Cheese sauce that breaks

I use a variety of cheeses when I make macaroni and cheese and, although  it tastes good, every time it comes out of the oven, the cheese sauce has broken.  I once read that using condensed milk would address this problem.  Do you know if that works?  Also, why does my sauce break?

submitted by Grandma Bubby

Hello Grandma Bubby! Sorry about your Mac and Cheese. If your grandchildren are like mine, they love this dish and they can be very particular about it.

Here are some tips for you, to help keep your Mac and Cheese sauce from separating:

1: evaporated milk and UNSWEETENED condensed milk (most of the condensed milk we see in the supermarket is sweetened) have stabilizers added, so it helps keep the sauce ingredients together.

2: same goes for American cheese; adding a bit of American cheese to the mix can stabilize the sauce too.

3: or use whole milk (rather than skim) because fat serves as a stabilizer.

4: use young cheeses such as asiago, non-aged cheddar, havarti, muenster, non-aged gouda, and so on. These have more water content than aged, older, drier cheeses and melt more easily, keeping the mixture stable.

5: shred or grate the cheese so that it melts more easily when you add it to the hot white sauce. Only add a little at a time and mix it in thoroughly before adding more. If you add cheese all at once there’s more of a tendency for the sauce to separate.

6: it’s good to use more than cheddar, as you do, because cheddar alone can be grainy.

I hope this helps. Let me know!