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5 Easy Ways to Thicken Hot Sauce

5 Easy Ways to Thicken Hot Sauce

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Are you among the millions of hot sauce lovers out there? If so, you might be craving beyond the dull flavors of popular store-bought options.

Many people have taken to making unique blends, and perhaps you’ve even concocted your very own saucy twist. But like many, you’re now facing yet another roadblock for your saucy journey: you’ve got a runny sauce.

With that in mind, you’re wondering how to perfect your recipe without altering its flavor or ruining the sauce entirely. Well, you’re lucky to find my post. 

Today, I’ll teach you the best and easiest solutions to thicken hot sauce! Once you’ve learned the tricks to doing this, you won’t have to worry about dealing with thin hot sauce again.

Why Is My Hot Sauce Runny?

Watery Hot Sauce

Before diving in, it might be helpful to understand why thickening hot sauce is a typical headache for many.

While you might consider yourself a pro at thickening regular sauce recipes, those same tricks you’re using might not be as effective with the hot sauce you love.

See, hot sauces contain many acids that will mess with the thickening agents that most people use. In short, the acidic ingredients throw a wrench in the usual thickening process.

But fear not! You’re not at a dead end. There are still tried-and-true ways to achieve the perfect consistency for your dipping sauce.

How Do You Thicken Runny Hot Sauce?

Try the following hot sauce hacks to get the thickest nugget dip you and your family can enjoy.

1 – Simmer Your Hot Sauce Down

Simmering your hot sauce, or the reduction method, is the easiest solution to a runny dip. The idea here is to remove excess water that makes the mixture thin.

But simmering isn’t only about thickening your hot sauce; it’s also a flavor booster! This effortless technique works wonders, especially when whipping a homemade sauce that needs that extra kick.

Now a word of caution: keep your eye on the sauce! It’s a common mishap, people taking their eyes off the stove and ending up with a burnt dip. 

Use a gentler flame and keep stirring until the sauce simmers down. It takes extra time, but consistent stirring ensures better consistency.

The only downside to the reduction method is that you’ll likely have less hot sauce than you intended. But, hey, that’s better than dipping in a flavorless, watery sauce, right?

2 – Add Some Fruits and Veggies

Diced Fruits And Veggies

Are you looking to add some flare to your hot sauce recipe? Toss in some fruits and veggies! Not only will these additions thicken your sauce, but they’ll also add another layer of flavor I’m sure anyone can enjoy.

Some prefer adding sweet-flavored fruits because they go well with the heat. Still, feel free to choose which flavors you think work best for your recipe.

But choose wisely! You want to enhance the flavor of your hot sauce and not drown the taste.

Grab a blender and give your chosen fruits and veggies a good whirl. Then, mix them right into your sauce to achieve a thicker texture.

The reduction method also works well when using fruits and vegetables as thickening agents. You can simmer your sauce down for a double dose of flavor and thickness.

The result? A lusciously thick sauce that still packs the same punch as your original saucy formula. Give it a try and taste it for yourself!

3 – Consider Using Arrowroot

Arrowroot is a starchy root vegetable similar to sweet potato, yams, cassava, and taro. It usually comes in powdered, also called Arrowroot flour.

You can use this flour in place of cornstarch and it makes a lot more sense for hot sauces. It makes a fantastic thickening agent that won’t alter the sauce’s flavors.

Simply mix the arrowroot powder with water to create a slurry. After mixing, stir the concoction into your sauce while over low heat.

You could use around one teaspoon of arrowroot with two teaspoons of water to get solid results. Adjust accordingly if you’re whipping more than a cup of hot dip and watch it thicken beautifully!

4 – Blend In Xanthan Gum

Scoop Of Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum is a popular food additive with plenty of medicinal uses. The gum is made from a strain of bacteria and is often used in retail products.

But did you know it also works well as a food stabilizer and thickener for your hot sauce? It doesn’t change the flavor, which is a plus if you want to be faithful to your recipe.

To use Xanthan as a thickening agent, blend the gum into your sauce in a mixer. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lumpy dip instead of the smoothly consistent texture we all love.

Be ready for an instantaneous thickening action when you mix the gum into your sauce. Blend it thoroughly to get the consistency you want for your dip.

5 – Sprinkle Pectin to Your Concoction

Have you ever considered using pectin to add some thickness to your hot sauce? Well, here’s your sign to do it. See, pectin works like gelatin, only it thickens better.

Found naturally in fruits and vegetables, pectin is a carbohydrate commonly used in jams and jelly products. 

You only need to add around one-eighth of a teaspoon of pectin for each cup of hot sauce. Once added, bring your hot sauce to a boil for about half a minute.

Just be mindful of the amount of pectin you use for your dip. Too much and it can alter the texture of your sauce, so it’s best to err on the side of caution!

Pectin works like cornstarch, but it also adds plenty of nutritional benefits. And guess what? It’s entirely vegan and gluten-free!


Did you enjoy our hot sauce thickening hacks? Here are some saucy facts you might find interesting:

How do you make hot sauce more liquid?

If you’re new to making hot sauce, you’ll likely end up making it too thick to your liking. Thankfully, there are free and straightforward ways to remedy a chunky dipping condiment.

Straining is a quick fix to an overly-thickened hot sauce. To thin it out, pour the mixture into a sieve or strainer with a bowl underneath to separate the clumps.

How do you make a sauce thicker?

Cornstarch is a trusted companion for home cooks when thickening any sauce. You can enjoy a richer flavor with every bite with this simple solution.

Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of cold water. Pour the mixture into your sauce over medium heat and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Lastly, add another two minutes of heating time to cook the cornstarch. Serve and enjoy!

What are the best fruits to add to hot sauce?

There are plenty of fruits you can add to your hot sauce. However, the safest choice to avoid ruining the flavor of your recipe is sweet fruits.

Peaches and pineapples make a wonderful complement to the heat. Lemon and orange juice can also add a zesty taste while also helping thicken your sauce.

Final Thoughts

Isn’t it good to know that a thin hot sauce doesn’t have to end in disaster? With a little tweaking, you can easily turn things around and get the perfect texture for your dip.

Rest assured, these tricks will work wonders in thickening and boosting your hot sauce’s flavor. So, take a moment to weigh your options and what suits your tastes better.

After all the effort, take the time to appreciate your thickened hot sauce and enjoy it on one of your favorite dishes!

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