How To Make A Roux

How To Make A Roux: A Guide To Mastering The Basic Technique

A roux is a fundamental technique used in French cuisine and other culinary traditions to thicken sauces, soups, and stews. It’s essentially a mixture of fat and flour cooked together until they form a smooth paste. This may sound simple, but making a perfect roux requires some attention to detail, patience, and practice. In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step instructions on how to make a roux, as well as some helpful tips and FAQs to help you troubleshoot common issues.


– Fat: You can use butter, vegetable oil, lard, or any other type of fat you prefer. For a traditional roux, butter is the most commonly used fat.

– Flour: All-purpose flour is typically used to make a roux. Some recipes may call for specific types of flours (e.g., whole wheat or gluten-free flours), but the basic principles remain the same.


1. Melt the fat: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, melt your chosen fat over low-medium heat. Be sure not to burn it or let it turn brown, as this will affect the taste and color of your roux.

2. Add the flour: Once the fat is melted and heated through, add the flour and stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the flour has fully combined with the fat and there are no visible lumps.

3. Cook the roux: Continue stirring the roux over low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes. This will give the flour time to cook and absorb the fat, resulting in a smooth and silky texture. The longer you cook the roux, the darker it will become, which will affect the flavor and color of your final dish.

4. Determine the consistency: The consistency of your roux will depend on the amount of fat and flour you use, as well as the length of time you cook it. There are three basic types of roux:

– A white or blond roux is cooked for a short time, just long enough to cook the flour and create a smooth paste. This type of roux is typically used for white sauces, veloute, and cream soups.

– A brown or amber roux is cooked for a longer period, until it takes on a slightly nutty aroma and a caramelized color. This type of roux is used for darker sauces, gravies, and stews.

– A dark or brick roux is cooked until it turns a deep brown color and has a rich, almost smoky flavor. This type of roux is used for dishes like gumbo and jambalaya.

5. Use the roux in your recipe: Once your roux has reached the desired consistency and color, you can add it to whatever recipe you’re making. Use it to thicken sauces, soups, stews, and even as a base for macaroni and cheese.

Helpful Tips:

– Use equal parts fat and flour to make a roux. This will create a balanced consistency and ensure that your roux thickens properly.

– Always stir your roux constantly, especially at the beginning, to avoid lumps and clumps.

– Make sure your pan is heavy-bottomed and thick enough to distribute heat evenly. This will prevent hot spots and burns.

– Use low-medium heat to cook your roux. A higher heat can cause your roux to burn or turn brown too quickly.

– If you make a roux that’s too thick, you can add more liquid to thin it out. If it’s too thin, you can add more flour and fat to thicken it.


Q: Can I use gluten-free flour to make a roux?

A: Yes, you can use gluten-free flour to make a roux. However, some gluten-free flours may behave differently than all-purpose flour, so you may need to experiment a bit to find the right consistency.

Q: Can I make a roux ahead of time and store it?

A: Yes, you can store a roux in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat it, gently warm it over low heat and whisk in the liquid of your choice.

Q: Can I freeze a roux?

A: Yes, you can freeze a roux for up to six months. Let it cool to room temperature, then store it in a freezer-safe container. To thaw, simply place the container in the fridge overnight, or thaw it in the microwave on low power.

Q: Why did my roux turn lumpy?

A: If your roux turns lumpy, it’s likely because you didn’t stir it enough or you added the flour too quickly. To fix this, remove the roux from the heat and use a whisk to beat out the lumps. If it’s still too lumpy, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve and start again.

Q: How do I know when my roux is fully cooked?

A: The best way to tell if your roux is fully cooked is by its color and aroma. A white or blond roux should have a light color and no discernible aroma. A brown or amber roux should have a slightly nutty aroma and a caramelized color. A dark or brick roux should have a rich, smoky aroma and a deep brown color.

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