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When I make Hamburger Helper I always follow the directions exactly and the consistency of the sauce is usually good--not too thick and not too watery--but whenever I reheat the leftovers the sauce practically turns into water and it becomes like a noodle and beef soup. This happens with every flavor. What's weird is I always remember leftover Hamburger Helper being too thick and dry and I needed to add water, but now the complete opposite is happening.

Am I draining the ground beef too much when I cook it? Is there something I should be doing differently? Have the ingredients or recipes changed somehow?

  • How are you storing it? In a sealed container while still hot? – AGirlHasNoName Aug 29 '18 at 13:03
  • I put it in tupperware after I'm done eating it. It's about room temperature by the time I put it away. – Matt Aug 29 '18 at 23:29
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    @Matt, you should put the information from your comment into the question, Comments are more readily deleted and designed to evoke the user to edit more information into their post. – Malachi Aug 30 '18 at 15:28
  • FYI, putting it away in the fridge uncovered will dry it out a good bit, so it may counter the effect you are seeing. – UnhandledExcepSean Aug 30 '18 at 17:49
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    How are you reheating it? If you now have a more powerful microwave, you might be overheating it to the point that the cornstarch breaks down as a thickener – Joe Aug 30 '18 at 18:04
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I called General Mills, the makers of Hamburger Helper, and asked if there had been any changes to their recipes in the past 3 years. The representative (Thanks Kathy!) told me that the only recent change happened in 2016 when they stopped using artificial flavors and colors and switched to an all-natural formula. (see What does "natural" actually mean?)

I also visited the General Mills website and read the ingredients for all of the Hamburger Helper varieties. They are all thickened with cornstarch. Cornstarch does tend to thin out upon reheating, but I have no explanation of what could account for your change in experience (all other factors being the same). Look to what you’re doing differently, and methinks that there’s your answer.

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