Sodium Citrate

Then Potatoes Au Gratin thread got me thinking about this.

Sodium Citrate is my favorite thing to use in anything that has melted cheese. Fondue, nachos, burgers, ect. Does anyone else use it?

I started with the Mac and Cheese recipe out of Modernist Cuisine at Home using only water but now make the sauce a bit thicker and like about 1/3 of the liquid to be milk. I love how I can use medium cheddar (always in my fridge) and not sharp.

I’ve heard about it but have not found it locally. I guess I can order it online but don’t do a lot of melted cheese dishes although it would be a nice addition to the pantry.

Yes, I ordered a tub on Amazon about a year ago - for $10, I have enough to last me at least 20 years! I really like it for making cheese sauces. Haven’t tried it in fondue yet but I’m sure it would work wonders. It would definitely help the breaking issue in a gratin if you’re using cheddar.

Does it add a tartness to the sauce? I would think it would

It tastes slightly salty but you use so little I don’t notice it.

It isn’t something that I don’t use a ton of, although I’ve given enough away that I’m on my second jar, but it’s great to have handy. My hubby’s family recipe of Cheesy Potatoes calls for a jar of Velveeta. WIth SC I make my own.

Here are three recipes that show the different thicknesses you can achieve. From runny to “Kraft Cheese” slices.

The mac & cheese and queso recipes have a “Tips and Substitutions” on the bottom of the page.

No. You may be thinking of citric acid, which I find people often confuse with sodium citrate due to the similarity in name. Sodium citrate is not sour at all - tasted on its own, it’s just a bit salty and a little bitter. When I cook with it, I am just careful to adjust the salt level as necessary. The slight bitterness is generally masked by the other flavors in the food.

It makes a great quest dip and cheese sauce for cauliflower.

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is cheese sauce its only application?

That should read queso dip. Thought I beat autocorrect.

Cheese is the only one I use it for. It allows water and fat to bind together so it could be used in other things? Here’s a link to some info about it. I’m not going to claim to fully understand it.

Sodium Citrate is a main ingredient in Gatorade.

Yes, but if you look at the label, so is citric acid. It’s the citric acid that provides the tart flavor. Presumably the sodium citrate is there for its sodium/electrolyte content and/or flavor enhancement.

I added a bit to my hot chocolate and it went from grainy to smooth.

I was trying Jacque Genins’ method from an outtake of I’ll Have What Phil’s Having of 300g milk and 70g chocolate.

Very interesting - I will keep this in mind as an alternate use!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold