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How To Thin Hollandaise Sauce

Overly stodgy Hollandaise sauce is quite simply, not as good. So you may need to thin it out from time to time when making it. But how do you do so? What should your approach be? Here is all exactly what you will need to do

So, how do you thin Hollandaise Sauce? To thin Hollandaise sauce, you can whisk in water. Be sure to only add a teaspoon at a time and keep whisking until you get the consistency of sauce you desire. Alternatively, you can also whisk in more melted butter – again starting with a small amount and increasing slowly.

One other thing to consider here is temperature.

Is your Hollandaise sauce still being kept warm?

In doing so, and at an appropriate temperature of around 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), you should notice that the sauce runs a little thinner.

And if you are feeling a little adventurous and are not concerned with altering the traditional flavor of this sauce, you could look to add other ingredients too.

Wine or Lemon juice are two such examples.

A splash or two and a bit of whisking should be enough to thin this particular sauce.

If you looking for a little smoothness, you can always try heavy cream.

Just be sure to add a small amount at first and increase in time accordingly.

So that’s how to thin Hollandaise sauce in a nutshell.

But should it be done, why did it happen, and what about curdling?

Let’s keep going!

Is Hollandaise Sauce Supposed To Be Thick?

Hollandaise sauce should be pretty thick in consistency. Within reason, of course. It should also be smooth, velvety, and pretty airy too – so it should not be overly dense. This should ensure a rich and decadent sauce that is not too concentrated or hefty.

If you follow a recipe closely, cook it appropriately, and get your timings right, you should notice that the sauce is naturally the right consistency and texture.

However, get the quantities of ingredients wrong, cook for too little or too long, at the wrong temperature, or with the wrong apparatus, and your Hollandaise can either be too thin or too thick.

And either way, it will need resolving.

Why Is My Hollandaise Sauce So Thick?

The most likely cause for your Hollandaise being very thick is that you cooked the sauce at too high a heat, added the butter too quickly or your ratio of ingredients is off.

Often when cooking, you can see signs that the sauce is going to be too thick upon cooling.

Perhaps the clearest way to identify this is if you start to notice separation – or butter accumulating on the sides of the sauce.

It is at this point you do need to act quickly and follow one of the recommendations above (whisking in a little water, wine, lemon juice or heavy cream).

Otherwise, if your sauce is not recovered quickly enough here it can break. How you can restore the sauce if this does happen will now be discussed below.

How Do You Uncurdle Hollandaise Sauce?

The best way to uncurdle Hollandaise sauce is to restart the emulsion process. To do this, whisk your warm curdled Hollandaise sauce into a mixture of pre-whisked egg yolk and water or heavy cream.

Thankfully a curdled Hollandaise sauce can be saved.

You just need to prepare a ‘rescue mixture’ before mixing it in with your sauce.

This rescue mixture is merely a beaten egg yolk and a tablespoon of water or cream. You just need to whisk these two together.

This can then be whisked in with the curdled sauce.

Now just bear in mind that a restored sauce may not be as light, but it should still be in good condition for serving.

Other than this, your only other option is to start over.

If you have the time, ingredients, and patience, this could be the better option.

In fact, if you were to overcook the egg yolks, creating a scramble, you cannot save the sauce.

In that instance you would need to start again and cook on a lower heat anyway.


Perhaps the best way to ensure you do not create a thick Hollandaise going forward is to ensure you are aware of the proper cooking temperature and use the right quantities of ingredients to begin with.

Nevertheless, making an overly thick sauce is easily done.

And in most cases, it can be repaired with a dash of water.

That’s perhaps the best additional ingredient for thinning.

Just be sure not to overdo it. Or then you’ll have a runny sauce that needs thickening.

So start slow.

And whisk forcefully.

It is in that action that you can combine the sauce together and reduce the consistency with the added ingredients.