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Old 03-22-2007, 12:31 PM   #1
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Favorite thickener

What's y'all's favorite thickener? My stews are not standing up as thick as they should be. Do you use a standard formula of Tbs. per quart? I've been using flour or cornstarch but I do have a box of potato starch I'm thinking of trying.

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Old 03-22-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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I myself prefer flour, to me it reheat better than cornstarch. I just take a small juice glass put a couple T flour in it add maybe 1/4 cup water. Then add gradually till the thickness I want.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:46 PM   #3
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Here's a really odd one, but for soups and stews it works:
instant potato flakes!

I also like to use "wondra".
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:51 PM   #4
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wow, that`s SUCH an open question I can`t really give a Single answer, I`ll use anything from Corn flour for gravys or oats for stews, Xanthan gum for clear soups to wheat flour for cheese sauces etc...
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cook
What's y'all's favorite thickener? My stews are not standing up as thick as they should be. Do you use a standard formula of Tbs. per quart? I've been using flour or cornstarch but I do have a box of potato starch I'm thinking of trying.
Wow, Michael, you've opened up a real can of worms...or thickeners.

Many times I use tapioca in my stews to thicken them but don't usually have a problem with the consistency of my stews.

Other thickening agents I use are Wondra and instant potato flakes, as jkath mentioned. I also use cornstarch and plain unbleached all-purpose flour. Both stirred into cold water then added to whatever needs thickening.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:57 PM   #6
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I like to use a roux and sometimes corn starch if Im thickening a soup I usually use some roux for more flavor and if it still isnt what I want I will add some corn starch its also a way to get the best of both worlds the roux for some flavor and some cornstarch to cut back some of the fat from the roux.
I have used instant potato flakes also in a pinch and the other I have done is saltines crushed real fine with a rolling pin when I had none of the above it actually works quite well in a soup or stew.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:58 PM   #7
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For Asian recipes, I use cornstarch in cold water or chicken broth; for regular stews, etc., I make a roux of flour & butter.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:01 PM   #8
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a real cheat for stews if your Mega pushed and without the standard thickeners, is Pasta or Rice, cooked until it vanishes completely, if time doesn`t allow, then certain un-sugared breakfast cerial works too.

but you didn`t hear that from me, I would Never do such things!
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
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For stews, boeuf Burgandy etc., I use classic roux. Also in sauces, I often use roux, but when I am in a hurry or would like a shortcut, I use either corn or potato flour. But I think flavour wise, nothing can beat properly made roux.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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If it is just stews that you are having problems with you may wish to just add some barley to your stews. Barley develops a natural starch which thickens as it cooks. You'll end up with a really nice thick stew which can be reheated without losing it thick rich gravy plus have the wonderful filling texture of the barley and it's comforting flavor.
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