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How to Thicken Buffalo Sauce (5 Ways)

Thickening buffalo sauce can be a challenging undertaking task for most home cooks, but with a few simple techniques, it’s easy to achieve the perfect consistency. If you’re looking to make buffalo chicken wings or marinade, then you’ll want ways on how to thicken buffalo sauce. Well, look no further, as I got you covered.

Using low-quality hot sauce or not adding enough spices can also result in a runny consistency. But to thicken buffalo sauce you can use a few simple tricks like simmering it, adding cornstarch slurry, or using xanthan gum or pectin. If you wanna thicken buffalo sauce in every shape or form, then whip on your apron as I’ll show you around.

What is Buffalo Sauce?

Buffalo sauce is a type of hot sauce made from a blend of vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and butter. It’s known for its tangy flavor and heat, which makes it perfect for adding a kick to any dish. However, the heat can differ depending on the amount of cayenne peppers used.

One of the defining characteristics of Buffalo sauce is its consistency. It’s a thin sauce meant to be drizzled over food rather than smothered. This consistency allows the flavor of the sauce to shine through without overpowering the dish.

How to Make Buffalo Sauce

To make Buffalo sauce, combine equal parts melted butter and hot sauce (typically using a cayenne pepper-based sauce like Frank’s RedHot). You can even add a dash of garlic powder for extra flavor. Heat the mixture on the stove until it’s well combined and warmed through. Once ready, use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use.

Ways to Thicken Buffalo Sauce

Add Cornstarch

Cornstarch has always been a popular thickener used to improve the texture of sauces, including buffalo sauce. If you, too, wanna use it to thicken your sauce, start by creating a slurry by mixing cornstarch with water or another liquid. The slurry should be smooth and free of lumps.

As the buffalo sauce cooks, gradually add the slurry while stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. The cornstarch will activate and thicken the sauce, but adding the slurry in small amounts is an important step to avoid making the sauce too thick. If the sauce is still too thin, you can easily repeat the process by adding more slurry until you achieve the desired consistency.

Reduce the Sauce

One of the easiest ways to thicken and intensify the flavor of buffalo sauce is by reducing it. Simply simmer the sauce over low to medium heat while stirring frequently to prevent burning. As the sauce reduces, it becomes thicker and more concentrated, resulting in a more flavorful sauce.

Use a spoon to coat its back with the sauce to ensure that the buffalo sauce has the desired consistency. If the sauce doesn’t run off, then it has thickened enough. If it still appears too thin, continue simmering it. But avoid reducing the sauce too much, as this can make it overly thick and overpowering.

Ketchup or Sriracha

If you’re neither a fan of cornstarch nor reducing the sauce, then ketchup and sriracha can act as a great thickener for buffalo sauce. Ketchup contains natural thickeners like sugar and tomato paste, while sriracha adds heat and thickness. The combination of the two guarantees a thicker sauce.

If you wanna use these ingredients, simply add a small amount to the sauce while it’s cooking and stir it in. However, use them in moderation to avoid overpowering the other flavors in the sauce.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a natural carbohydrate produced by fermenting corn sugar with a specific strain of bacteria. It’s a very common and popular thickening agent used in tons of food products, including sauces. Thanks to its ease of use and non-interference with the flavor of the sauce, xanthan gum has sneaked its way into becoming a top-notch thickener for buffalo sauce.

Begin by creating a slurry, then mix a small amount of xanthan gum with cold water until it’s smooth and free of lumps. Next, add the slurry to the sauce while it’s cooking, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. As the sauce heats up, the xanthan gum will activate and thicken the sauce.


Pectin, a natural thickener often found in jams and jellies, can also thicken buffalo sauce. Simply add a fruit high in pectin, such as a pear or even apple sauce, to the sauce while it’s cooking and puree it once it’s soft.

However, this method does leave open the possibility of changing the traditional buffalo sauce taste, so keep this in mind. Other methods, like cornstarch or xanthan gum, may be more effective for thickening buffalo sauce, but using pectin is still a viable option if all else is off the table.


Why is it called buffalo sauce?

Buffalo sauce is named after the city of Buffalo, New York, where it was first created. The sauce was originally used to coat chicken wings, and the dish became known as Buffalo wings. The sauce is typically made with a combination of hot sauce, butter, and vinegar, and it has a tangy, spicy flavor that complements the crispy chicken wings.

What does buffalo sauce taste like?

Buffalo sauce has a tangy, spicy, savory, and sweet flavor. The hot sauce used in the sauce gives it a spicy kick, while the butter and vinegar help to balance out the heat. The sauce is also slightly acidic, which gives it a bright, zesty flavor that is perfect for coating chicken wings.

What is buffalo sauce made of?

Buffalo sauce is typically made with hot sauce, butter, and vinegar. The hot sauce provides the base for the sauce, while the butter helps to mellow out the spiciness and add richness. Vinegar is added to give the sauce a tangy, acidic flavor that complements the other ingredients. 

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