How to Make a Roux
A roux is the perfect mixture chefs use to thicken soup and other food products of similar textures. There are three specific types of roux used in the culinary world: white, blond, and brown. These types are used for different textures and flavors.
The roux color reflects the length of cook time, meaning the longer the simmer the darker and thicker the roux. It is important to know that the darker the roux, the less thickening ability it will have. Maintaining a roux ratio of 1 part fat to 1 part flour by weight will make for a successful sauce, gravy, or soup. Here is a simple recipe for how to make a roux at home:
Yield: 1/2 cup, approximately
Prep Time: 5 mins.
Cook Time: 4-12 minutes (depending on the color of the roux)
Step #1. Prepare Ingredients
For a roux you simply need equal parts butter and flour.
Step #2. Melt the Butter
Heat a pot to medium heat and melt the butter.
Step #3. Add Flour to Pot
Add the flour to the butter and mix well. Stir constantly while the flour gets cooked - you can make this in 3 colors depending on the sauce or plate you’ll make afterwards.
Step #4. For a White Roux
For a light colored roux, cook until you get a light color (about 4 minutes).
COOKING TIP: White roux is ideal for bechamel sauce.
Step #5. For a Blond Roux
For a medium (blond) roux, continue cooking until lightly browned (about 7 minutes).
COOKING TIP: Medium roux is ideal to thicken chicken or vegetable stock.
Step #6. For a Brown Roux
For a dark (brown) roux, cook until darkly browned (about 12-15 minutes).
COOKING TIP: Dark roux has a toasted flavor, so it’s ideal for beef stock.
Step #7. Use the Roux
You can now use the roux to thicken soups, sauces and stews.
This basic recipe is excellent for gumbo, stew, beef gravy, or even a potato soup or chowder. Consider applying a roux recipe to your next cheese dish such as a hardy cheese sauce or a filling mac and cheese. Mastering this quick technique for developing a thickening agent will step your food game up a notch, putting your dishes on par with your favorite restaurants'. Once you've gotten down how to make roux, experiment with good ways to pair roux and explore new dishes and sauces such as a Creole Shrimp Étouffée, Béchamel, and Espagnole.
Some tips and tricks for making and keeping a delicious roux include making it with patience. Roux must be combined and stirred well. That mixing should be continued as flour is very gradually added to prevent clumping. Be vigilant as you watch the colors turn for the type of roux you would like to achieve. When adding a liquid to a roux, it should be added slowly and constantly whisked.
A roux with vegetable oil can be stored for several weeks without refrigeration; however, a roux with a butter base should always be refrigerated or frozen. When stored in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight container, roux should last up to 6 months or so.
What new recipes will you explore with your new roux skills?
How to Make a Roux
- 3.5 oz. (100 gr.) butter
- 3.5 oz. (100 gr.) flour
- Whisk or wooden spoon
- Heat a pot to medium heat and melt the butter.
- Add the flour to the butter and mix well. Stir constantly while the flour gets cooked - you can make this in 3 colors depending on the sauce or plate you’ll make afterwards.
- For a light colored (white) roux, cook until you get a light color (about 4 minutes).
- For a medium (blond) roux, continue cooking until lightly browned (about 7 minutes).
- For a dark (brown) roux, cook until browned (about 12 to 15 minutes).
- You can now use the roux to thicken soups and sauces.
Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or dipping sauce.