How to Make a Light Roll in the Microwave (and Oven)

Every year I make a Thanksgiving turkey gumbo with leftover poultry, and every year I complain about stirring the roux. Ru is not difficult to make . Mix equal amounts of fat and flour, beat until smooth, then cook, stirring continuously – I really mean – constantly – until you get the color you want.

If you are making a simple gravy, a rosy blond will do; but if you are making gumbo, you want the sauce to be dark chocolate brown and take at least 45 minutes of continuous cooking and stirring to cook on the stove, and usually more.

I don’t like to get stuck in one place for so long, and I recently tweeted my displeasure as I cooked up my remaining 2021 turkey Gumbo for my batch:

After I tweeted this, several people responded that they cook in the oven and another suggested a microwave. As I’ve never heard of any of these techniques from my family making gumbo, it’s a mystery to me, but I suspect it has something to do with the stubbornness of the Cajun style. Anyway, I knew that I needed to try both methods. If I could eliminate all or even most of the stirring in the gumbo process, I would do it much more often.

How to cook ru in the oven

Making the dressing in the oven is easy, according to Alton Brown . Weigh equal parts flour and butter by weight (he uses four ounces each for his gumbo), beat them in a 5 liter Dutch oven, then cook in 350 ℉ oven for an hour and a half, whisking. every 20 minutes.

Roux freezes well, so I decided to do twice as much as Alton recommended. I also used much smaller cookware because my Dutch ovens were full of leftover rum ham and yellow-eyed beans. This worked great, but it took much longer than an hour and a half to achieve the dark chocolate brown I was looking for.

But after four hours of baking and mixing thoroughly every half hour, I had about two cups of lump-free dark brown rus. I let it cool (don’t skip this step), poured it into a glass jar, and put it in the refrigerator (where it will keep for at least six months). If I did it again, I would use a larger vessel so that the sauce can flow a little and cook a little faster. A larger container is also a safer choice because you don’t want to spill hot, bubbling roux on your flesh. (If you’ve never had a Roux burn, you don’t want that. Basically, you are frying flour in oil, and this scalding paste loves to stick to human skin.)

Pros of cooking dressing in the oven:

  • This is non-interference.
  • You only need to stir every half hour.
  • You can make a whole bunch at once and store it until you are ready to eat.


  • This may take some time.
  • Best done the day before.

How to cook ru in the microwave

Microwaving your dressing is by far the fastest way to do this, but you’re pretty limited in your options. I made my first microwave dressing with 1 cup butter and 1 cup flour – sometimes I’m lazy and use bulk instead of bulk; it works great! – and this batch boiled in the microwave.

It wasn’t a big spill, but given the scorching nature of the ru, I thought about it. I (boldly) proceeded and finished preparing the batch without further incident, guided by the first three paragraphs of this recipe .

Like cooking the dressing in the oven, making the dressing took longer than promised; as opposed to refueling in the oven, this was the fastest method I have ever used. Leslie from Texas wrote that it would take me 7-8 minutes to bring my sauce to this valuable dark chocolate point, but it took a full 14 minutes, which is still not a lot.

This is obviously much better than an hour of continuous stirring, and the procedure is simple: mix equal amounts of flour and butter in a large microwave-safe jar (a 4-cup pyrex beaker will work), then turn the nuclear bomb on full power. … in six minutes. At this point, you will have a very hot blonde roux. Stir well – I scooped the bottom off with a spoon and whisk to make sure all the lumps popped out – then beat for another minute, stir and repeat, inhaling the nuclear jet each time and stirring in between until your sauce is done. dark brown. (This took 12-14 minutes, depending on the batch size.)

You may be tempted to speed up the process even further by setting a nuclear bomb for three or even four minutes between additions. Do not! You will have burnt lumps of ru, and no one needs it.

Even with shorter, one-minute servings, your sauce will look spoiled every time you take it out of the microwave. Don’t worry – all it takes is a little whisk to rotate this:

… in it:

Continue stirring and stirring until you reach a gorgeous melted dark chocolate color. Then, either use immediately or allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator for up to six months or in the freezer for a year.

Pros of cooking ru in the microwave:

  • It’s super fast.
  • It’s very simple.


  • You can only cook a little (about 3/4 cup each of the fat and flour) to keep them from bubbling.

Both methods are reliable

Both microwave cooking and oven cooking work very well. Each method produced a lump-free dark brown sauce. I noticed a little oil came out from both batches after cooling, but I was able to easily drain it from the top (you can also just stir again if not too much).

Use the microwave method if you want the gumbo now , and the oven method to cook a whole bunch at once, then submerge it in stock if necessary to make the gumbo on a whim. Roux freezes very well – you can even freeze it in an ice cube tray for easy portioning.

Whichever method you choose, be careful. The roux can be very runny, so stir it slowly and methodically and use high-walled pans whenever possible. Gumbo is awesome, but Roux’s burns are the exact opposite.


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