Do you ever get confused between corn flour and cornstarch when cooking? You’re not alone. Though they’re both derived from corn, they serve different purposes in the kitchen.
In this article, we will explore the common uses and main differences between corn flour and cornstarch. We will also provide guidance on when to use each ingredient, depending on your recipe’s needs. Check out some delicious recipes with cornstarch Colombian Buñuelos, cassava snacks, or Chillo Frito.
Whether you’re making a sauce, thickening a stew, baking a cake, or frying chicken, understanding the differences between corn flour and cornstarch is essential for achieving the desired texture and flavor. So, let’s dive in and clear up any confusion once and for all.
If you enjoy informational posts like this one, check out the 5 best substitutes for whipped cream or the best oil for seasoning cast-iron cookware!
Corn Flour and Cornstarch: Understanding the Difference
Corn flour and cornstarch are used interchangeably in most parts of the world to refer to a cooking and baking thickener made from the starchy part of corn kernels. However, in some countries like the United Kingdom, corn flour refers specifically to cornmeal in the US.
While both are made from corn, corn flour is typically made from whole corn kernels and can vary in texture and coarseness, while cornstarch is a pure starch made from the endosperm of corn kernels and is used primarily as a thickener.
Uses of Corn Flour and Cornstarch
Corn flour is used as a thickening agent in recipes such as soups, stews, gravies, and sauces, and is also used in baking to provide a fluffy texture to cakes and other baked goods. It can also be used as a coating for fried foods like my Dominican Berenjenas Fritas or Mexican Tortitas de Papa to create a crispy texture and as a substitute for wheat flour in recipes for people with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
Cornstarch is also used as a thickening agent and can be used as a coating for fried foods. It is also a popular choice for thickening sauces, gravies, soups, and other dishes for people with gluten sensitivities. Additionally, it has other applications in manufacturing paper, textiles, and pharmaceuticals, and as a household item for removing stains or as a talc substitute in baby powder.
Key Differences Between Corn Flour and Cornstarch
There are some key differences between corn flour and cornstarch, including appearance, texture, nutritional value, and cooking properties. Corn flour has a slightly grainy texture, a yellow or white color, and contains carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, as well as some vitamins and minerals.
Cornstarch, on the other hand, has a smoother texture and is a refined product that contains carbohydrates but no fiber, protein, or significant amounts of vitamins and minerals.
When to Use Corn Flour vs. Cornstarch
When it comes to thickening agents, cornstarch is best mixed with a small amount of cold liquid before being added to a hot liquid, such as a sauce or soup. Corn flour, on the other hand, is best suited for recipes that call for a thicker consistency, such as gravies or stews. If you want to know why are people eating cornstarch, then check out my article.
In baking, corn flour is a good choice for recipes that call for a coarser texture, such as cornbread or muffins. Cornstarch can be used in small amounts as a thickener for fruit fillings or custards.
For frying, corn flour is commonly used in recipes such as Southern-style fried chicken or tempura batter, while cornstarch is often used in Chinese-style fried dishes like General Tso’s chicken.
Overall, understanding the difference between corn flour and cornstarch is essential for achieving the desired outcome in your recipes. I hope this article has provided you with everything you need to know about these two ingredients.
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