I know from experience that arrowroot doesn't work very well, so I'm curious to know which ones actually do.

Thanks a lot for any help!

  • 1
    Curious, what goes wrong when you try arrowroot with dairy? (Also, you could certainly use flour, as in Béchamel)
    – derobert
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 20:33
  • 2
    I have never had a thickener which didn't work with dairy. I haven't tried arrowroot, but starches are generally very good. Could you pleas post details? What were you making, what ingredients did you use, what temperature, and what was the end result?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 20:35
  • I wanted to thicken some stock with arrowroot that I poured over ground beef, which I had sautéed in butter, and it turned into a slimy mess. It was done over low temperature. Perhaps it was something else, but Cook's Thesaurus mentions this effect as a downside. foodsubs.com/ThickenStarch.html Maybe the answer is "everything except arrowroot"? :)
    – cptloop
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 20:51
  • also consider using bread as a thickener in some recipes.
    – smcg
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Your answer of "everything except arrowroot" is spot on. You should use a corn starch slurry in all likelihood. It is less expensive and more commonly available and will not create a "slimy" consistency; corn starch is also purported to have a creamier texture.

Arrow root also may have been overcooked by your preparation as described in your comment as it has a lower temperature that it needs to reach relative to other thickeners. Keep it handy for your acidic sauces, but keep to corn starch for the dairy. A benefit of arrowroot in clear sauces is that it won't make the sauce cloudy as will corn starch; however with dairy this is not a concern.

  • 1
    Thanks! I looked it up in Modernist Cuisine I see a correlation between the texture of the thickener itself as being "creamy" and it being recommended for use with dairy (corn and flour). So I guess there's that, and the taste of the thickener that you need to take into consideration.
    – cptloop
    Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 13:44
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    @cptloop as long as you add in the slurry to simmering liquid (I typically pour it slowly while stirring the pot) then bring to a boil, simmering will remove the starchy taste
    – mfg
    Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 20:53

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