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Other Gravy Thickeners

The pros and cons of using cornstarch and arrowroot in gravy

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Gravy Recipes and Tips

© 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Cornstarch Gravy Thickener

Another thickening method involves using a slurry of starch and liquid added to pan drippings. This method is best used with cornstarch or arrowroot and results in a lighter, more clear gravy with a glossy sheen. It is oftened used in Oriental recipes.

Combine one tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon cold liquid until smooth. Add to hot pan drippings while stirring. Cornstarch thickeners are more inclined to lump if not constantly whisked into the hot liquid and can also taste starchy if not cooked long enough. Yet if overcooked or overstirred, cornstarch-thickened gravies can be come thin. Remove cornstarch-thickened sauce from heat before adding any acidic ingredients to improve thickening power.

One tablespoon of cornstarch will thicken 1-1/2 to 2 cups.

Arrowroot Gravy Thickener

Arrowroot is a powerful thickener which results in a rather transparent gravy with a light texture. It is virtually flavorless and does not requiring cooking to remove any floury raw taste. It is an excellent choice for sauces using eggs or other ingredients that cannot be boiled since it will thicken below the boiling point.

The drawback is gravy thickened with arrowroot will not hold well and cannot be reheated. Thicken gravy with arrowroot no more than ten minutes before serving. Arrowroot is a bit more powerful as a thickener, so when substituting cornstarch for arrowroot, you may need to add slightly more.

Arrowroot must be mixed with a bit of cold water before adding to a hot mixture or heating. Extended high heat and overstirring will nullify the thickening properties of arrowroot, causing the mixture to thin.

Use 2-1/2 teaspoons of arrowroot per one cup of liquid for a medium-thick sauce. Gravy Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

More about Gravy:

Gravy Types
Making Gravy with a Roux
Other Gravy Thickeners
Gravy Storage
Perfect Gravy Tips and Hints
Gravy Recipes

Cookbooks

The Complete Book Of Sauces
The Sauce Bible
Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making
Roasting : A Simple Art
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