How to Make a Roux

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Making a roux is not difficult. It may sound super French and fancy (pronounced ROO) yet it’s a simple cooking technique that involves just a bit of patience and some basic cooking know how.

In simple terms a roux is equal parts cooked fat and flour. It’s used to thicken soups, stews and sauces; and in the south (and particularly New Orleans) it’s famously used in Gumbo and Etoufee. You can use any kind of cooking oil, butter, or bacon fat to make a roux. It just depends on what you are making and what kind of flavor you want to give your dish.

imageStep 1: Heat your oil or butter in a heavy bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.

 

imageStep 2: Once hot, evenly sprinkle the flour over the oil.

 

imageStep 3: Start whisking or stirring the flour over medium heat. It will clump up slightly at first, but will loosen as it heats.

 

imageStep 4: Loosened roux.

Step 5: Keep your heat on medium and continue stirring for about 5-7 minutes.  At this point the raw taste of four has been cooked out and the roux is at its optimal thickening ability. This is called a blonde roux. If you are were making a white sauce (or béchamel- another fancy word) you would whisk in the milk now. A béchamel is often the base to stovetop macaroni and cheese. This is also a good color or stage if you’re making a pan gravy.

 

imageStep 6: If you keep on cooking and stirring your roux, it will get darker (as pictured here). The roux will still be able to thicken a soup or sauce- but not as much as the blonde roux. It will give your final dish a nice slightly nutty flavor.

 

imageStep 7: This dark roux is a nice milk chocolate color. This is the stage where people will make gumbo or other Cajun specialties like etouffee. It not only adds a very rich flavor but it’s what gives the gumbo that nice deep color. At this point roux does not have a lot of thickening power, which is why Cajun and Creole cooks will add file powder at the end of cooking.

   

So just remember to cook on medium heat and to keep stirring. You’ll have your own pot of Gumbo in no time!

Test out some of your new knowledge with some of Paula’s Recipes:
Savannah Seafood Gumbo
Shrimp Etouffee
Sawmill Gravy
Chef Jack’s Corn Chowder

Read More From Kitchen Basics.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

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Thank you. I've always tried to just figure out how to make roux but came out junk.

By Anonymous on March 03, 2014

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Thanks for the recipes over the years, Paula. I am Black northern 53 year old from Detroit MI with family ties in Georgia. I've loved your show from the first time I came across it. I loved the fact that you were real, and not just some model placed before the camera that knew nothing about real food. I love southern cooking. And, like you, am also a diabetic who can no longer eat the same :(. But, I appreciate you and all that you do. Please keep going. Don't let anyone stop you. Can't wait for your next coming...bigger than the last! God bless you, Paula Deen. Love, Cheryl.

By Anonymous on November 05, 2013

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Best to use cast iron for this!

By Kim Gomez on October 01, 2013

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Best to use cast iron for this!

By Anonymous on October 01, 2013

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Paula you are a joy and deserve better than has been given to you recently. Keep those recipes coming.

By Claudia Kegans on September 25, 2013

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I am just so glad to see you come back gal. LOL Paula I hope things go well with you and family. Love Catherine

By Catherine Bell on September 25, 2013

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Hi Paula, just wanted to say I just love your books and you!!! You are a wonderful Lady!!!

By Becky Leapard on September 25, 2013

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I see another Paula Deen cookbook in the making, and I can't wait! Put all this stuff in a book and sell it, Girl. You don't need that stinkin' Food Network!

By Clara Cartrette on September 25, 2013

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Paula I just love your recipes. You are blessed! Your final line even answered my question of the day, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I will take your advice and "remember to cook on medium heat and to keep stirring". Thank ya Darlin' xo

By Shelly Roberts on September 25, 2013

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it is simple

By patty christianer on September 25, 2013

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Glad your back smile Love ya Paula <3

By Anonymous on September 25, 2013

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Your instructions for roux were excellent! Can't wait to use them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BTW, I still love you Paula!!!!

By Kaye Gustafson on September 25, 2013

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Paula, so glad you're giving southern lessons on facebook!!!God Bless! Teresa Elrod Slusnys

By Teresa Elrod Slusnys on September 25, 2013

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Miss Deen have you ever heard of Chocolate gravy my Grandmother maybe me when I was a kid for breakfast on biscuits is definitely a old Southern recipe that I cannot find if you have heard of it I would appreciate you sending me the recipe thank you Jeff God Bless

By Jeffrey Venable on September 25, 2013

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Hey Paula, I am originally from Chauvin, LA...pure Cajun country. My mother taught me how to make a roux. It is even much easier than what you have said. One cup flour, One cup oil mixed well together in an unheated pot.... NO clumps! Add medium flame and stir consistently for approximately 20 minutes. NO CLUMPS to deal with.... much easier!

By Susie Folse on September 25, 2013

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i use to make the ROO when i worked in a restaurant....I would make a pot for the day & night shift..we used butter..I loved it.-it saved time....

By barbara raspberry on September 25, 2013

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Glad to have you back in action. You are awesome.

By Janet Cusack on September 24, 2013

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I love all your great FOOD..ONLY WISH WE COULD COME EAT SOME OF THE FOOD YOU COOKED...WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH..KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK...BECKY

By Becky Griffin on September 24, 2013

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love you Paula..wish i could come to see you..

By Becky Griffin on September 24, 2013

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Thanks for sharing, glad you back! Keep the Faith!!

By Emmett E Purvis on September 24, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm