Mac n cheese.

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Joined Aug 25, 2018
Ok so i have never been able to make good mac n cheese. Why does my sauce always get so thick and gritty? Its never smooth and creamy. I dont use a roux so not sure what im doing wrong. Also do you all use an egg or not? What is the benfit of the egg? Ty!
 
2,437
453
Joined Oct 9, 2008
If you ask me, your problems are neatly mentioned in your post: you don't use a roux and you do use egg.

Roux makes it easier to get fat to emulsify, i.e., to dissolve into a liquid sauce. If a cheese sauce breaks, i.e., stops emulsifying, then bits float loose and can form small, grainy lumps.

Egg overcooks quickly. If it does, you get little grains of scrambled eggs in the sauce.

Start with a light Bechamel sauce, add grated cheese to taste while stirring, fold in just-cooked macaroni, bake covered until bubbling, finish uncovered until golden.
 
658
276
Joined Sep 26, 2017
You need roux (or other flour-based thickeners). Not using it is the most basic mistake people usually make.
 
2,437
453
Joined Oct 9, 2008
For Mac& cheese, I'd suggest 2tb butter, melt over medium heat, whisk in 2tb flour, keep stirring until it smells nutty. Remove from heat and pour in 1.5c hot (not boiling) milk, whisk vigorously. Return to medium heat and continue whisking until thick and bubbling. Stir in (don't whisk: just a gentle stir) a cup or so of shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, whatever). Once smooth, taste for seasoning, then lower heat to the barest simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, while you cook the macaroni. Fold all together, pour in brownie tray, bake at 350, covered with foil, about 30min. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 until golden.
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
We have had numerous "Mac & Cheese" posts, here, thoughout the years. From what the best cheeses are, to if a roux is the best option, to stove-top vs. baked. Use the search function, on the site, and you will find tons of information. Gritty Mac & Cheese can be caused by many things, choice of cheese, cooking at too high a temperature, using the wrong thickening agent, etc.
 
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