Exact procedure for using a slurry

572
10
Joined May 16, 2003
Hi everybody. I'm writing an article and need to review the precise procedure for using a slurry. I'd like to check with everyone to make sure I have this completely correct.

First you mix the cornstarch or arrowroot with cold water.

Then you add it to the sauce or stew, etc.

Am I correct that you should then bring the stew or sauce to a boil to get the full thickening power of the slurry?

Secondly, am I correct that you do not want to cook much beyond a boil or the thickening power will break down?

Thank you everybody.

Mark
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Yep mix the cornstarch with cold water then add to a hot stock and boil for a minute until thick, then I reduce the heat and let cook for another couple of minutes to get rid of any paste taste.

works for low fat recipes when you don't want to add oil/flour/butter....
 
82
10
Joined May 9, 2003
The only thing I'd add is....

Make sure the liquid is not boiling...let it cool to below 180 F. Most starches begin to coagulate around that temp and if it's too hot it stiffens in mid stream making it lumpy.

Also make sure you don't have any lumps or dry pockets in the mix to start with.

Arrowroot breaks down faster than corn starch...both hold up to heat pretty well though.
 
9,209
69
Joined Aug 29, 2000
You've got that right about arrowroot, Chefkell. The first time I used it, I had lumps the size of grapefruit! Well maybe grapes.... But I do like it better than cornstarch; it seems to give a lighter consistency to the sauce.
 
572
10
Joined May 16, 2003
Kelly:

So make sure the liquid you're adding the slury to is about 180 degrees, BUT........

do you then bring it up to boiling after you've added it?

Mark
 

chefhogan

Banned
147
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Joined Jun 15, 2003
Myself, I will not use cornstarch/cleargel, arrowroot, potato flour in any mother sauce or derivitive, When I have to use such a shortcut for meat sauces I will use a Chicago Roux or Burre Menier, corn starch/arrowroot I will only use for cold fruit sauces or dessert sauces, pet peeve when cooks/chefs use starches to thicken, to me it tells me they did not make the proper roux in the begining.

Hogan
 
82
10
Joined May 9, 2003
Yes Mark,
You should bring it to a simmer after that to let the starches coagulate. Blow 180 or so, you'll see no noticable difference in thickness untill that point.
You can add it in at a boil, but must be very carefull in the addition as the starches will coagulate as soon as they get to that temp and if it's in a stream...it'll be a solid stream if you know what I mean.
 
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