Cooking is not an easy skill to learn. It takes plenty of practice, and the more involved your recipes get, the more skill is needed.
Making a good roux is a cornerstone of making soup, and so often, a roux may break or separate due to issues that we both can and cannot control.
There is no doubt that a roux can be frustrating, even for the most experienced chefs.
However, most things that go wrong with a roux can be fixed, it’s just a matter of knowing how to do it.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how to fix a separated roux, you’re in the right place!
How to Fix Separated Roux
To fix a separated roux gently add more flour or cornstarch. Because if it’s separating, you’re missing thickness. The trick is not to over-add the thickening agent, because then your roux will become too clumpy.
The Purpose of a Roux
Most often made with a combination of butter and flour, a roux exists to thicken soups, stews, and even freshly made pie filling.
If you have the skill to make a roux, there really isn’t much you can’t make, from chowder to custard doughnut filling.
While the roux is meant to thicken, it can’t do its job if it doesn’t have enough thickening agents present.
You can tell if your roux is too thin if it begins to separate, or if your finished sauce begins to break.
If your sauce breaks, you can thicken it with cornstarch or flour.
It also helps if you add it to a blender and thicken it all together, especially if the sauce has been made and starts to come apart.
Take care not to add too much thickening agent because then your sauce will become too thick and clumpy.
It’s best to add just a little bit at a time, so you can ensure that doesn’t happen.
Putting it in the blender or food processor is a good way to control this because you can add it a little bit at a time as the blender runs.
Depending on the type of sauce, you want it thick, but not too thick.
Figuring Out the Roux
There are a couple of things that could be wrong if your sauce isn’t turning out.
Though a roux is made of simple ingredients, it can be challenging to get it right on the first or even second try.
The bottom line is that if your sauce is too thin, you’ll want to add more roux, but if your sauce is too thick, you should add water, milk, or broth.
It’s important to consider the pan that you’re making your roux in as well.
Many soup recipes call for making the roux at the bottom of the stockpot or deep skillet before you add the soup ingredients.
Soups made in the crockpot will often call for the roux to be made in a separate pan and then added near the end of the cooking time.
Burning your roux is a great way to mess up the taste of your soup and for it not to thicken properly.
A burned roux will likely just sit in your soup instead of mixing in and thickening it correctly.
Make sure you use a high-quality pan to make your roux, and your entire soup in general, to keep it from separating and to keep the roux working as it should.
There are hundreds of YouTube videos dedicated to learning how to make a fool-proof roux and the steps you can take to fix it when it separates.
In most cases, a separated roux just requires a little bit of flour to get it up and running again.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Fix Separated Roux
Since a broken roux is a ruiner of delicious soups, it only makes sense that soup-makers everywhere are looking for help when it comes to what to do when a perfectly fine roux falls apart.
How can I fix my separated roux?
A roux tends to separate due to a lack of thickening agents. This agent could be flour or cornstarch, but if there’s too much fat or oil, your roux is doomed to come apart. To fix this, all you’ll have to do is slowly add more flour, bit by bit, until you have a nice, thick, consistency.
What if my roux is too thick?
A roux that’s too thick will often look like a clump of wet flour. You can fix this by adding a bit more water or even a little oil to the pan and stirring it back together.
Making the Perfect Roux
Making a roux isn’t as easy as it seems it should be.
However, there are plenty of ways to fix it when things don’t go your way.
A separated roux can easily be fixed with flour, while a roux that’s too thick needs a little bit of liquid to thin it.
If it’s your sauce that’s separating, toss it in the blender and add a thickening agent a little at a time.
With plenty of practice, your roux-making skills will be perfect in no time!