If your gravy is runny, adding flour is a simple fix. There are several ways to include flour, a natural thickener, into your sauce. For a gluten-free option, try arrowroot flour or a gluten-free flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 or King Arthur’s Measure for Measure. Making a slurry using flour is one method for thickening gravy. 2 tablespoons of flour and cold water are whipped together to create a slurry, which is then incorporated into the gravy. When using this technique, you should gradually include the slurry and wait one to two minutes for the gravy to cook and thicken before adding more (you might not need the entire slurry or you might need more, depending on the consistency).
Making a roux is another method for using flour to thicken gravy. It is simple to thicken a sauce by combining fat and flour in a roux. Discover how to produce a roux, which should also be added gradually.
Making beurre mani, a dough or paste prepared by combining flour and butter, is a final alternative. These techniques for using flour to thicken gravy avoid the flour clumping (because no one likes lumpy gravy).
What is the proportion of liquid to flour in gravy?
The unsung hero of the Thanksgiving feast is gravy. It can bring together all the different flavors on the plate and preserve underseasoned mashed potatoes and too-dry turkey. A tasty turkey gravy is similar to a hidden perk of preparing a turkey. Just the caramelized drippings from the turkey’s lengthy roasting in the oven are sufficient to impart a robust turkey flavor throughout the entire gravy. Of course, gravy can still be made even if you don’t eat turkey or don’t have the priceless drippings. Here are our top suggestions for consistently making great gravy.
What Is Gravy Anyway
Gravy is just a thin pan sauce that calls for liquid and a thickening. In traditional turkey gravy, fat, flour, and stock are typically used. These are the only ingredients you need, along with salt and pepper for seasoning, to make superb turkey gravy. The stock is thickened to the consistency of spoon-coating by a roux, which is made of flour and fat. Gravies frequently call for somewhat more flour than that, in order to thicken the gravy more, although a conventional roux calls for nearly equal parts flour and fat. (The traditional gravy proportion is three tablespoons of flour, two of fat, and one cup of boiling stock.) You can change the stock for different liquids, add additional seasonings, or use cornstarch in place of the flour. But a tasty liquid and a thickening to increase the liquid’s viscosity make up the sauce’s foundation.
Fat Goes First
Fat is the first ingredient to be added to the pan when making gravy. You can utilize the turkey drippings that are at the bottom of the roasting pan. Our Associate Food Editor Kelsey Youngman suggests using 1/4 cup of drippings for a gravy that feeds roughly 16 people. You can add to or swap out other fats for the drippings if you don’t have enough or any at all. You can use melted butter or oil, or bacon fat, as in this bacon-shallot gravy. Over a medium-low heat, preheat the fat in the gravy pan you’ll be using.
Think About Aromatics
Now is the moment to add anything extra to your gravy, such as sweet onions and garlic or mushrooms and herbs. In the hot fat, cook the veggies until they’ve softened and the onions have just begun to turn a light brown around the edges. If you want to, you don’t have to add anything extra to your gravy, but now is the time to add more onion- or herbaceous-flavored accents.
Choose Your Thickener
This is the time to add flour if you’re using it as a thickening. Use a fine-mesh sieve to sift the flour over the fat or drippings and the cooked vegetables, if used, to prevent lumpy gravy. With 7 tablespoons of flour and 1/4 cup of fat, Youngman’s recipe comes close to a 2-to-1 flour-to-fat ratio. Reduce the amount of flour if you’re working with less gravy or are concerned about it becoming too thick. Later, you can always add extra gravy thickener. Over low heat, whisk the flour until thoroughly combined with the fat.
Wait to add the cornstarch if you’re using it as a thickener until the stock is already in the pan. Since cornstarch has twice the thickening ability of flour, it is better to add it to the gravy gradually and gradually until it reaches the appropriate consistency. Making a slurry out of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 cup chilled stock and whisking them together is the easiest way to do this. Once the liquid in the pan has reached a simmer, gradually whisk in the stock and cornstarch.
Deglaze with Liquid
You should now add some liquid to the scenario. The typical gravy ingredient is turkey stock, but you may substitute any stock you have on hand. Youngman adds 4 cups of stock to the pan for her Best Ever Turkey Gravy, but you may change that amount up or down depending on how much fat and flour you’re using. Scrape up the drippings and browned meat or vegetable pieces from the pan’s bottom before adding a small amount of stock—roughly half a cup—and cooking some of the ingredients. After that, slowly whisk the remaining liquid into the mixture, whisking to ensure that the broth, thickener, and aromatics are thoroughly combined.
Let It Come Together
The gravy should begin to thicken when you bring it to a simmer while continuing to whisk. The French have a memorable term for the perfect gravy consistency: nappant, or thick enough to coat a spoon. You should be able to trace your finger down the back of a spoon after dipping it into the gravy. Don’t worry—you have options if the gravy has simmered for 10 minutes but still isn’t thick enough. You can always make a beurre manie, which is a fast paste made from softened butter and flour in equal parts (let’s say a tablespoon each). Little by little, whisking continuously, add the paste to the simmering liquid. Wait a minute or two for the gravy to thicken before adding more.
Season to Taste
Now is the moment to adjust the spices once the gravy is lusciously nappant. Waiting until the sauce has reduced and thickened to your preference before seasoning it is always a good idea because doing it too soon might make the sauce taste too salty. If necessary, season the gravy with salt and pepper. If you want a different flavor profile, you can also add other spices. For example, chipotle in adobo or smoked paprika offer a smoky, spicy flavor. Feel free to play about a little.
Gravy usually gets thicker the longer it sits, especially overnight in the refrigerator. Do not worry, add a tablespoon at a time of additional hot stock or hot water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Everything is gravy.
Is regular flour OK for gravy?
If at all feasible, match your stock to your meat while making the body of your gravy, such as using chicken stock for roast chicken.
You can use our instructions for making chicken stock, beef stock, and vegetable stock to create your own stock from scratch.
Even though it takes some time, it will be worthwhile. The chicken and vegetable stock makes an excellent foundation for soups, stews, risottos, and sauces.
Use chicken or vegetable stock instead, as both are more widely liked, if they don’t produce a stock specifically for the meat you’re eating.
If you’re creating gluten-free gravy, see the instructions below for additional information before adding the plain flour and stirring it in.
Cook for 30 seconds on the stovetop while scraping any cooked residue into the mixture.
Add the chunks in the sieve back, along with the liquids in the jug and any that have come off the resting meat on the board, along with a splash of alcohol (white wine, vermouth, and brandy all add richness).
Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes while whisking continuously to thicken. To give the vegetables more body and flavor, slightly mash them. Into a jug, strain.
How is homemade gravy made?
There are some recipes that we should all keep on hand. Here is one of them: this gravy. Use pan drippings, homemade stock, or store-bought stock to make this gravy. You can prepare it ahead of time and only require a few minutes. It lasts up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Do this now!
The benefits of our gravy recipe apply to various types of meat, including lamb, beef, hog, and turkey. Even utilizing our incredibly tasty vegetable broth as a base, I produced a vegetarian gravy. Speaking of vegetarian meals, you might savor our wonderful vegan mushroom stuffing dish.
What You Need To Make Gravy
Here are the fundamental components for our simple homemade gravy. I’ve also included some extra-tasty ingredients that are optional.
A paste (also known as a roux) made of butter and all-purpose flour aids in thickening soup into a silky gravy. See my suggestions below for gluten-free gravy or gravy made without butter.
The foundation of gravy is warm stock or broth. You can use beef, poultry, or even vegetable stock, as I have indicated. Using pan drippings is another option.
For the gravy to be flavorful and not taste bland or underseasoned, salt and freshly ground black pepper are necessary.
- Sage, thyme, and rosemary are just a few of the fresh or dried herbs that give gravy a richer flavor. Sage is one ingredient I personally enjoy including in turkey gravy.
- The gravy is made extra creamy and delectable by adding half and half or cream right before serving.
- Although adding mushroom powder, Worcestershire sauce, or fish sauce to gravy may seem strange, they all contribute a flavorful, umami component. We frequently use mushroom powder in our recipes; it’s simple to prepare at home and even available to buy at specialty shops or online. In our own cooking, we frequently utilize the flavors fish sauce and Worcestershire. Dishes that seem to be flavorless really come to life with only a splash.
The Steps For Making Perfect, Creamy Gravy
Don’t worry if you’ve never made gravy before. Making gravy is simple. You’ll quickly become an expert! Let’s get started because it only takes a few minutes!
First, combine flour and melted butter to make a smooth paste. The stock is thickened by this paste, also known as a roux, making the gravy velvety and smooth. I do it by first melting butter in a skillet over medium heat, then whisking in the flour. For a minute or two, I prefer to saute the butter and flour. In fact, you’ll notice that the paste’s color somewhat darkens. We want something blonde in color.
Step 2: Whisk in any liquid still in the roasting pan, stock, or broth. Since it tends to mix better with the butter and flour, I prefer to add the liquid while it is still warm. The liquid starts to simmer as it gets hotter, and the gravy thickens. You have gravy after cooking for one minute!
Step 3: Add optional ingredients and season with salt & pepper. Taste the gravy before dishing. If it’s bland, add extra salt, fresh herbs, or umami flavor boosters like mushroom powder, fish sauce, or Worcestershire sauce to the seasoning to bring it up to par.
Step 4: Add a small amount of cream or half-and-half. Although this is optional, it does add extra cream and decadence to the gravy.
How To Make Gravy With Pan Drippings
You can use our recipe to make gravy with or without pan drippings, as I’ve already said. Below is a picture of the dish made using our whole-roasted chicken recipe. The onions that the chicken roasts on give the chicken and the pan drippings their intense taste. I like to make a gravy out of it since I don’t want to lose any of that flavor. Here’s how I do it:
I start by separating the fat from the remaining liquid in the roasting pan. I usually use a spoon to remove the remaining fat from the pan’s bottom. I next strain the liquid that is left over. The liquid I preserved can be used as the broth, and the fat I kept can be used in place of the butter specified in the recipe. You can purchase gravy fat separators if you don’t want to use a spoon to separate the fat from the liquid (OXO makes one).
You can prepare the gravy straight in the roasting pan or Dutch oven you used if it is safe to use over the burner. This is fantastic since a ton of flavor will be clinging to the pan’s or dish’s bottom. You must prepare the gravy in a skillet if you baked the chicken in a baking dish, like we did.
Making Gravy Without Butter
Other animal fats like lard or chicken fat can be used in place of butter. Fat that has been cut off from pan drippings can also be used. Use vegan butter or the recipe for our gluten-free gravy below for vegan gravy (made with cornstarch starch).
Making Gluten-Free Gravy (Without Flour)
We alter the procedure slightly to make gluten-free gravy. However, it’s still really simple to build. The procedures I use to make the gravy gluten-free are as follows:
- In a skillet, heat the broth to a gentle simmer.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
- Slowly stir the cornstarch mixture into the boiling broth.
- Lower the heat, continue to whisk until the gravy has thickened, and then season with salt, pepper, and any additional optional seasonings like herbs.
What makes gravy the best thickener?
You can use any of the following cooking methods to make your gravy thicker if it is thin and watery:
- 1.Reduce and simmer: Leaving your gravy to stew longer is one of the simplest methods to thicken it. Before incorporating any thickening agents, try letting your gravy simmer for a few minutes. The extra liquid will be reduced as the gravy cooks further. One drawback of this approach is that, as the sauce diminishes, the water-to-salt ratio falls, which might result in salty gravy.
- 2. Add cornstarch: Create a slurry, a paste made of liquid, to thicken your gravy using cornstarch. Stir together one spoonful of cornstarch and one cup of cold water until the cornstarch granules are completely dissolved. On low heat, stir this mixture into your gravy. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can substitute arrowroot powder, tapioca flour, or potato starch.
- 3. Use a beurre mani, which is French for “kneaded butter” and is a similar technique to a roux for thickening gravy. Work one tablespoon of flour and one tablespoon of softened butter into a tiny ball using your hands or a fork. As the gravy simmers on the heat, whisk in the beurre mani and let the sauce thicken.
- 4. Add pureed vegetables: Pureed veggies give the sauce an earthy flavor and thicken the gravy consistency. Blend your chosen vegetables with one cup of liquid, such as water or chicken broth, in a blender. To improve the flavor, incorporate any leftover vegetables from the roasting pan.