How To Make a Roux

Start with Butter & Flour

A Roux is made with equal parts butter & flour.
A Roux is made with equal parts butter & flour.

How to Make a Roux

How to Make a Roux

By: Beryl Stokes

"What is a Roux?" you might ask. We used to live on Rue de Belle Maison. In that sense Rue means a street or avenue. But, what we are talking about is a very common term in Cajun and Creole cooking. It is so common in fact that I heard the term recently used on a Food Network program that had nothing to do with Cajun cooking.

A Cajun or Creole recipe ususally starts off by saying, "First you make a Roux." The actual word Roux means a mixture of flour and fat and is used as a thickening agent in soup, sauces, and stews. We always use butter and flour.

A Roux is so simple to make. I hear from friends all the time, "I can't cook a gumbo because I don't know how to make a Roux." Well there is no excuse now. Let's get started.

Equipment and Ingredients:

  • 1 Deep Stainless Steel Skillet
  • 1 Flat edge Wooden utensil or spatula
  • Butter
  • All-purpose Flour

For this demonstration, let's use a ½ stick of butter and ¼ cup flour. You will want to use equal parts flour and butter.

Cut up the butter. Turn your skillet on medium (#6). Melt the butter until bubbling hot.

Gradually, add the flour and begin to stir constantly. It should be smooth with no lumps. You must keep stirring to keep from burning or scorching. Becareful not to splatter on yourself. The Roux is really HOT.

The flour and butter will quickly begin to change colors from a golden butter to light caramel to a darker mud color. Depending on the recipe you are making, depends on what color you want in a roux.

  • For macaroni & cheese sauce or a cream based soup, you want a white roux. Cooking the roux only a minute or two.
  • For a Crawfish Etouffee or Shrimp Creole, I like a caramel colored Roux. Cooking the Roux for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • For Gumbo, I like a much darker rich colored Roux. Cooking the Roux for 5 to 7 minutes.

Remember to always keep stirring! A burnt Roux tastes terrible.

Some cooks like to pour the Cajun Trinity into the Roux, which is fine. I typically, sauté the Cajun Trinity and pour the Roux into the Cajun Trinity because that's the pot I'll be cooking in.

Don't be afraid of the Roux - Bon Appetite!

Essential Equipment

For a Roux, you need a stainless steel deep skillet or large pot, measuring cup and flat wooden spatula.
For a Roux, you need a stainless steel deep skillet or large pot, measuring cup and flat wooden spatula.

What you will need...

Equipment and Ingredients:

  • 1 Deep Stainless Steel Skillet
  • 1 Flat edge Wooden utensil or spatula
  • Butter
  • All-purpose Flour

For this demonstration, let's use a ½ stick of butter and ¼ cup flour. You will want to use equal parts flour and butter.

Cut up the butter. Turn your skillet on medium (#6). Melt the butter until bubbling hot.

Gradually, add the flour and begin to stir constantly. It should be smooth with no lumps. You must keep stirring to keep from burning or scorching. Becareful not to splatter on yourself. The Roux is really HOT.

The flour and butter will quickly begin to change colors from a golden butter to light caramel to a darker mud color. Depending on the recipe you are making, depends on what color you want in a roux.

  • For macaroni & cheese sauce or a cream based soup, you want a white roux. Cooking the roux only a minute or two.
  • For a Crawfish Etouffee or Shrimp Creole, I like a caramel colored Roux. Cooking the Roux for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • For Gumbo, I like a much darker rich colored Roux. Cooking the Roux for 5 to 7 minutes.

Remember to always keep stirring! A burnt Roux tastes terrible.

Some cooks like to pour the Cajun Trinity into the Roux, which is fine. I typically, sauté the Cajun Trinity and pour the Roux into the Cajun Trinity because that's the pot I'll be cooking in.

Don't be afraid of the Roux - Bon Appetite!

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Comments 1 comment

Elle Marshall 6 years ago

Sounds yummy! Great hub!

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