Does sauce thicken with the lid on or off?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does sauce thicken with the lid on or off” with an in-depth analysis of the thickening of sauce with the lid off. Moreover, we are going to highlight the ways to thicken the sauce.

Does sauce thicken with the lid on or off?

To thicken the sauce, the lid is removed from the container or pot to allow the evaporation of excess water from the sauce. Through evaporation, the sauce is reduced. For this, the lid is removed and then the sauce is allowed either to simmer on medium heat or to boil over high boiling temperature.

Sometimes, you might wonder what is the purpose behind the addition of too much water in the sauce while it’s being prepared. The answer is that the addition of meat or vegetables in the sauce needs more water to let them properly cook during preparation.

Ways to thicken the sauce:

Boiling of sauce:

The gravies and sauces need to be in a perfect consistency for the better and appealing taste of the overall meal. For this, one of the easiest ways is to boil or simmer the product to an extent when the liquid content reaches your desired level. During this process, the liquid or water content of the product simply evaporates upon heating, resulting in the formation of a thick product.

Addition of flour and cornstarch:

The sauce can also be thickened with the addition of flour or cornstarch. For this, mix the flour or cornstarch in a little quantity of cold water, add this mixture to the simmering sauce while stirring, and then let the sauce cook for a few more minutes to get this flour or cornstarch completely mixed in the sauce.

The recipe of sauce roux includes the addition of flour in it. Take a 3:2 of flour and fat (butter or margarine). Heat the saucepan and let the flour and fat mixture golden brown in a pan. Once the flour mixture becomes brown or golden to the desired level, add the other ingredients and cook the sauce by following recommended instructions.

Addition of egg:

Some of the sauces, such as carbonara, hollandaise, or other white sauces, can also be thickened by the addition of egg yolk. For this, take only the yolk and whisk it with cold water and add 5 to 6 tablespoons of the hot sauce to it. Mix the ingredients well and add the mixture to the simmering sauce. Try to avoid heating the sauce at too high a temperature as it will cause the curdling of the egg in the sauce.

Addition of butter:

Add cold butter to the hot simmering sauce and beat the sauce. The beating will cause the melting as well as the mixing of butter in the sauce and as a result of this, you will get a thick sauce upon cooling. Besides thickening, the nutritional content of the sauce will also be increased.

Addition of pureed vegetables:

The pureed vegetables can also be used to thicken the sauce. The vegetables normally dissolve in the sauce as a result of which the consistency becomes thick. The vegetables that can be used for this purpose are boiled celery, peas, lentils, carrots, or beans.

Addition of crème fraîche:

The dairy product that can also be used for the thickening of sauces is crème Fraiche because of its high protein content. The crème is also resistant to acids and does not flake with wine, vinegar, or lemon present in the sauce.

Addition of potatoes:

Potatoes also act as a great binding and thickening agent that can be used in sauces that are too thin for making their consistency thicker. The main ingredient in the potatoes is starch which is responsible for the hardening of the sauces. For this, you can add the boiled, mashed potatoes to the sauce while the sauce is still simmering.

Addition of arrowroot:

Arrowroot is also a starch item that is considered completely tasteless starch which means that it would not alter the taste of the sauce in which it is added. The arrowroot powder does not need to be heated when added to the sauce and is most suitable for the sauce which does not need to be reheated at the time of consumption.

Organic agents:

Some other organic thickening agents can also be used to make the sauce thick. The great options in this category are guar gum, agar-agar, gelatin, and so on.

Here, you can find different types of sauces.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does sauce thicken with the lid on or off” with an in-depth analysis of the thickening of sauce with the lid off. Moreover, we discussed what are the ways to thicken the sauce.


Leave a Comment