Sauce – What’s the best way to make Béchamel sauce


When I make Béchamel sauce I keep getting different results.

Sometimes the sauce becomes too liquidy and never seems to firm up. Other times it might get quite lumpy, despite my use of a recipe that has worked fine in the past.

Are there any general preparation rules or tips to ensure consistent results when making a Béchamel sauce?

Best Answer

Consistent results stem from consistent actions. Bechamel is one of the most basic sauces, so you should take the time to master it. The general proportions for this sauce are:

  • 1 Tbsp butter (clarified optional)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

The things to make sure you do right:

  • Cook the roux - It should be a nice golden hue (not brown).
  • Scald the milk prior to adding - The milk should be heated to a near boil in a separate pot while you prepare the roux. Cold milk is one of the primary causes of bechamel fail.
  • Add the milk in 1 cup increments.
  • Whisk thoroughly until you see no lumps with each addition of milk.
  • Stir constantly until done.