How to Thicken Fermented Hot Sauce?

Have you spent days or weeks preparing a fermented hot sauce, only to strain it at the end and end up with a hot sauce that is too thin?

Maybe your hot sauce is too thin because you used too much water or vinegar?

I will give you some tips on how to prevent your hot sauce from going too thin in the future, and I will also give you some tips on how to make your hot sauce thicker.

Adding more fermented vegetables to a hot sauce that is already too thin will be the best thing you can do. Xanthan gum is a thickening agent that works pretty well. 

Let’s find out what the details are.

Xanthan gum

What Can I Use To Thicken a Hot Sauce?

If you have a bunch of hot sauces that turned out too thin and you are trying to save them, you can use a thickening agent.

There are a couple of things I want you to remember before you start using the thickeners in your hot sauce.

Banana, mango, apple, and other fruit with high sugar content will cause the fermentation process to restart again.

The sugars in fruits and vegetables are fed by the bacterium that conducts the process of fermentation.

You don’t want fermentation to continue past a certain point because it can change the flavor, and color, and cause gas build-up that leads to spills and exploding jars.

It is a common cause of hot sauce that is too thin and acid can cancel out some of the action of some thickening agents.

If you have finished your hot sauce with a lot of vinegar to stop further fermentation, be prepared to add a bit more thickener than usual.

We are going to look at the types of thickening agents you can use.

Thickening Agents

Fermented Vegetables

Adding additional vegetables can act as a thickener in the hot sauce mixture if you already have a separate bunch of peppers or other vegetables or have the time to ferment some separately.

Very hot peppers like Scotch bonnets and habaneros are often used by fermenters. They have a nice flavor with a touch of sweetness.

Xanthan Gum

An excellent and commonly used thickening agent is xanthan gum. It is made by the process of fermentation itself, which is the fermentation of sugar by bacteria to be exact.

There is a form of gum that comes in powder form. You can find it at a grocery store in the baking aisle, and also on Amazon.

It is a good idea to note that a little goes a long way when using xanthan gum.

If you want your hot sauce to reach your desired consistency, you’ll need to blend it with a hand blender between additions.

When it is sitting out over time, xanthan gum acts as a stabilizer, keeping the sauce from separating, which can happen when it is sitting out for a long time.

Cornstarch or Arrowroot

Cornstarch or arrowroot can be used to make hot sauces. The tropical tuber, arrowroot, is the source of the arrowroot powder.

It is a frequently used alternative to cornstarch. Adding heat to your hot sauce mixture will allow you to properly mix cornstarch or arrowroot flour.

Put your hot sauce in a pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Put a spoon of cornstarch or arrowroot in a glass with some water.

When you’re ready to cook, stir vigorously to make a slurry and then add it to your hot sauce.

It shouldn’t take long for it to cook for a few minutes. Continue as necessary until you reach your desired consistency.


Chia Seeds or Chia Seed Powder

The chia seeds and chia seed powder are pretty effective as thickeners. When using chia seeds, you want to use 3 to 4 chia seeds for every 3 to 4 cups of hot sauce.

It’s a good idea to mix the seeds in to make your hot sauce thicker. You will want to deal with the seeds in the future.

You can either blend the seeds into your hot sauce with a food processor, or you can strain the seeds out.

It is much easier to use chia seed powder than it is to use the seeds. If you want your hot sauce to reach your desired thickness, you can just sprinkle a small spoon at a time.

Chia seed has a nutty flavor and it’s one of the things to note about it.

It is something to keep in mind when considering the overall taste of your hot sauce, though this flavor is subtle.

If you want to see how it tastes, you can always test out a small amount.

How Can I Prevent Hot Sauce That’s Too Thin?

I’m going to give you some tips on how to prevent your hot sauce from turning out too thin when you go to make your next batches.

Use More Fermented Vegetables

One of the easiest things you can do to make sure is to use more fermented vegetables from the beginning, either more peppers or any other vegetable you would like to use based on your desired flavor.

  • The thickness of your hot sauce is the right one.
  • It is not necessary to use a thickener in your hot sauce.

You will just be making your hot sauce even more delicious by using the vegetables as your thickener.

Use Less Water

If you want to prevent your hot sauce from turning out too thin, you should use less water.

It’s better to water it down and give it a liquid consistency than to use too much.

If you want to narrow it down to the right amount, you need to track how much water you use.

Use the Correct Type of Blender

Food processors leave you with a lot of chunks that you have to strain out. It’s better to invest in a high-powered blender than it is a food processor.

You will get a smooth consistency with this. If you don’t want a perfect puree and prefer something with more texture, then this isn’t an ideal option.

Use the Correct Type of Strainer

The personal choice of the straining step is what determines it. Some people prefer a smooth hot sauce, while others prefer something with more chunks and/or texture.

It is almost certain that your hot sauce will turn out too thin if you remove all of the fiber with a cheesecloth.

If you want to strain the seeds, chunks, and large fibers from the hot sauce, make sure you use a wire mesh strainer and a spoon.

The microfibers will be small enough to pass through the strainer and will be sufficient to add body and thickness to your hot sauce.


Hopefully, the article gave you some good information on how to make hot sauce.

Adding more vegetables will only enhance the flavor, but xanthan gum or chia seeds are good thickening agents.

You have to heat the mixture to mess with the final product, so I don’t like using arrowroot or cornstarch.

If you want to go for prevention methods, just use more vegetables and watch how much water you add!

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