How to Thicken Sauce in a Slow Cooker (5 Best Ways)

The sauce is an essential ingredient in every dish. It adds flavor, texture, and color. However, sauces are often overlooked. They are sometimes used only as garnishes or condiments. In fact, many people use the sauce as a way to hide the taste of their food.

But there’s nothing wrong with using the sauce. Sauces add flavor and texture to dishes. They also give foods a unique appearance. And if you’re cooking at home, you should definitely try making your own sauce. A slow cooker is a kitchen appliance used to cook food at low temperatures for long periods of time. It is also known as a crockpot or a pressure cooker. The main advantage of using a slow cooker is that it allows you to prepare delicious meals without burning yourself.

Slow cooking is an excellent way to save time because you only need to set the timer once and then walk away. In addition, the process is much easier than traditional methods of cooking such as baking and frying.

There are different types of slow cookers depending on their size and purpose. Some models are designed for use in the oven while others are specifically designed for use on the stovetop. Thickening sauces in a slow cooker has never been easier. If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to thicken sauces, soups, stews, gravies, and other foods, then this article is for you.

I’ve tested out 5 different methods for thickening sauces in slow cookers and found each method works better than others depending on the type of sauce you want to thicken.

If you’re new to making sauces in a slow cooker, read this article first. It’ll give you an idea of ​​what’s involved in using a slow cooker to thicken sauces.

How to Thicken Sauce in a Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker is an amazing kitchen appliance. It allows you to cook delicious meals while you’re busy doing other things around the house. However, sometimes sauces get thin while cooking in a slow cooker. This problem can be fixed easily if you follow these simple steps.

How to Thicken Sauce in a Slow Cooker | How to thicken sauce, Crockpot  stew, Slow cooker

Leave the Lid Off, Letting Some of the Liquids Evaporate

When you start preparing a recipe in a slow cooker, make sure to leave the lid off so some of the liquids evaporate. You don’t want too much liquid left inside the pot when you put the lid back on.

You may have noticed that most recipes call for adding water to the ingredients before putting them into the slow cooker. That’s because water helps prevent the food from drying out during the cooking process.

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However, you shouldn’t add extra water to the sauce after you’ve cooked it in a slow cooker. Instead, let the sauce cool down until it reaches room temperature. Then, transfer the sauce to another container. Be careful not to spill any of the hot sauce onto the countertop.

To test whether the sauce has reached the right consistency, insert a thermometer into the center of the sauce. When the sauce is ready, the internal temperature will reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

This method is perfect for thickening tomato-based sauces such as spaghetti sauce and ketchup. However, you might find that it takes longer to thicken meat-based sauces like chili and stew.

Opening the lid will allow more air to enter the pot. As a result, the sauce will take less time to heat up. In a slow cooker, opening the lid and letting it boil slowly until it reduces to the desired thickness is a simple and efficient approach to thicken a sauce, soup, or steaming dish. You’re basically following the same steps as when creating sauce in a pan or pot on the stovetop without a lid. The liquids come into touch with the hot cooking surface on the bottom and exit through the top as steam

The difference between using a slow cooker and a stovetop is that you won’t need to stir your sauce frequently while it cooks. You just need to open the lid occasionally to check how the sauce is progressing.

Make a Roux and Add It to Your Sauce Mid-Cooking

Another way to thicken sauces in a slow cooker is by making a roux. A roux is a mixture of flour and butter that’s used to create creamy sauces. To make a roux, combine equal parts of flour and butter in a small bowl. Make sure the butter isn’t melted yet.

Next, pour the mixture into a separate bowl. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until the butter melts completely. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring the mixture until it turns light brown.

Once the roux has turned light brown, return it to the original mixing bowl and gradually add enough milk to turn the roux into a smooth paste. Pour this mixture back into the pan and mix well. If there are still lumps in the sauce, use a whisk to break them up.

If you prefer to avoid using a roux, you can also try using cornstarch instead. Simply dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of cold water. Next, add the dissolved cornstarch to the sauce along with some salt and pepper. Mix well.

A roux is easier to work with than cornstarch because you don’t need to wait for the sauce to reduce first. Also, you don’t need to worry about lumps forming in the sauce.

Preparing roux is easy if you have an electric mixer. Just put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat them together.

Enrich Your Sauce with Butter, Cream, Yogurt, or Egg Yolk

Butter, cream, yogurt, and egg yolks are great ways to enrich a sauce. They’ll give your sauce a richer flavor and thicker texture.

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You can use either whole milk or low-fat milk to prepare these sauces. Whichever type you choose, be sure to measure out only half the amount of milk needed. This will ensure that you end up with a richly flavored sauce rather than one that tastes watered down.

When preparing a sauce enriched with dairy products, start by heating the milk in a saucepan. Bring the milk to a simmer before adding any other ingredients.

To enrich your sauce with butter, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter starts bubbling, carefully pour it into the saucepan containing the milk. Stir continuously so that the butter doesn’t burn.

For a creamier sauce, simply substitute heavy whipping cream for the milk. For a tangy sauce, replace the milk with plain Greek yogurt. And finally, for a richer sauce, use whole eggs instead of regular eggs. Adding a body to your sauce is as simple as cracking two eggs into the pot.

Puree 1/3 or 1/4 of the Sauce in a Blender

Blending food in a blender creates a smoother sauce. The process takes less time than pureeing the entire batch of sauce at once.

Start by blending 3/4 cup of sauce in a blender. Blend on high speed until the sauce is completely smooth. Be careful not to blend too long or the sauce could become thin.

If you’re short on time, you can skip the blending step altogether. Instead, transfer the sauce directly from the slow cooker to a serving dish you won’t get a perfectly smooth sauce, but you should still enjoy a delicious meal. Using a blender is especially helpful when making creamy sauces like béchamel.

Add Cornstarch

Adding cornstarch to a sauce thickens it without affecting its taste. To thicken a sauce made with milk, just stir in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch per 4 cups of liquid.

Stir the cornstarch thoroughly so that no clumps remain. Once the cornstarch has been added, continue stirring until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. When cornstarch is dissolved in water, it produces a starchy, murky liquid known as a slurry. To thicken 3-4 cups of sauce, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1/2 cup water as a rule of thumb. As the sauce simmers in the slow cooker, add the slurry.

Prop the lid up for evaporation.

If you prop the lid up, the steam produced by the cooking liquid will evaporate more quickly. This means that the sauce will take longer to reach the desired thickness.

Thickening a sauce using cornstarch also helps prevent the sauce from becoming lumpy. If you do happen to notice lumps, simply strain the sauce through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer.

Purée your soup or stew a little.

The best way to thicken a soup or stew is to purée some of the mixtures. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 cup of cold water to make this work. Simply combine the flour and water in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the hot broth or soup in the slow cooker. Stir well and cook on high for 5 minutes.

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Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the slow cooker and let cool slightly before transferring the mixture to a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth. You can also try adding a few teaspoons of cornstarch to a large stockpot filled with boiling water. Whisk the cornstarch into the water and then slowly add the boiling water to the sauce in the slow cooker. Continue whisking until the sauce has reached the desired consistency.

Add a slurry at the end.

A slurry is a clear solution of starch and water. It’s used to thicken sauces because it doesn’t affect the flavor of the sauce. But if you don’t have a slurry handy, there are other ways to thicken sauces.

First, you might want to consider reducing the amount of liquid in the sauce. If you reduce the amount of liquid, the sauce will be thicker.

Second, you could try adding a bit of flour. Just mix 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of water. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Then add the mixture to the sauce in the pot.

Third, you could use instant tapioca. Tapioca is often found in pudding mixes. The powder dissolves easily in liquids, which makes it perfect for thickening sauces. Dissolve 1/8 cup of tapioca in 1/4 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture before using it to thicken a sauce.

Fourth, you could try making a roux. A roux is a paste of butter and flour. It’s usually cooked over low heat until browned. The resulting paste is then stirred into the sauce.

Fifth, you could try using gelatin. Gelatin is derived from collagen, the protein in bones and connective tissue. Gelatin contains amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Gelatin can be purchased in powdered form or in sheets. Put 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin in 1/3 cup of ice-cold water.

Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a microwaveable container and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture and repeat heating for another 30 seconds. The mixture should now be completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into the sauce in the slow cooker. Stir well and cook the sauce for 5 minutes.

Conclusion

There are many different methods that you can use to thicken sauces. Try one of these five methods to see what works best for your recipe.

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