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Xanthan gum

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Anyone have any first hand knowledge using xanthan gum as an emulsifier? I started making hot sauce in small batches 2 years ago, and it's becoming more and more popular among my friends and family, so now I'm doing a few big batches a year.

 

My first couple of batches I didn't use an emulsifier, and it would settle into two layers... a light red liquid on top and solids on the bottom. No big deal...just shake it up and you're good to go, but for the last batch I bought a bunch of woozie bottles, caps, the whole nine yards and the company sent a free sample of xanthan gum, so I figured I'd give it a try. There weren't really instructions, so I just added a little at a time until it got to the consistency I wanted. Maybe ended up with a tsp. or two for a gallon of sauce. But the sauce still separated...this time in 3 layers. headscratch.gif . A darker red liquid on top, then the same two layers as previous below that. My best guess is I didn't add enough, so it only "bonded" enough to make the top layer? But I really don't have a clue.

 

It should be noted: After some trial and error, the recipe I like the best I don't heat the sauce at all after the liquids are added to the peppers/etc and run thru the food processor. Will this stuff not work w/o heat?

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Have never used it, but a bit of a search found this:

 

From our resident chef, Karen:

 

Put the liquid and gum in a blender - or use a hand blender to combine. Or, put the gum in a shaker and sprinkle it evenly over the surface of the liquid and whisk like crazy! Use a whisk, not a spoon.

 

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I find what works best is to use the stick blender - the xanthan mixes in much more quickly than with a whisk, and your liquid will be thick immediately, all you'll need to do is to heat it up afterwards.

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That's also the best advice I found on Google.... I sprinkled it on top and used an immersion blender. Hmm.. maybe that's the problem. Maybe a hand blender (aka, the types with two rotating whisks) would do a better job than the small blades on an immersion blender...?

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I've been using it quite a bit lately to thicken all sorts of stuff - never had a problem with just a hand whisk - just be careful, it only takes a pinch.

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Would try a blender on a portion of the sauce. What I read was that XG is not actually an emulsifier but will stabilize an emulsion. So maybe if you get some little particles in suspension it will keep them there. Personally, I'd skip XG. Shaking a bottle of hot sauce is kind of a rite of eating.

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I use it in my hot sauce. A little goes a long way. Lightly sprinkle in a little at a time. Stir it in really good. I mash the little clumps that form up against the side of the pot.

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