How to Make a Roux: A Step-by-Step Guide
Here are the simple steps for making a roux from equal parts butter or oil and flour, which will add depth, color and, most importantly, flavor to soup and sauce recipes.
Step 1: Start the Roux
Melt the butter over medium-low heat, then add the flour.
Step 2: Stir the Butter and Flour
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion for even cooking.
Step 3: Light Roux
In 3 to 5 minutes, you'll have a light roux that should puff slightly. Use this for white sauces, like white pepper gravy or a bechamel for mac and cheese.
Step 4: Brown Roux
For perfect gravy, you want a brown roux, so continue cooking the roux a little longer. Roux takes time and patience, so just keep stirring. After about 6 or 7 minutes it will smell a little nutty and turn pale brown.
Step 5: Dark Roux
If you take it even further, about 8 to 15 minutes or longer, you'll get a dark roux. This is great for Cajun and Creole cooking. The longer the roux cooks, the less thickening power it has in the end.
Step 6: Let It Cool
No matter what the color, let it cool slightly before adding a liquid, like stock or milk. Use a whisk to incorporate and simmer to the desired thickness. Watch our how-to video for more.