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Following along the approach of freezing roux, I would like to make some in bulk. I am also trying to do more batch cooking for freezing and making 8 quarts of mac and cheese ends up taking a lot of roux for the starter.

As such, is there a technique for creating quite a few cups of roux (ie. 6 cups) at a time?

Currently the most I have created per batch is about 4 tablespoons butter to 4 tablespoons flour (~1/2 cup), mixing with a fork (pretty tiring as I have no whisk). Obviously a whisk could just be necessary, but is there a thresh-hold where moving to an electric or mechanical tool might be more efficient?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is no problem at all doing this. At a restaurant where I worked, we would make up a couple pounds of butter worth of roux at a time. The main thing you want to do is use a pan with a lot of surface area, so it cooks evenly. A whisk will work fine. You don't have to stir constantly, just frequently.

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Sounds good, so basically just using a whisk at higher quantities will still work just fine? There's no point after which something mechanical/electric basically becomes necessary? –  mfg Dec 9 '10 at 19:46
    
@mfg: I wouldn't think you'd need mechanical tools even for a really big one--it's not like any stage of roux is even as stiff as your average muffin batter. –  bikeboy389 Dec 9 '10 at 20:55
    
Hooray for not needing to buy random equipment. I guess I should replace that whisk I got rid of :) –  mfg Dec 9 '10 at 21:07
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Certainly up to any reasonable quantity you'd want to make at home. You know, if you want to make 1000 pounds of it, you might want a sterile cement mixer mounted over a set of blowtorches, but otherwise I think you'll be fine. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Dec 9 '10 at 21:35
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There's two issues here -- the initial roux, and then cooking the roux to the required color (eg, if you're trying to get to a dark roux for gumbo or similar)

Personally, for the initial combining, I like a wooden spatula, not a whisk. I can basically smush everything together into a paste, then sort of chop it up into smaller bits to spread it across the bottom of the pan to cook more evenly. (and I can get into the corners of my pans more easily when making sure I don't scorch it)

For cooking past a blonde state, I'd defer to Alton Brown, who on the gumbo episode of Good Eats recommended doing it in the oven, rather than the stovetop, so it'd cook more evenly, and not require the frequent stirring to make sure you didn't burn it.

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Thanks, I didn't know you could bake roux but in one search I found a method using a cookie sheet or roasting pan to make 2-3 cups of flour and [variable amounts of oil] into roux. Perfect –  mfg Dec 10 '10 at 13:32
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