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3 Ways to Make Gravy – wikiHow


If you have a roast going in the oven, you can make a delectable gravy with the drippings.[1] If you don’t, no problem! You can whip up a gravy with cream and stock just as easy. No time? We’ll cover a quick gravy, too. With these three recipes in your arsenal, your gravy woes are gone!


Quick Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup broth

Without Pan Drippings

  • 1/2 cup of butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

With Pan Drippings

  • Pan drippings
  • ¼ cup flour or cornmeal
  • Broth (optional)
  • Butter (optional)


Making Quick Gravy

  1. Heat 1 cup of broth (stock) in a pot over medium heat. What kind of stock? Whatever you want! Chicken, beef, and vegetable are all good – it just depends on what you’re pairing it with (chicken goes with chicken, etc.) and what your personal preferences are.[2]
    • As this recipe only makes 2-4 servings, you won’t need a very large pot. However, you can easily double (or even triple) the recipe if need be. The more gravy you need to make, the bigger the pot you’ll need.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour into a small bowl and cream together. Make sure your butter is soft, but not melting (otherwise it will be nearly impossible to cream). It will eventually turn into a smooth paste – what the French call a “beurre manié.”[3]
    • If your butter is just chunking up, leave it alone to sit for a bit – it’s too cold. Move your broth to low and come back in 5 or 10 minutes. Then resume as normal.
  3. Add the butter-flour paste to the stock, whisking vigorously. It’ll start out just like the butter and flour – a bit chunky and not at all appealing to the eye. Then slowly the paste will infuse into the broth, thickening it slowly.[4]
    • Keep whisking throughout the rest of this recipe. This keeps the air flowing and will result in your gravy thickening more quickly.
  4. Turn down the heat to low and wait for it to thicken. If the gravy is too hot, it will start to boil – which is not what you want, as that thins it and makes it foamy. On low, keep whisking lightly, keeping an eye on how thick it is getting. This could take up to 10 minutes. Be patient!
    • Once you think it’s thick enough, give it the spoon test. Dip a spoon in and then lift it out. Does it stay covered? Does it drip off like a gravy should?
  5. Season to taste. Especially with quick gravy (that doesn’t have pan drippings or cream), you may find that you prefer it with a bit of salt and pepper, or any other spice you’re particularly fond of. Give it a taste test regularly to make sure you don’t over-season it.
    • Remember that the gravy will likely be eating in tandem with another food. If the gravy itself isn’t strong, that’s fine. It will be combining with other flavors anyway.

Making Gravy without Pan Drippings

  1. Start making a roux. A roux (pronounced “roo”) is where you cook flour and butter together until it’s a perfect, smooth consistency – then you’ll be adding cold stock and cooking it until it has thickened into a sumptuous gravy. Here’s how to begin:[5]
    • Cut up 8 tablespoons (½ cup) of ‘’un’’salted butter into chunks (salted will make your gravy too salty). Then add the chunks to a medium-sized saucepan.
    • With the pan on low heat, melt the butter until it’s foamy. If the butter starts burning, the oven is on too high.
    • Add ½ cup of white flour to the pan.
  2. Whisk until well-blended – and keep whisking. At first it will look like an unappetizing, buttery, gloopy paste, and then slowly it will transform into something smooth and silky. Keep whisking while it’s on low so the air circulates and the mixture thickens.
    • Eventually (6-12 minutes) it’ll start to smell like a pie is baking in the oven. It won’t happen immediately. At this point, your flour has cooked and your gravy won’t taste flour-y.
  3. Add 1 cup of stock to start. Chicken, beef, or vegetable stock all work. Keep whisking as you’re adding the stock, until it all gets absorbed. Once that cup is absorbed, add in another and then whisk until that one is absorbed, and another and then whisk, and another and then whisk, and eventually you will have one smooth, but thin, gravy.[6]
    • Again, it will be thin – don’t be alarmed if it looks more like soup at this juncture; that’s totally normal. That’s what it’s supposed to look like.
  4. Keep it over low heat to thicken. Your gravy is done when it coats a spoon and comes off in drips – not a steady, thin stream. This could take around 10-15 minutes.
    Make Gravy Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Stir it regularly so it doesn’t film over, the bottom doesn’t overheat, and the air and heat circulate evenly. It will take a while, so be patient.
    • It’s not done yet! Don’t be alarmed if it still seems like it’s in the works, because it is!
  5. Once thickened, add in ⅓ cup of cream. Whisk it for 2-3 minutes, giving it the spoon test once more. It should thickly coat the back of a spoon and resemble the gravy you have pictured in your mind. All done!
  6. Season to taste. Though your gravy doesn’t necessarily need any more additions, salt and pepper are a favorite of many. However, you may consider a few of these more off-the-beaten-track family traditions:[7]
    • Ketchup
    • Soy sauce
    • Coffee
    • Sugar
    • Cream of mushroom soup
    • Sour cream

Making Gravy with Pan Drippings

  1. Save the pan drippings from your roast. To make gravy, the first step is to save the drippings and scraps from the pan that you used to cook your meat, whether it was chicken, turkey, beef, or duck. This will give a great flavor to your gravy that can’t be replicated through a mix or broth.
    • Put them into a wide-brimmed bowl. You’ll need to separate it later, so the wider the brim, the better.
  2. Skim off the fat. Let the drippings sit for a minute or two, until the fat has separated on the top. Then, use a spoon to skim the fat from the top and transfer the fat to a measuring cup. Don’t be tempted to throw it away! While it may not look appetizing, it’s what will give your gravy that delectable edge.
    • Make sure that you keep track of how much fat you have, because you will need an equal amount of flour. You should end up with about ¼ cup (however, if you don’t have that, don’t worry).
    • Keep the rest of the drippings, too (the non-fat part) – you will need these later as well.
  3. Add the fat and an equivalent amount of flour to the pan. Pour the fat from the measuring cup into a large pot or pan over medium to medium-high heat. Then add an equivalent amount of flour – that is, if you have 1/4 cup of fat, use 1/4 cup of flour.
    • If you want to make a large serving of gravy and do not have enough fat from the drippings, you can use butter to make up the difference. Simply add the butter to the pan with whatever fat you have, and then let the butter melt before adding the flour (you’ll need more flour, too).
    • Don’t have flour? You can easily substitute cornmeal.
  4. Mix the fat and flour together. Stir the fat and flour with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and turns a medium shade of brown, like peanut butter. This should take a couple of minutes. Be careful not to let it burn![8]
    • If it is scorching on the bottom, it is burning. The best way to avoid this is to stir evenly and to turn down the heat just a bit if you suspect it is too hot.
  5. Add the broth. This is where you add the rest of the drippings from the cooking of the meat. Pour the drippings into the pan and whisk them together with the fat/flour mixture. Stir until the whole mixture has the smooth, viscous consistency like gravy.[9]
    • If you do not have enough drippings to make the amount of gravy that you desire, you can use canned broth. Try to use broth that matches the type of meat you are serving, i.e. beef broth with beef, chicken broth with poultry.
  6. Season to taste. With pan drippings, it’s likely your gravy will already taste good on its own. However, plenty of people add a dash of salt or pepper, and some even add cream (sour or regular) or even ketchup, soy sauce, or coffee (with beef gravy, of course). What taste would you like to see in your gravy?
  7. Finished.
    Make Gravy Step 18.jpg



  • To make gravy with corn starch, use the recipe on the box and stir the starch into cold water before you add it to the broth (still do the washing down of the brown bits and still use a bit of the fat.) Make sure it is all dissolved with the wire whisk, then begin the cooking.
  • If it takes too long to thicken, you can add a bit more of raw flour and butter rubbed together to speed it up. It won’t be the best but it will still be better than most gravy made by any other method.
  • If you have time, you can stick the bones in the oven for a short time at 400F and brown them. Then put these in the broth to “wash the brown off” and it will really punch up the flavor of your gravy.
  • If you have leftover gravy, store it covered in a quart or pint jar and add just a bit of water or milk over the surface before you close the lid.[10]

Things You’ll Need

  • Pot
  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup(s)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Knife
  • Seasonings (optional)

Related wikiHows

  • Make Pork Gravy
  • Make Sausage Gravy
  • Make Hillbilly Gravy for Biscuits
  • Make Brown Gravy
  • Thicken Gravy


Quick Summary

Source: Wiki How