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why is my cheese sauce grainy? – How to fix grainy cheese sauce?

Holidays require fresh homemade cheesy sauces. Making home-made sauce can be quite challenging. Most of the popular and tasty cheese sauces are very difficult to make.

They have their own inherent risk. Your alfredo cannot break, gravy cannot separate or you will be left with watery and curdle filled mess instead of very creamy and velvety cheese sauce.

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To make delicious and mouth-watering sauces, you must learn how to prevent the cheese from curdling. This article will help all the readers to tackle any risks associated with making cheese sauces at home. We help you to understand why certain problems arise and how to fix it.

Why do sauces break or curdle?

Sauces usually break when the oil or butter gets separated from the dairy based product. They may break for a number of reasons. It may break if the fat is added way too fast. The emulsifying agents, the egg yolks, oils or salts can overwhelm and stop the fatty molecules from binding with each other. The heat can scramble and curdle the protein molecules.

Why is my cheese sauce grainy?

Dairy mainly has three primary components. These are proteins, water, and fat. Curdling of dairy products occurs when all the proteins in a cheese sauce bind together and separated from the water. Thus it tightens up and forms curds. Usually, the egg based or dairy sauces curdle because of certain reasons. The skim milk curdles much faster and more easily than the fattier dairy items.

Some of the reasons and solutions are discussed below.

High temperature :

The very high temperature like making a sauce can often cause sauces grainy and curdle.

Solutions :

While making sauces, it is best to opt for slow and low cooking. The temperature must be kept at very low degrees. One should make sure that any dairy-based cheesy sauce must not boil. If you are cooking a sauce with eggs, you want to cook it over double boilers for further safety. You also need to let the bechamel cool off before adding any cheese.

Additional acid :

Additional acids in dairy sauces make it curdle. Acids can turn any creamy sauce sour and watery.

Solutions : It is better to avoid any additional acids while making sauces. Stirring at low temperatures does all the trick.

Adding the eggs:

Adding any dairy item or egg yolks rapidly can turn the sauce watery and grainy.

Solutions : You must add these items very gradually at last. You can whisk the mixture previously before pouring on the pan.


Salts can make dairy products curdle. Often people avoid using salts in sauces for this reason.

Solutions : The only solution to stop the sauce from curdling is to wait until the sauce is seasoned. Once that is done, you can add it at the last minute.

Making roux solutions

If you are not confident about making sauces, you can consider adding any starchy agents such as roux solutions. Adding any starchy and thickening agent to the sauce, help it to retain its quality.

Solutions : One can go wrong easily while dissolving some corn starch in the water or making roux solutions. It is better to not use any types of oil at all, during this process to avoid curdling.

How to fix grainy cheese sauce?

Once any cheesy sauce gets curdled, it is nearly difficult to prevent it from getting spoilt. The proteins in dairy products are impossible to be returned to their previous states. It is completely safe to consume sauces which have been curdled, but it is not tasty at all. Grainy sauces are not appetizing and cannot be served to guests also. There are many cooking strategies which can help you to combat curdling. If you want to cook sauces, it is advisable to know how to fix grainy cheese sauces. Some of the tips are discussed below.

  • If any dairy-based or egg-based sauce curdles, you should at once stop the process of cooking. First, you must take the cooking pan off the blazing heat or it can burn. Then it should be placed in a very cold ice bath. It is recommended that you should add ice cubes to the sauces to ensure faster cooling process.

  • If the curdles or clumps in the cheese sauces are much less, it is easier to remedy it. You can first pour the curdled sauce to another bowl through a perforated sieve. Then once separated from the clumps, you can whisk the sauce which is strained.

  • Proteins can bond together easily if any kinds of slight problem occur. It causes curdling. If you see the sauce getting curdled, you start whisking it at low temperature to prevent the clumps from increasing.

Is it possible to fix a grainy and curdled sauce?

Once you see the sauce to curdle or break, you can try to fix it. When you notice any little droplets of fat at the edges of the pan, you should understand that your sauce is being curdled. In that case, you should whisk the sauce fast and reduce the temperature. Adding a few scoops of heavy cream often help the process and stabilize the item. Refrigerating it also helps often.

Though it is not impossible to fix a grainy sauce, it is very difficult to do so. Only experts or professionals manage to fix a sauce getting curdled. Nevertheless, if such a situation arises, you must take the necessary steps to fix it.

Making any sauce at home is very hard. It is impossible to make a perfect sauce at your very first attempt. It takes, time, skills, patience and practice. This article provides you with most of the necessary strategies to make sauces for the holidays. The reasons for a sauce getting curdled and solutions are also mentioned here. If it still does not work, you have to start over. Nothing else can be done. We try to make your quest to master the art of making perfect sauces easier and simpler. With the right recipes, instructions, guidance and patience even an amateur can make the most delicious cheesy sauces with minimum effort and within time period.

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