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Best way to cool a roux?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I've posted a couple of times with questions and you guys are normally pretty nice even if its really a dumb question and i just don't know better. I got bashed elsewhere asking such a simple question. I mean, if its a dumb question so be it, but I'm just curious.

 

   Everyone has told me, The Personal Chef(Culinary Institute of America School book) Is a smart purchase. I'm learning and am only in my first year of actually gaining experience in Prep and Line. Just trying to learn and better myself. Roux. Simple thing to make, and I have the 7th Edition of The Personal Chef by the way, if anyone is planning on asking. Older book, It was actually a present from my girlfriend for my birthday. Over heard my buddy who Graduated culinary school telling me about it, and i guess got the idea to ask him where to get a copy. Not the point though. I was reading and absorbing all this information. I'm just now getting into Sauces. Anyways when i was reading about Thickeners and how to make a Roux. It didn't really discuss a lot about cooling. I have made it at work, and we just make it in a sauce pan and basically add it into a the COLD stock, then turn on the burner and cook. The book lightly brushed Cold roux. I was curious how that really works? I mean, What's the benefits of putting it in a container or a sheet and cooling it in a fridge or freezer? Which would be the better option too? How long could you actually store this roux? It shows a picture of a guy pulling it out of a zip bag. Again probably a dumb question but it's annoying me that it says, "Roux can be used Cool or Room Temperature." Anyways sorry if its a dumb question but thanks in advance to anyone that replace with a reasonable answer.

post #2 of 10

Not a dumb question at all. What they mean is just that you can let the roux cool off and use it later. It keeps really well so you can make a bunch to have on hand. Then when you heat the stock for sauce and mix in the roux. 

Remember that it's made with butter so using it directly out of the refrigerator means it will be pretty hard. So you might take it out early so it gets to room temp before you use it. 

The hot roux/cold stock or hot stock/cold roux is mostly to allow for smooth thickening with no lumps. But if you get lumps, that's what a  strainer is for. 

For learning more about sauces, I'd recommend James Peterson's Sauces. Lots of info and great photos. A very helpful book. 

Fwiw, I think a lot of cook books state obvious things in not so obvious ways, much like your example. So don't let it throw you too much. Just practice. 

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwriter View Post
 

Remember that it's made with butter so using it directly out of the refrigerator means it will be pretty hard. So you might take it out early so it gets to room temp before you use it.

 

To use roux right out of the refrigerator, just use a cheese grater and grate directly into your hot liquid.. The flakes incorporate easily with no lumps.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #4 of 10

We used to make a large Brassieur pan of roux almost every day. We didn't always use it up. At the end of the day we covered the pan with plastic so it was resting on the roux's surface, and left it on the counter overnight.

We never put roux in the fridge mainly because it never lasted long enough to do so almost.

post #5 of 10

absolutely agree with @chefwriter , either or, and no in between. Hot Roux-cold stock, cold roux-hot stock. Warm or room temp on anything will usually send you for a sieve. 

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwriter View Post
 

Not a dumb question at all. What they mean is just that you can let the roux cool off and use it later. It keeps really well so you can make a bunch to have on hand. Then when you heat the stock for sauce and mix in the roux. 

Remember that it's made with butter so using it directly out of the refrigerator means it will be pretty hard. So you might take it out early so it gets to room temp before you use it. 

The hot roux/cold stock or hot stock/cold roux is mostly to allow for smooth thickening with no lumps. But if you get lumps, that's what a  strainer is for. 

For learning more about sauces, I'd recommend James Peterson's Sauces. Lots of info and great photos. A very helpful book. 

Fwiw, I think a lot of cook books state obvious things in not so obvious ways, much like your example. So don't let it throw you too much. Just practice. 

A roux can be made with any fat.  Butter is just one.  I use a variety vegetable oils, lard, bacon drippings and others.  Butter is what most learn in school.  I have kept roux in the freezer for long periods of time. 

post #7 of 10

I don't think I have ever added cold roux into a cold stock and then heated. I figure their doing this to slowly cook the roux into the stock. The reason I don't do it is, I want to control the thickness. I also don't want to stand over a cold stock and wonder if I have to much or not enough roux in the stock. It's easy enough to make the roux when needed, it doesn't take that long to cool. The roux doesn't even have to be cold, just room temp. I always hated using cold roux. I know my roux is good when it is just about falling out of  wire whisk. The stock is boiling and I'm a whisking, watching the thickness as I add the roux. When I train someone to make a gravy, I always tell them to stop thickening the stock at a consistency looser than you need it. The reason is it will thicken more as it cools. This is the method I use for white and blond roux. When your talking about brown roux it's a whole different story. To answer your question, what your looking for is a difference in temp from the stock to the roux. In the cases I explained my roux is room temp but the stock is 220 degree boiling. If you over think some of these things it will drive you nuts.......Good luck.......


Edited by ChefBillyB - 5/16/16 at 6:47am
post #8 of 10

I never add roux to a boiling stock, hot sure, but not boiling, and usually just below a simmer.  Too much chance of getting lumps if the liquid is boiling, IMHO.  If I have to add more, I just back off the heat a bit, whisk it in and back on the heat.  Only takes a minute or 2 for it come back to a boil and thicken.

post #9 of 10

I add hot stock (not boiling) to hot roux and have never had a problem.

post #10 of 10

I've often made large batches of roux and spread it out on sheet pans. As mentioned above, it will get hard when refrigerating or freezing.

 

One thing I often do though is to let it cool until it's roughly the consistency of fudge and then cut the entire pan into 1" to 2" squares and 

 

then cover well and put it into storage. Then when you need some roux you can easily pull out enough squares as you need. 

 

Remember wesgram :  There's no such thing as a stupid question, and if someone in your kitchen tells you that then obviously their 

 

not willing to help someone who is just starting out.  The Remedy to this?  Ask someone else. Those who don't help out beginners are  

 

simply forgetting where THEY came from. They were once a novice also !!!  Good Luck !!

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