What is a Slurry?

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How To Make A Slurry: Need to thicken a soup, stew, or gravy recipe? A slurry is the answer!

Did you ever wonder what a slurry was? Sounds fancy, but knowing how to perfect a slurry is one of the simplest home chef techniques you’ll ever learn!

Slurry being poured into a gravy dish

What is a Slurry?

A slurry is generally made with liquid (often water or broth) mixed with either cornstarch or flour and added to a hot liquid to thicken it

Because a slurry is a concentrated starchy liquid it will thicken sauces and gravy. It can be mixed into apple juice to make a quick apple pie filling, or added to pan drippings or broth from cooked meat for a flavorful sauce or gravy.

Slurry vs. Roux

I often make a roux instead of a slurry when making gravy.

A roux contains equal amounts of flour and fat (instead of being made with flour and liquid). A roux is generally browned or cooked and then the liquid is added to the roux to thicken it (as opposed to the other way around with a slurry).

Ingredients for What Is A Slurry

How To Make A Slurry

Cornstarch or Flour?

You can use either cornstarch or flour in a slurry and what it really boils down to is a personal preference (and the recipe you’re making).

Cornstarch will produce a more clear/translucent liquid while flour will produce an opaque result. I personally find it easier to get a smooth result with cornstarch.

With either one, you will need to create a slurry, this just means mixing the thickener with water/broth before adding to the liquid.

Flour mixture added to slurry for What Is A Slurry

Cornstarch Slurry

This is my personal preference as it’s less likely to get lumpy (and I use this in countless recipes from beef stew to teriyaki sauce.

  • Mix equal parts cornstarch and water or broth (depending on the recipe).
  • Whisk into boiling liquid a little bit at a time until you reach desired consistency.
  • Let boil for at least 1 minute.

Slurry cooking in a pot for What Is A Slurry

Flour Slurry

If using flour/water as your slurry, place it in a jar and shake well.  This will help make sure you don’t get lumps in your gravy, stew, or soup!

  • Place 3-4 tablespoons flour and ½ cup water or broth into a jar, shake VERY well to eliminate lumps.
  • Whisk into boiling liquid until you reach desired consistency.
  • Let boil for at least 1 minute.

How Do I Remove Lumps from a Slurry?

To avoid a lumpy result, make sure your slurry is very smooth before adding to your liquid and whisk constantly while adding.

If you’ve accidentally added some lumps, the best way to remove lumps is to strain the slurry through a fine mesh sieve. Another easy method is to scoop out as much liquid from the pan and blend in a small blender or food processor until smooth.

Flour mixture added to slurry for What Is A Slurry
5 from 1 vote
Review Recipe

How to Make a Slurry

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Holly Nilsson
Need to thicken a soup, stew, or gravy recipe? A slurry is the answer!

Ingredients

Cornstarch Slurry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water or broth
  • 2 cups liquid
Flour Slurry
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup water or broth
  • 2 cups liquid

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Instructions

Cornstarch Slurry
  • Mix equal parts cornstarch and water.
  • Whisk into boiling liquid a little bit at a time until you reach desired consistency. You may not use the entire slurry. If you like it thicker, add a bit more, or if you prefer thinner, add a bit less.
  • Let boil for at least 1 minute.
Flour Slurry
  • Place flour and water into a jar, shake VERY well to eliminate lumps.
  • Whisk into boiling liquid a little bit at a time until you reach desired consistency. You may not use the entire slurry. If you like it thicker, add a bit more, or if you prefer thinner, add a bit less.
  • Let boil for at least 1 minute.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information includes cornstarch and water slurry only. Actual nutrition information will vary based on liquid used for thickening.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 15, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 1mg, Fiber: 1g, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cornstarch slurry, flour slurry, how to make a slurry, how to thicken gravy, slurry, what is a slurry
Course How To
Cuisine American

 

What Is A Slurry with writing
how to make a slurry with writing
Slurry being poured into a jar with writing
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Surely there’s a proportion of slurry to hot liquids to achieve the expected thickness of gravy or pie filling (which to me are two different thicknesses). I wish your information included this important detail.

    1. As a slurry is mixed and added to the simmering liquid you can add a little bit at a time to reach the desired consistency.

      I generally add about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of water to about 2 cups of broth/liquid for gravy (if you like it thicker, add a bit more if you prefer thinner, add a bit less). Hope that helps!