A butter and flour Microwave Roux is the perfectly simple solution for thickening gravy in the slow cooker or Crock Pot.
I use my slow cooker a lot, especially in the colder months. In researching recipes to create for 2022, I came across a unique way to thicken gravy in the slow cooker. Corn starch is usually my solution, but it never makes the gravy quite thick enough. And I wanted to avoid draining the cooking liquid from the Crock Pot and making a gravy on the stovetop. If I am using my slow cooker, I’d rather not turn on my oven. Microwaving butter and flour together is practically like magic. Just a few minutes to make a roux from two kitchen staples yields something that thickens gravy beautifully as it slow cooks. I am so excited to use this new solution in my upcoming Crock Pot recipes!
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What is a Roux?
A roux is a cooked mixture of equal parts flour and fat. I prefer using butter, but oil, lard or bacon fat can also be used. Coating the flour’s starch granules with fat prevents lumps and helps to create a silky smooth gravy or sauce. Making a microwave roux before the cooking process starts in the slow cooker makes for a really luscious gravy as an end result.
Is raw flour safe to eat?
For all of my raw cookie dough fans, unfortunately it is the raw flour that is likely to make you sick . The grinding and bleaching of flour does not kill the germs that cause food poisoning, like E. coli. Making a microwave roux and adding it at the beginning of the cooking process ensures this thickener made with flour both tastes great and is safe to eat.
How to make Microwave Roux
A roux is a one to one ratio of flour and fat. For two cups of liquid, I found that 3:3 is the correct roux ratio for thickening. Place three tablespoons of butter in a 4-cup microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave the butter on high power for about 50-60 seconds, until the butter is melted. Add three tablespoons of all-purpose flour to the melted butter. Whisk to combine. Microwave for one minute. Whisk again.
Continue to microwave the butter and flour mixture in one minute increments, 2 more times, whisking in between each time. The flour and butter bubble up a lot in the microwave. The more you microwave the roux, the darker and smoother it gets. I found that three minutes was enough for a light roux, perfect for thickening my Slow Cooker Curried Sausage.
Can you make a Microwave Roux with Oil?
Yes! For any reason, diet or otherwise, you can use this same method to make a roux with oil. And unless you are using coconut oil, you don’t have to melt the oil first.
- 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup for microwaving the roux
- Small whisk for stirring
- I use a 6-quart Crock-Pot for testing all of my recipes
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- slow cooker
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter or oil of choice
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Place the butter in a 4-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup.
- Melt the butter in the microwave on high power for 50 - 60 seconds, or until the butter is fully melted.
- Add the flour and whisk it into the butter until well combined.
- Microwave the butter and flour mixture on high power for one minute. Whisk.
- Repeat this process. Microwave for one minute and whisk, two more times, for a total of three minutes.
- The roux will be a light blonde color and very smooth. Whisk it together with 2 cups of broth and seasonings to create a liquid that will thicken to a gravy in the slow cooker.