Thicken Your Delicious Sauce To Perfection

To thicken a sauce quickly, use a spoon to blend 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of softened butter in a cup. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the mixture, bit by bit, into the hot sauce. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.

Another method is to dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or 2 of flour in 2 tablespoons of cold water, stir thoroughly to mix, then add to the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.
 

chris

New Member
I normally use cornstarch. I find even if the liquid I'm adding the paste to is boiling it doesn't lump up like with flour. It stays smooth and thickens just as well. I only use flour when I drizzle raw meat with it before browning.
 

Espresso

New Member
I do the second method. I prefer cornstarch because flour tends to form lumps. I heard you can also use pureed vegetables such as mashed potato to thicken your sauce.
 

James Dean

New Member
To thicken a sauce quickly, use a spoon to blend 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of softened butter in a cup. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the mixture, bit by bit, into the hot sauce. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.

Another method is to dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or 2 of flour in 2 tablespoons of cold water, stir thoroughly to mix, then add to the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.
I prefer the second paragraph. I can't just find good flour these days that I am just able to buy cornstarch. I didn't catch that putting cold water in the starch. I might do this later. Thank you for this tip. I shall make use of this when I make my pasta sauce. :)
 

Hysssss-teria

New Member
I do the second method. I prefer cornstarch because flour tends to form lumps. I heard you can also use pureed vegetables such as mashed potato to thicken your sauce.
I never got the hang of using flour, so I went with the corn starch. But now I use these other methods all the time instead -- they not only thicken but taste so much better than either flour or corn starch.

Yes, mashed potatoes work very well for this.

Dried potato flakes are fabulous -- just spoon them in about a tablespoon at a time, and blend well after each addition. Give the sauce a few minutes to absorb the flakes and begin to thicken before adding more.

My favorite is condensed cream of mushroom soup. Stir it into the hot sauce a heaping forkful at a time, blend until smooth. Wait a couple of minutes to judge the thickening before adding more. This stuff creates incredibly rich sauces and gravies without tasting like what it really is.

If you goof and over-thicken, thin with a little milk or water.
 

clarkdart

Active Member
With flour it seems tricky but its really not, a little extra practice will help though. I remember my kids telling me they had no idea how the flour trick worked and assumed it was magic. I am totally okay with letting them believe it too (until they are older) & mushroom soup is a nice touch too!
 

Kimberly

New Member
I have not tried the cream of mushroom or flaky potatoe trick. I usually use cornstarch because I always have problems with flour. No matter what I do, there are always lumps. It drives me crazy! What do you do, to not have lumpy flour in your sauce?
 

BeerPong

Member
I normally use cornstarch. I find even if the liquid I'm adding the paste to is boiling it doesn't lump up like with flour. It stays smooth and thickens just as well. I only use flour when I drizzle raw meat with it before browning.
This is the reason I use cornstarch as well. It really mixes well without altering the taste or texture.
 

Pat

Member
Try a spoonful of flour mixed I to cold water first, stir real good then add to sauce you are trying to thicken.
 

AfterTaste

Member
I tried using flour before, but as others have said, flour can form lumps. Since then, I have stuck with cornstarch. It dissolves more easily in water.
 

melli

Member
Never heard of using Cream of Mushroom soup before - that would be mighty tasty! I use a mixture of flour and water. It is a learning experience for sure, how much to put in. The key is to add slowly.
 

BrewJen

Member
I have always used cornstarch. I wouldn't mind trying flour, potato flakes or cream of mushroom soup, but I just find cornstarch so easy that it's the first thing I reach for.
 
The cornstarch trick is an oldie but a goodie for those who haven't tried it yet. I always prefer my sauces to be thick over thin! They seem to taste better that way!
 

Sandy

Member
My mother used to make gravy and sauces. She always used flour. I never have any fresh flour in the house because we use it so seldom, so I use cornstarch. Even our little bags of flour go stale because we use only a few handfuls at Christmas time.
 

SecondCup

Member
I usually use cornstarch to thicken my sauce. I grew up with my mom using flour but when it was my turn to do the cooking, I discovered that cornstarch works better for this purpose. I have also tried instant powdered potato.
 

BeerPong

Member
We always use the cornstarch method. Depending on the dish though sometimes cheese is a good way to thicken the sauce, but it has to make sense to have cheese in it to begin with.
 

brewgal

Member
I used to use the cornstarch method, but since my husband is in culinary school he has learned how to make a roux and he taught me too. I can't tell you how many roux's I screwed up in the past, but I have it down now. :)
 

BrewJen

Member
What exactly is a roux? I've heard the term before but I don't know what it means. It must be nice to have a husband in culinary school; I would love to learn some of the tricks but don't want to bother going to culinary school myself. ;)
 

Jessi

Member
What exactly is a roux? I've heard the term before but I don't know what it means.
It's basically flour and fat that is heated to create a really thick base for soups, sauces, gravies, thickeners, etc.

Depending on how long you cook/brown it before adding it to other ingredients will effect the taste.
 
My mom used to use flour, so we got in the habit of using the flour in all our sauces. I then switched over to cornstarch, which is better to me. I wish I could figure out a way to leave most of the flour out now that we have diabetics in the family.
 
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