When and why would you ever want runny Buffalo sauce? It just has to be thick in consistency, doesn’t it! But if you’ve accidentally made it in this unsatisfactory way, and you want to add some solidity – what can you do? Well, having rescued this sauce for my wings a few too many times, this is my go-to solution!
So, how do you thicken Buffalo Sauce? The best way to thicken Buffalo sauce is with Xantham gum. This is a widely available food additive that is commonly added to foods and sauces to thicken and stabilize them, without altering the flavor. The other recommended option is cornstarch – although it can alter the flavor and doesn’t work well unless you are warming the sauce.
So you have two recommended options here.
Although there are more if you keep on reading.
But that doesn’t mean all are equally as effective.
I’m a Xantham man, personally. Others are more in favor of cornstarch.
But to me, why would you want to possibly alter the flavor?
And besides. Xantham gum is what is actually used in Sriracha sauce.
This is what gives it the thicker consistency.
So it actually makes sense.
Besides, why would some of the world’s biggest sauce manufacturers depend so heavily on it!
Nevertheless, let us now explore each of the options and what you need to do.
How To Thicken Buffalo Sauce With Xantham Gum
Perhaps the most effective method to thicken a Buffalo Sauce.
And it’s not expensive and easy to buy too.
For instance, you can get it online.
This particular brand from Amazon is my go-to. If you check out the customer reviews on it you’ll soon see why.
Xanthan gum will thicken and emulsify both hot and cold sauces, and you can even reheat sauce where it has been added too.
So, simply stir in your Xantham gum, a little bit at a time.
Be sure to whisk away and stop when you reach the consistency you require.
Go too far – add a tablespoon or two of water.
How To Thicken Buffalo Sauce With Cornstarch
Next up we have cornstarch. A popular option but not for me due to the potential to alter the flavor.
Nevertheless, to thicken your Buffalo sauce with cornstarch, you first need to create what is known as a Cornstarch slurry.
This is essentially cornstarch that has been mixed with water.
You want to add an equal part of cornstarch to cold water; in a ratio of 1:1.
How much of each will depend on how much Buffalo sauce you have to thicken.
But generally, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water make a good slurry for every cup of buffalo sauce you have.
And here are your steps,
Step one: Add your cornstarch and cold water together in a bowl,
Step two: Whisk together until you get a smooth, non-lump slurry.
Step three: Bring your Buffalo sauce to a simmer if you haven’t already.
Step four: Whisk your slurry into your buffalo sauce a small amount at a time.
Step five: Continue to whisk until your sauce thickens. At that point take your sauce off the heat.
The sauce should thicken soon as the slurry is added, but you will need to allow sometime to allow the sauce to cool down or you risk burning yourself.
And if you do not have any cornflour around, you can stock up and buy this great brand from Amazon, or consider another starch.
Potato starch and tapioca are the two other alternatives that are known to work well.
Other Options To Thicken Buffalo Sauce
If Xantham gum or cornflour is not to hand, nor do you like the sound of them, then you have several other options:
- Add cream cheese,
- Add blue cheese,
- Add ketchup,
- Add an egg yolk; whisk an egg yolk with a tsbp of water in a bowl and then whisk into the sauce while its simmering on heat,
- Whisk in melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese while it is simmering,
- Make a roux (melt butter and add in flour) and then whisk this into your simmering buffalo sauce,
See you have plenty of options.
Some will change the flavor a little.
Cheese for instance will take some of the spiciness/heat out.
But sometimes that is good.
And most of these will require you to be still cooking the sauce.
Not like Xantham gum; that’s why I recommend it. You can add it to cold/warm buffalo sauce and the effects are the same.
Then there is the classic reduction technique.
All you need to do here is boil your buffalo sauce and then when it starts bubbling, let it simmer until all the required liquid burns off.
Just be sure to keep an eye on how much sauce you have reduced.
Or otherwise, you can end up with some pretty unpleasant thick buffalo sludge!
What you decide to do will ultimately come down to preference, ingredient availability, and the state of your sauce.
If it’s still simmering, it may just make sense to continue reducing it down.
Otherwise, Xantham gum then Cornstarch are probably your best options. In that order.
But if you really want to put a spin on the sauce – consider adding butter or cheese. Maybe both.
That will get the taste buds going!
Want to learn how to thicken other sauces? Then go ahead and check out my other related guides:
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.