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Roux vs Slurry: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The primary difference between a roux and a slurry is their composition and the stage at which they are added to a dish. A roux is made by cooking equal parts flour and fat (like butter) together until the mixture reaches the desired color and nuttiness, serving as a thickening agent for sauces and soups. A slurry, on the other hand, is a combination of a cold liquid (often water) and a starch (like cornstarch or arrowroot) mixed together and added towards the end of cooking to thicken the liquid. Roux is used for depth of flavor and gradual thickening, while slurries are for quick, last-minute adjustments to consistency.

Ever stood in front of your stove, whisk in hand, debating if it’s a roux or slurry day?

We’ve all been there.

Sometimes, the kitchen feels like a science lab. And we’re the mad scientists deciding the fate of our sauce. A roux? That’s flour and fat, friends, cooked together until they form the base of something magical.

Then there’s the slurry. Water or broth whisked with flour or cornstarch. It’s our quick fix to thicken any sauce.

We’ve got stories.

Ever tried making gravy and ended up with something…unrecognizable? Yep, us too. The roux went rogue. Or that time the slurry turned our stew into a gloopy mess? A culinary fiasco, but we laughed it off.

We’re here to break it down. No more sauce sorrows.

What is Roux?

Roux is a fundamental cooking element; a thickening agent made by combining fat and flour.

It has its roots in French cuisine, adding texture and depth to dishes.

Roux plays a key role in making creamy sauces, soups, and gravies.

It is a binding agent that boosts the flavor of recipes and is made by blending equal parts fat and flour over heat ’til a golden color is reached.

The type of fat can vary – butter, oil, or rendered animal fats.

What makes roux special is the cooking step.

This removes any raw taste from the flour and adds a nutty flavor.

The cooking time also affects the outcome – longer times create darker roux with more intense flavors.

Roux thickens sauces and soups, but it also adds to their appearance.

The velvety texture pleases the eye and enhances dining.

Chefs use different types of roux for various recipes: lighter roux yields delicate notes, while darker imparts a richer taste.

What is a Slurry?

Cooking can be tricky. Slurry is a term that confuses many chefs.

It’s a mix of liquid and starch used to thicken sauces, soups and other dishes.

It’s made with cold water or broth and either cornstarch or flour.

Form a paste by mixing starch with cold liquid – this stops lumps in hot liquids.

Whisk slurry into the dish while it simmers on the stove.

Slurry has advantages.

It gives sauces and gravies a glossy finish and you can easily adjust thickness.

Roux needs cooking flour in fat before adding liquid, but slurry can be added directly to hot liquids.

So it’s a quick and convenient thickening agent when you’re short on time.

Slurry is a great way to thicken dishes.

Its simplicity and flexibility make it an essential cooking technique.

Use slurry for perfect gravy or amazing stir fry sauce.

Differences Between Roux and Slurry

Roux and slurry are two common thickening agents used in cooking.

Their ingredients and methods of preparation differ.

Ingredients Used

Roux and slurry both play a big role when it comes to crafting delectable gravies and sauces.

The difference between them lies in their ingredients.

Roux is made from equal parts of flour and fat, like butter or oil.

It is cooked until it reaches a color from pale blonde to dark brown, depending on the recipe.

Slurry is composed of starch, like cornstarch or arrowroot powder, and a cold liquid such as water or broth.

Roux gives dishes like stews, soups, or gravies a robust flavor, due to the caramelization of the flour while cooking.

It also thickens sauces, and comes in different shades, offering flexibility in achieving different tastes.

Slurry, however, provides a lighter texture than roux.

It is quickly used to thicken sauces without any added flavor.

It’s also great for stir-fries or glazes, as it thickens liquids almost immediately when added to hot ones.

When it comes to thickness and texture, roux and slurry can achieve similar results.

But, the choice between them depends on the desired taste and characteristics of the dish.

Texture and Appearance

Roux and slurry – two different techniques with distinct textures.

Roux has a velvety, plush feel, cooked slowly with flour and fat.

Result? A glossy, creamy mixture.

Slurry, though, is made of water/broth and starch.

The outcome? Grainy texture and a less refined look.

Roux is glossy and smooth, slurry more grainy and transparent.

They both help thicken dishes, but understanding the differences can take cooking to new heights.

Cooking Process

Cooking is a must for scrumptious dishes.

Knowing the techniques and methods of cooking will boost your culinary skills.

Let’s look into the contrast between roux and slurry.

Roux and slurry are both thickeners used in cooking.

But, they vary in their components and preparation.

Roux is made by blending equal parts of flour and fat, for instance butter or oil, until it forms a paste-like texture.

It is then used to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies.

On the other hand, slurry is produced by blending a liquid like water or broth with a starch like cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

The starch is dissolved in the fluid and then added to the dish to thicken it.

Slurries are frequently used for stir-fries or Asian-inspired dishes.

Roux is different from slurry by its ability to add flavor and depth to the meal.

When the flour and fat are cooked, they undergo a chemical reaction called browning that gives roux a nutty smell and flavor.

This can improve the overall flavor profile of your dish.

Slurries don’t add much flavor, but they are good at thickening sauces fast.

They also have the benefit of being gluten-free if using alternative starches like cornstarch instead of wheat flour in roux.

Applications in Cooking

Roux and slurry have a multitude of uses in cooking.

Each has its own unique characteristics and functions, such as adding depth and thickness to dishes.

Mastering the difference between them is important for making delicious and balanced meals.

Roux is a blend of fat (e.


butter) and flour cooked together.

It can thicken sauces, soups, and gravies.

Its texture makes dishes like mac n’ cheese or creamy soups even creamier.

The ratio of fat to flour affects the thickness of the sauce, allowing for variety in recipes.

Slurry, on the other hand, is starch (like cornstarch or arrowroot powder) mixed with liquid.

Unlike roux, it’s added close to the end of cooking to avoid overcooking.

It’s great for quickly thickening stir-fries or fruit desserts like berry compote.

Slurry adds a glossy texture without changing the flavor much.

Roux has a more complex taste due to the caramelization of flour, while slurry has a neutral flavor.

Roux can handle a longer cook time, while slurry needs less heat.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you want.

In conclusion, understanding when to use roux or slurry can help you make better meals.

Whether you like roux’s richness or slurry’s simplicity, mastering both will increase your cooking skills.

So, give it a try and take your food to the next level.

Similarities Between Roux and Slurry

Roux and slurry may be similar, but they are different.

Let’s explore their similarities first.

Both are thickening agents used in cooking.

They are mixtures of flour/starch and liquid, like water or stock.

These mixtures are cooked to get the desired thickness.

But there are some details that set them apart.

Roux is made with equal parts of flour and fat (like butter, oil, or animal drippings).

It is cooked until it is light golden or brown.

Slurry is a mixture of flour/starch and cold water or any other liquid.

It doesn’t need to be cooked first.

It’s used to thicken sauces or stews at the end of cooking.

So, roux and slurry have common purpose, but their methods and ingredients are different.

Chefs should choose the right method for the consistency and flavor they want.

Next time you’re cooking, remember to choose between roux and slurry.

When to Use Roux or Slurry in Recipes

Roux and slurry are two thickening options.

Roux is a mix of flour and fat, and it’s often used in gravies, sauces, and soups.

It takes longer to cook, so it has a thicker consistency and a stronger flavor.

Slurry is a mix of cornstarch or other starch with cold liquid.

Use this for quick thickening in stir-fries or fruit fillings.

Pick the right one for your recipe.

Try out both and you’ll have a wild culinary journey.


In conclusion, it’s important to be familiar with roux vs slurry when it comes to cooking.

While the two may have different appearance and consistency, they both add a dimension of flavor that’s hard to replicate any other way.

Roux works best in sauces and gravies whereas slurry works excellent for thickening liquids.

It’s also important to know that not all recipes require either product.

Knowing how to make a roux or a slurry can turn an average meal into a five-star feast.

Finally, if you get stuck in the kitchen when making either of these two amazing ingredients, don’t worry.

As long as you don’t get too discouraged and remember the basics of roux vs slurry, you can conquer the kitchen.

After all, experimentation and practice is what helps bring out your inner genius chef.

Roux vs Slurry: What’s the Difference?

Exploring the nuances between roux and slurry? Your culinary journey just got simpler! Uncover the key distinctions between roux and slurry with our guide. We break down the differences to help you master the art of thickening sauces and soups with confidence.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Roux
  • Slurry


  • Choose between roux and slurry based on your recipe’s requirements.
  • For roux, melt butter and whisk in flour until it forms a paste, then add to your dish for thickness.
  • For slurry, mix equal parts cold liquid and cornstarch, then add to your dish for thickening.
  • Stir your chosen thickening agent into your dish until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Enjoy your perfectly thickened creation, whether it’s a silky sauce or hearty stew.
Keyword Roux vs Slurry
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