How to Use Cornstarch as a Thickener for Sauces and Puddings

2023-05-05 03:10:10 By : admin
Cornstarch Powder For Cooking: A Guide to Thickening Sauces and Puddings

Cornstarch powder is a pantry staple that every home cook should have on hand. This silky powder is used to thicken sauces, gravies, and puddings, and is versatile enough to be used in a variety of dishes. In this blog post, we will explore what cornstarch is, how to use it in cooking, and some tips for getting the most out of this common ingredient.
Cornstarch - CookEatShare

What is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is a fine, white powder made from corn kernels. It is a common ingredient in many types of processed foods, but is most often used in cooking as a thickening agent. When cornstarch is mixed with a liquid and heated, it swells and forms a gel-like substance which thickens the mixture.

How to Use Cornstarch in Cooking

Cornstarch is very easy to use in cooking, but there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to achieve the best results. Here's how to use cornstarch powder for cooking:

1. Mix Cornstarch with Cold Water

Before adding cornstarch to a hot liquid, it's important to mix it with cold water first. This creates a slurry which helps to prevent clumping and ensures that the cornstarch is evenly distributed. The general rule of thumb is to mix one part cornstarch with one part cold water.

2. Add Slurry to Hot Liquid

Once your slurry is ready, you can add it to the hot liquid you're trying to thicken. Be sure to stir the liquid constantly as you add the slurry to prevent clumping. As the mixture heats up, you should start to notice it thickening. If you're not seeing the desired consistency, you can always add more slurry.

3. Simmer for a Minute

After adding the cornstarch slurry, continue to simmer the liquid for a minute or so. This helps to activate the cornstarch and thicken the mixture. Be sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.

Tips for Using Cornstarch in Cooking

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when using cornstarch powder for cooking:

- Cornstarch doesn't stand up well to prolonged cooking or freezing. If you plan to freeze a dish, it's best to thicken it with flour or arrowroot powder instead.
- Cornstarch doesn't thicken well when mixed with acidic liquids. If you're working with an acidic ingredient, it's best to use a different thickener.
- Cornstarch can be used as a gluten-free alternative to flour. If you're cooking for someone with a gluten allergy or sensitivity, consider using cornstarch as a thickener.

In Conclusion

Cornstarch powder is an essential ingredient in any cook's pantry. With its ability to thicken sauces, gravies, and puddings, it's versatile enough to be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, having cornstarch on hand can help you achieve the perfect texture and consistency in your dishes. So the next time you're in the grocery store, be sure to pick up a box of cornstarch and discover all the ways it can enhance your cooking.