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Flour or cornstarch?

Which would you rather use and why? I was just curious because I was looking at slow cooker pot roast recipes--yep, guess what's for dinner around here tonight--and flour seems to be the thickener of choice about half the time in the gravy, cornstarch the other half, so I was wondering why. I have both on hand. Flour is called for in the particular recipe I'm using, so I guess I'll go with it, but it just got my brain going as to why one would be chosen over the other.

 
Ballad

Asked by Ballad at 12:31 PM on Nov. 7, 2013 in Food & Drink

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
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Answers (14)
  • I only use cornstarch to thicken in the crockpot. Flour needs more time to cook and lose it's flour-y taste, whereas cornstarch is ready to go minutes later.
    Ginger0104

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 3:10 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • http://www.cheftalk.com/t/15684/flour-vs-cornstarch

    That site gives a good explanation.
    mommy_jules

    Answer by mommy_jules at 12:34 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • I only use flour, but I also don't do crockpot gravy. We always start with a roux.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:40 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Yeah, I'm with NotPanicking, I don't thicken it in the crockpot, I wait and make a gravy when it's finished cooking...
    MrsLeftlane

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 12:44 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • I personally prefer cornstarch because I get more consistency with it. I don't know what I do wrong with flour, but whenever I have used it my gravy seems really clumpy.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 12:33 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • I think flour thickens a little slower- more ideal for a crockpot, where as cornstarch thickens quick and needs a bit more attention.
    PartyGalAnne

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:34 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Flour can stand up to more cooking that cornstarch can, so with a slow-cooker recipe where it's going in early on, you probably NEED to use flour. Cornstarch also turns clear and has a glossy appearance that people generally don't expect with something like a stew.
    SWasson

    Answer by SWasson at 12:35 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • For thickening, I prefer cornstarch. It's too easy to add too much flour and ruin the gravy, or make it lumpy.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:43 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • since its crockpot, id go flour. personally, i like cornstarch better for thickening sauces (never gravies) cause its smoother, but thats only when im gonna be standing right over it.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 12:55 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • I use flour, but then I'm a gravy girl, not so much a maker of white sauces and the like. Toasted flour (browned lightly in a heavy dry pan) is the best!
    tessiedawg

    Answer by tessiedawg at 2:16 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

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