Cheese Sauce Disaster

The last two times I have made cheese sauce it has been a disaster! The cheese just is a big ball of congealed yuck and totally unusable.
Can anyone help please with suggestions?
I melt a bit of butter in a saucepan. Stir in some flour (plain, not self rising or anything), and then some milk. When the milk is hot but not boiling, I put some cheese in.
What am I doing wrong? I use the milk from the fruit shop, I think it's called Dairy Dale, and tasty cheese, Would it be the milk which is the light blue?
Any other ideas? I have had to resort to having packet sauce in the cupboard!

Chef_shepa1, Jul 14, 8:46 pm

Are you grating the cheese? Packet cheese sauce is nasty!

Chef_paora-tm, Jul 14, 9:07 pm

Just stick with the packet of sauce mix, if you cannot manage making a rue.

Chef_pickles7, Jul 14, 9:34 pm

A cheese sauce is better made with full cream milk (dark blue top), imho. Use a good cheese, too - some of the supermarket brands aren't the best ones to use (too "oily") - or use half supermarket/half good cheese such as gruyere or other good cooking/melting cheese.

Cheese needs to be relatively finely grated, and remove the pot from the stove before adding the cheese, a small amount at a time, stirring well between additions. Some times (just sometimes) a cheese sauce that has split can be re-amalgamated with the addition of a little arrowroot slaked with some water, but it could still be "gritty" and not nice texturally.

Another issue could be that you've not "cooked off" the roux correctly - make sure the butter is well-melted, add the flour, move it around while it foams and starts to dry and take on a slightly nutty smell, before adding the milk that's been warmed in another pot. An undercooked roux may be the major issue here, if it's not the cheese.

Chef_autumnwinds, Jul 14, 9:39 pm

The proportions of butter and flour matter, are you putting in too much flour?, or not enough butter?, and not cooking it before adding the milk a bit at a time until its cooked and smooth then add the grated cheese, not tons of it all at once, you can always put in more but you cant take it out, and adding more milk changes the proportions of flour used to thicken the sauce. or are you overcooking it once the cheese is melted into the sauce?
Follow the good old edmonds recipe for proportions.

Chef_articferrit, Jul 14, 9:46 pm

Shepa which cheese are you using? You seem to do exactly what l do and mine works. I just use grated tasty or edam.

Chef_bella95, Jul 14, 10:12 pm

I have made cheese sauce for years without a problem. It's just started happening now!
Yes, the cheese is grated but just with a normal grater. Cannot for the life of me figure out what has changed!

And yes, chemical cheese sauce out of a packet is indeed nasty!

Chef_shepa1, Jul 14, 10:28 pm

Try doing the cheese sauce in the microwave. Easy peesy. If you are doing it in a pot try a non stick pot, Melt butter, add floor and stir as it cooks and bubbles, then add milk a little at a time and stir to combine as you add. The cheese is put only to melt at the end, no need to cook with the sauce.

Chef_glasshalfull, Jul 14, 11:05 pm

The cheese you use.
Edam? Colby?
I make it as you do and use an aged cheddar, about 1 tbsp of grated cheese. It has tons of flavour but you then don't end up with glue.

Chef_lythande1, Jul 15, 7:02 am

I now only make my cheese sauce in the microwave. Totally fail proof. No lumps.
Melt 3tbsp butter in a jug, stir in 3 tbsp flour, cook until it bubbles, then add your milk, about one cup, microwave on high until it bubbles. Stir and add more milk if needed. Add your grated cheese. stir and it will become smooth and perfect. It starts off looking lumpy when you add the milk but once stirred it becomes smooth. Season as required. Salt and pepper. So easy.
You can make this ahead of time and just heat when needed.

Chef_lynja, Jul 15, 7:12 am

You can always cheat too. Melt butter, add milk. In a shaker put milk and flour and shake till mixed. Add to hot milk, stirring till thick then add cheese. Sorry I don't do measurements but a guess would be 1 cup milk, 1TB flour, 1TB butter, 1 cup cheese? You can also add paprika etc. I quote like curry powder added too.

Chef_jan2242, Jul 15, 8:39 am

Are you using a whisk? Just add a little cheese-whisk it in-add more etc.

Chef_cloudcover, Jul 15, 9:58 am

Use full cream milk, I make with what ever cheese I have, and it's always nice and creamy. Low fat milk dosent even work in my coffee frother

Chef_fifie, Jul 15, 12:15 pm

I don’t do any of those things and it always comes out perfect - melt butter and flour in the microwave, gradually beat in trim milk and cook for 2 minutes on high then beat the sh*t out of it to ensure no lumps. Keep cooking for a minute at a time then when it’s the desired thickness I add mustard powder, cayenne pepper and cheese all at once and beat until smooth.

Never ever use full cream milk or anything but tasty cheese not finely grated, never cook on the stove, and never heat after adding the cheese.

Chef_sarahb5, Jul 15, 12:30 pm

Do you grate your own cheese or buy pre grated?
I make cheese scones and there is a huge difference from pre grated and grated at home. The pre grated in scones oozes out. I use tasty cheese.
Just wondering if you add a little bit of cheese at a time it may have cooled too much to melt cheeese. I actual add cheese over low heat.

Chef_ruby19, Jul 15, 5:29 pm

Is it just too thick - requiring more liquid (milk) to be added? I never measure my flour/butter when I make white sauce (or any sauce) and as a result I sometimes end up with way too much when I'm heavy handed with the flour.

Chef_paora-tm, Jul 15, 10:10 pm

While on the subject of cheese sauce - can it be frozen?

Chef_kclu, Jul 16, 5:10 pm

Yes it can I do it often.

Chef_samsnan, Jul 16, 8:08 pm

Cook your white sauce till it boils slightly so the flour is cooked. THEN add the grated cheese slowly, stirring while it melts. I think you are adding the cheese too early long before the flour is cooked.

Chef_norse_westie, Jul 17, 2:47 pm

That's how I do mine too (apart from the cayenne) and it always turns out perfectly

Chef_gshj, Jul 17, 3:35 pm

The only time I have had a cheese sauce disaster was when I was a bit pissed! Drunk brain thought I could chuck the cheese in at the beginning, thats when I had a congealed mess

Chef_sossie1, Jul 17, 3:41 pm

Also, mustard is a great addition to cheese sauce

Chef_sossie1, Jul 17, 3:44 pm

I make it regularly and have no problems
usually use about 2T butter and cook until it starts to melt then add 2T plain flour and cook until the flour looks like it is starting to burn, then add milk about 1/4 cup at a time - mix thoroughly after each addition of milk
I then add about 1 cup cheese and turn the heat off and just let the cheese melt into the sauce

Chef_muffin2, Jul 17, 3:46 pm

The process is almost identical to mine. Can speed it up a bit by pre-heating the milk. Mostly, though, I make my cheese sauce with stock, vegetable water or plain old water because we rarely have milk in the house. I think it a nicer taste but it is all about what you get used to I suppose and I know others will think, or even post eeeww.

Chef_buzzy110, Jul 17, 4:10 pm

I’ve done half and half with cheese sauce or white sauce but the kids complained

Chef_sarahb5, Jul 17, 4:39 pm

OP did you make a roux and add the milk gradually? If you add the milk all in one go you'll get milk with a floury lump in the middle.

You mix your flour with the melted butter, cook a little, then add a little milk stirring all the time (with a whisk is best) then keep slowly adding more milk until it's thin enough and starting to bubble. Turn down the heat and add the cheese (grated) just long enough to melt.

Chef_pennyo, Jul 17, 5:33 pm

Quite possibly. What I make is a veloute. Bechamel is roux made with milk. As I don't have milk most of the time I have had to learn to adapt my taste buds. My preference is always chicken stock which I usually have handy and there is nothing to complain about when I use that. I generally didn't allow my children to dictate what got served in my home.

Chef_buzzy110, Jul 18, 12:15 pm

I make it pretty much the same as buzzy - use the vege water instead of milk if it is available. But either way, cooking off the butter and flour is important, as is adding the milk and/or water gradually so you don't end up with a huge lump. (NB - If adding vege water that is still very hot it can sometimes thicken so quickly you can end up with a lump if you are not quick enough to get it whisked through properly).

Chef_cinderellagowns, Jul 18, 12:26 pm

Mine don’t dictate either but I tried it, they didn’t like it - that’s not dictating, that’s stating a preference

Chef_sarahb5, Jul 28, 5:44 am