar would be to thicken something like a hard cider.
Joined Dec 19, 2014
This is a Tomato based sauce, yes.

I do use paste, and I do cook it down pretty well. And I have found that the longer cooking does help with the thickness, but would still like to get it thicker.

I will have a look for that thread.

Thank you!
Joined Jan 4, 2011
I'm sure you'll get lots more suggestions after you post your recipe.

My suggestion would be to blitz the ever-loving bageebies out of a bunch of sun-dried tomatoes and add that as a paste. That's the main ingredient of my original "tomato jam".
Joined Jun 27, 2012
We are talking tomato based sauce right?
The one that reaches that gorgeous deep reddish brown after reducing.
Has a sweet and tangy flavor and is so addictive that after the meat is gone you keep eating with bread.
That is my sauce anyway...pretty damn great.
Recipe passed down several generations and family can tell if something has been altered even if you only switch a brand of one of the ingredients.

Plz don't add a roux or slurry this is a sauce not a gravy.
It changes the whole profile.
The color lightens and all of the great flavor you have worked so hard to develop gets muted.
When I go into a new place....before I even order I ask to sample the sauce.
If it has been "thickened " in that manner I become suspicious re the meat (and find another place to eat).
Makes me wonder what sort of shortcuts have been taken at the pit ( or is there no pit....maybe they "bake" or even worse steam..........)

IMO of course.

Last edited:
Joined Dec 19, 2014
Hi - this is the recipe:

7 oz. Tomato Puree

2 Tbsps Tomato Paste

1/4 cup Vinegar

2 Tbsps Molasses

2 oz. Honey

2 Tbsps Worstershire

1 Tsp Liquid Smoke

1/4 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Pepper

1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 Tsp Onion Powder

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

I combine all ingredients, whisk them together well, bring the mixture to a boil, and then low-simmer (so that it's bubbling only slightly) for about 25 min.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I agree with everyone here; don't use a starch thickener.  Either reduce it more or add some more tomato paste to get to your desired consistency.
Joined Sep 18, 2015
This is a low carb (sugar-free) BBQ recipe which tastes exactly like Masterpiece. It uses xanthan gum as a thickener. (from I triple the recipe and can it using a pressure canner. I use stevia glycerite instead of Splenda, too.

6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, optional

If you're going to use the xanthan gum, combine it in a small bowl with all of the dry spices. Whisk everything together in a medium pot. Cover and simmer 30-60 minutes, whisking occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cool, then pour into a glass pint canning jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks or more.

Makes 2 cups

With granular Splenda:
Per 2 tablespoons: 17 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; .5g Dietary Fiber; 3.5g Net Carbs
Per 1/4 cup: 34 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 7g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per 2 tablespoons: 14 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; .5g Dietary Fiber; 2.5g Net Carbs
Per 1/4 cup: 28 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 6.5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 5.5g Net Carbs
Last edited:
Top Bottom