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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21387
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
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What is the best method to avoid sauces from separating I

Resolved Question:

What is the best method to avoid sauces from separating? I make different kinds of hot sauce, red chile, pineapple, mango, etc... I currently use xanthan gum, but it also thickens my sauces and I didn't know if there was another method or ingredient that could help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

Are you only asking about how to keep only your 'hot' sauces from separating, since that's primarily what you make?

What exactly is separating, is oil rising to the top?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

well I make a regular hot sauce with dried chiles...water...a little vinegar, etc..and sometimes it does seperate...but normally the seperation is on the bottom...

the same for the pineapple hot sauce which is made with fresh pineapples, pineapple juice and vinegar,...and normally the same it looks like the seperation is at the bottom of the bottle rather than the top. I was told xanthan gum helps with that...but i dont know if maybe I'm using the xanthan gum incorrectly. Should the sauce be cooked with the xanthan gum in it? added afterwards when blending? etc....

Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply with helpful information.

The xanthan gum would be better if added while cooking, but keep it in constant motion with a whisk, until it's all dissolved; you could add it while blending, also. You can use a different thickener, like flour, to make a 'roux', as in the recipe at this site, and this might prevent the sauce from separating:

Also, make sure you're blending completely, to a smooth consistency.

Some separation is not uncommon, so just make sure to shake the bottle well, before using, so everything combines.

Your sauces sound delicious! : )

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX actually has our sauces on the shelves at Whole Foods Markets in Las Vegas.

I'm not really trying to "thicken" the sauces, I was told that the xanthan gum was used in most dressings, thicken and keep them from separating.

Would you know the correct amount that I should use? Currently with the pineapple habanero I use a quarter of a teaspoon per 4 cups of sauce. And the red chile sauce I use about an eighth of a tsp per 4 cups as I use less vinegar.

Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome.

Oh, that's fantastic that your sauces are being sold at Whole Foods in Las Vegas!

Yes, I understand that you don't want to thicken them, but the xanthan gum is used to help stabilize the suspension and prevent separation.

It's typically recommended to use 1/8th tsp. of xanthan gum per one cup of liquid, so even though you don't want your sauces any thicker, you may have to increase the amount you're using, to have it help better, re: separation. Experiment with a little more than you're currently using now, and see how it turns out, taste-wise and consistency-wise, and of course see if it helps with the separation problem.

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