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Grainy cheese sauce

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey there. I recently made a large batch (about 15 gallons) of cheese sauce. When I made it, it turned out grainy. The first thing I did was make a blond roux, then added my milk and allowed the milk to come up to about 200 degrees so the roux could start thickening and start to cook out.  I then added the cheese (shredded cheddar) a handful at a time and allowed it to melt and incorporate before adding the next handful. So where did I go wrong? Why did my cheese sauce still turn out grainy?

post #2 of 11

Same cheese, milk and roux mix you've always used?

 

And this has always turned out before, just not this big of a batch?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

The last time I made it I used all the same ingredients, just in a smaller quantity.

post #4 of 11

It's a heat problem. Really need to let your bechamel cool off some before adding cheese.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I had to make the cheese sauce again today. What I did this time is added only half my milk to the roux, allowed it to come to a simmer so the flour flavor cooks out, then I added the rest of my milk to bring down the overall temp of the sauce. When the bechamel was at 150 degrees I started adding the cheese. It also helped that I used an immersion blender to mix it all up. The sauce turned out great!

post #6 of 11

Good to hear. Now hopefully you can do that consistently!

post #7 of 11

If you used a good cheddar it will break and throw out oil or butterfat when boiled.  Real cheap cheddar wont because there are stabilizers and food starches added.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 11

I've had this problem recently with my bechamels and it's driven me crazy.

 

Will try the half/half additions of milk and will add cheddar only when bechamel is at 150. Also have a handy dandy immersion blender on hand, though I don't know how well that will do in a cheesy bechamel

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

The immersion blender just does what you are doing with a whisk, only faster.  It helps the cheese incorporate with the milk a lot faster.

post #10 of 11
Going through a modernist cuisine recipe on Mac and cheese, I found that they use sodium citrate. This allows the cook to use only milk and cheese, the cheese melts without breaking the emullsification. Thus no chalky flour taste.
post #11 of 11
Add all the cheese at once instead of gradually, bet you money you won't have that samr problem.
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