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lazy
07-31-2010, 12:51 PM
Anything I eat seems to act as a thickening agent to my belly...

Any reason a little corn starch couldn't be added when you're cooking a sauce? I make 4 or 5 different sauces, but they don't get as thick as I like them. Seems to be that if corn starch will thicken gravy, then it ought to work in a sauce, also.

Anybody have any thoughts or experience with this?

Thanks.

O B City
07-31-2010, 01:01 PM
Corn starch can work depending on the other sauce ingredients. If there are any oils in the sauce it might seperate.

Many commercial sauces us Xanthan Gum (aka Guar Gum).

SmokyOkie
07-31-2010, 03:26 PM
Corn starch takes a lot more than do Xanthum gum and Guar gum in order to cause the same viscosity changes (about 8 times as much), which would tend to dilute the sauce. (Xanthun is synthesized using a bacterial process, guar is basically just ground guar beans).

If you use xanthum gum, be careful because it takes quite a while to develop to it's full thickness. If you are trying to develop a recipe, let the first trial cool and sit overnight to see how much it thickens.

You can buy either one readily and inexpensively on line.

Bbq Bubba
07-31-2010, 09:02 PM
Why not just cook it down to the desired consistency?

SmokyOkie
07-31-2010, 09:18 PM
Doing that concentrates and changes the flavor as well as thickening.

If you have the exact flavor you want, but not the viscosity, the ideal thing to do is to thicken it at that stage.

Skinny Cook
08-02-2010, 03:16 PM
We use Xanthum Gum in our BBQ General Store sauces. It works good for us.

BTW we make our stuff in 30gal batches if that helps you.

lazy
08-03-2010, 08:23 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I never considered that cornstarch could dilute the flavor. Makes sense once I think about it.

I just make small amounts to play around with and to take to work. I have a habit of doing something once or twice and then wanting to do something different the next time. There are 4 that I rotate in and out, then always have a couple new ones.

I never considered the gum products being available for home use. I just figured it came in tanker trucks for commercial use... I'll check into it.

chef schwantz
08-03-2010, 10:22 PM
There are several things you could try. Arrowroot, Cornstarch, flour, roux, Wondra flour, tapioca starch, guar gum. All have their uses and applications.

Joneser
08-04-2010, 07:03 AM
There are several things you could try. Arrowroot, Cornstarch, flour, roux, Wondra flour, tapioca starch, guar gum. All have their uses and applications.
Thanks, Chef, I was thinking tapioca, but wasn't sure if it would throw off the flavor. I remember my grandma using that as a thickener.

chef schwantz
08-04-2010, 07:37 AM
Thanks, Chef, I was thinking tapioca, but wasn't sure if it would throw off the flavor. I remember my grandma using that as a thickener.

Tapioca is used in a lot of "Chinese" foods to make that chow mein like gravy. I have found that if you use too much, you wind up with a "snot" like result. JMHO.

Joneser
08-04-2010, 09:34 AM
That explains why the Sweet and Sour sauce never quite re-heats the same....
Nothing worse than coagulated SS sauce.

SmokyOkie
08-04-2010, 09:41 AM
There are several things you could try. Arrowroot, Cornstarch, flour, roux, Wondra flour, tapioca starch, guar gum. All have their uses and applications.

The hilighted items would be OK if you plan on eating the sauce before it cools fully. Once they cool, the starch chain break down and clabber, and re heating doesn't generally fix the situation ( see below).

Guar and xanthum gums use a different mechanism than starches to add viscosity, and they actually become thicker as they cool.

I could be wrong, but I think one would have to look pretty long and hard to find a commercially available BBQ sauce that uses cornstarch as a primary thickener.


That explains why the Sweet and Sour sauce never quite re-heats the same....
Nothing worse than coagulated SS sauce.