How to Measure the Ratio of Flour Vs. Cornstarch Substitute

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Precise measurements are critical when substituting corn starch for flour.
Precise measurements are critical when substituting corn starch for flour. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Cornstarch is an effective, quick and efficient substitute for flour-based thickening agents. Flour-based thickeners, such as roux and beurre manie, require approximately 30 minutes of simmering for the starch granules to gelatinize – the process that prompts them to swell and thicken the sauce or soup. Cornstarch, however, thickens after only a few seconds when added to a liquid with a minimum temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit – a temperature usually reached with the medium setting on a stovetop. Cornstarch thickeners, commonly referred to as slurries, give sauces and soups a velvety finish, an appealingly glossy appearance, and serve as an ideal substitute for flour.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cornstarch
  • Water

Find the amount of flour needed for the preparation.

Divide the amount of flour called for in half by volume. For instance, if the recipe calls for 2 tbsp. of flour, measure 1 tbsp. of corn starch.

Mix the corn starch with an equal amount of water by volume. For example, if you're thickening a sauce with 1 tbsp. of corn starch, mix it together with 1 tbsp. of cold water to form a slurry.

Whisk the slurry vigorously into the sauce or soup to prevent lumps.

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