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Eliters Newsletter
Issue Number 49
March 2007
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Ask The Chef

Eliters is fortunate to have a resident chef who has provided us with some fabulous recipes and helpful cooking hints!  Do you have a question for the resident chef?  Visit our Cooking Forum and see if he has the answers you need.


Dear Resident Chef:


I have a question about Corn Starch vs Flour. I was taught to use flour to thicken things. However, on cooking shows and in other recipes, I see corn starch used.

What is the difference between the two and when should each be used?

Lost Cause in the kitchen


Dear Lost Cause in the kitchen:


Corn Starch is used as a preference for two main reasons. One you need much less of it and Two it has a much more mild taste to it. Calling for a much less need to adjust spices.

Flour can be used wherever it calls for corn starch. You will need 2-3 times the amount called for. Using flour this way gets a "flour taste" to the meal so a major readjustment of spices may be needed if you do not want that taste in there.

Both are excellent thickeners. In both cases it is recommended that you whisk it in water, milk, broth before adding. Burn a few calories off and really get in there with that whisk, fork, spoon. You will never get any lumps this way.

Both must be brought to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer to bring out the thickening power of each. If you want what your making thicker add more corn starch or flour a small spoonful at a time (Bring back to a Boil. If you got it too thick to your liking then just slowly add a few more spoonfuls of liquid until you have the consistency you want.

Once you have done this a few times you will know exactly what you need.

Thanks for the question.


Eliters Cooking Club

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