Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I made a corn chowder this evening containing corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, and some other good stuff. This particular recipe instructed me to add a little bit of flour once I softened the onions and garlic in butter and oil. The instructions specifically said to coat the veggies in flour before adding vegetable stock.

I understand the flour's role in thickening the chowder, but what's the reason for adding it at that stage? Would it not work as well if I added the flour after bringing the veggie stock to a boil, for example?

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You already have mentioned the primary reason for adding the flour: to thicken the chowder.

The author of this particular recipe has added it to the recipe while you are sauteeing the aromatics, I infer. This creates, in essence, a quick roux, cooking some of the raw taste out of the flour, and helping ensure that you will not get lumps.

You could certainly thicken the chowder later with a flour slurry, for example, but this method is convenient and effective in this type of recipe.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.