Bechamel sauce in a pan with a wooden spoon
For The Perfect Béchamel Sauce, Avoid Direct Heat At All Costs
By Cristine Struble
Béchamel, one of the mother sauces of French cuisine, is just three ingredients — butter, flour, and milk — and it holds a bevy of cooking possibilities.
Using a consistent moderate heat source instead of direct heat is the key to avoiding a lumpy, greasy, or broken béchamel sauce.
Chef Stefano Secchi suggests swapping out the traditional stove burner for a griddle when cooking a béchamel sauce.
He says a griddle offers indirect heat, allowing the cook to control the rising temperature, as too much heat can cause the milk to curdle during the cooking process.
Constantly whisk your sauce over controlled heat, which will produce a smoother product. If a griddle is unavailable, take a saucepan on and off your heat source.
The low and slow technique may require a longer cooking time, but it will result in a smoother and more flavorful sauce.