Need info on using GUAR or XANTHAN GUM in my homemade BBQ sauce.

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by hdflame, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    I have a couple of sauces that I'd like to thicken so that my spices don't settle out so quick.

    Has anyone used either guar or xanthan gum to thicken their sauces?  

    Which do you prefer?

    How much do you add?

    How do you add it to the sauce?  Do you mix with other dry ingredients first...before or after it's cooked?

    I've been searching here and Google but not finding the info I need.  It seems that guar might be the cheapest and best choice for what I need but would like to have some first hand recommendations.


  2. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I don't know the answer but will corn starch not work?
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Corn starch, pectin (liquid), arrowroot are all available at the grocery store and we can help you with these.
  4. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I use Xanthan gum in my BBQ Guar has a bit of an unpleasant taste, I can taste...Xanthan does not.  You can find Xanthan gum at any UBake store near you.  I also use it in my cinnamon rolls, etc..

  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have used them.  My only advice would be to start small and increase as needed and to use them only when absolutely when necessary.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. owlcreeksmoker4

    owlcreeksmoker4 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    i agree i would use xanthan in the sauce, no risk of an unwanted taste. but use sparingly which ever you decide to use
  7. big andy a

    big andy a Smoking Fanatic

    Your post got me curious about these ingredients and how I might use them in the sauce I make.  I came across this advice;

    Xanthan Gum is used to modify the viscosity of liquids, on a very low scale (typically 1/3 tsp per 1 gallon). Because of the difficulty in combining Xanthan Gum to a liquid evenly, you should mix this into your liquid very slowly, in a blender at full speed, and it should be one of your steps (before adding other ingredients, including Guar Gum).

    Not step by step instructions but a start as to how to use it.  

    Good luck.

  8. I use Xanthan because i'm diabetic, so I limit carbs as much as possible.

    You must be very careful to just use a tiny bit, too much and your sauce will be like snot. No more than like a 1/4 tsp per 4 cups, to start. YMMV.

    I use a tea strainer like the one below to very carefully sift in the xanthan so that it doesn't clump.

    I take a small piece of waxed paper and put it in one side of the strainer, add the xanthan on top of that, close the strainer...carefully turn it over when needed and tap very gently while whisking the xanthan in....


    I hope this helps.

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Can't your sauces be simmered and reduced to the desired thickness?...JJ
  10. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I have one sauce that is sort of my hot and spicy sauce and it is made with a good bit of raw honey and blackstrap molasses...I've NEVER needed a thickener for this sauce...once it is cooled and bottled, if you roll the bottle on it's side..the sauce will stick on the side for a good long time..and not just run down....So I'd say if at all possible, try and stay with products like honey, or molasses to keep your sauce thicker..and try not to use any binding agents like Guar or Xanthan.

  11. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow some great educated advice here. I too would try to avoid adding these products to anything
  12. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  13. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    Thanks for all of the replies from everyone!

    Curtanne, that was exactly what I was looking for!  A little guidance on quantities and how to incorporate it into the sauce.

    In response to some of the other comments.  Cooking the sauce down is actually a little wasteful to me.  If I've got the taste I want, then cooking it down will also intensify the flavors.  Even when you have a thicker sauce, I also have one that has a lot of molasses and honey, the solid ingredients can still settle to the bottom...just not as quickly as thinner sauces.

    If you pick up just about any commercial sauce where it looks like the solid spice ingredients are suspended in the solution, if you look at the ingredients you'll see either Guar or Xanthan Gum.  Part of the reason for putting these into the sauce is not just to thicken, but to hold the spices in suspension within the sauce and keep it from settling out.

    Funny that what I've read online so far was that the Xanthan had more of an off taste than the Guar! [​IMG]   The Guar is much cheaper though, so maybe it's the one that can give it an off taste.  That would explain the price difference.

    Locally, I haven't been able to find either one.  We don't have any of the big whole food natural type stores in town.  There are some about 30 miles away.

    I may order a small amount of each to try.  I wish the shipping wasn't more than the ingredient!

    I'll post back here after I've tried them.

    Thanks again to everyone!

  14. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Again, see if you have a "Ubake" in the area..or other similiar bake store..they ALL usually carry one of the two.

  15. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    No Ubake in the area.  I've never heard of those before.  I'll look some more on Amazon for a deal on shipping, maybe eBay.
  16. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Take a look at...ThickIt....Intant thickener, it is tasteless and is used extensively in Health care so is readily hot or cold, I have used it, it's not bad...I believe you will find it cheaper than using Gums plus there is some indication that Xanthan gum, "dampens" flavor and can be Slimy in cooked sauces...JJ
  18. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    I've ordered from Spice Barn before but didn't think about them for the Xanthan Gum.  Just ordered some Xanthan and some other spices that I'd been thinking about too.  Thanks for the reminder!

    I looked at their site and also watched a video about how to use it.  I'm not sure if that's what I really want.  I'm not so concerned with thickening as I am in keeping the spices homogenized in suspension.  The Thickit might do the same thing, but in the video it looks like it's more for just making things REALLY THICK!

    If the xanthan gum I just ordered doesn't do what I'm wanting, I'll try the Thickit.

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.  I'll post my results here when my order arrives.  I think others may be interested in doing the same thing with their sauces.

  19. deuc224

    deuc224 Fire Starter

    Molasses? We use thick it at work and it is tasteless but when cold it takes a while to dissolve. Best advice is to reduce it over low heat and keep stirring it.
  20. hotdog

    hotdog Newbie

    I use guar in my sauce to thicken-up just a bit. I think about 1 teaspoon to 4 cups of sauce. I mix my guar in with my dry ingredients and then slowly pour into sauce. Never had it glob up since doing that. I can't say it has a taste to me.......maybe like plain ol flour if anything.


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