The Easiest Way to Make Gravy

Say goodbye to canned gravy this holiday season and make your own at home. It tastes way better than what you’ll find at the store and it’s easier than you think. Gravy is a funny thing… it’s hard to have an exact recipe because the quantity of drippings remaining (a key to flavorful gravy) varies based on the type of meat cooking. We’ve put together a recipe, along with a few Test Kitchen tips, that’ll help you create a versatile, delicious, and easy gravy.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup pan drippings
  • 2/3 – 1 cup of low-sodium stock or water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1

Over medium heat melt butter in the pan.

Step 2

Add the flour and whisk vigorously.

Step 3

Continue to whisk until the color changes to the color of evaporated milk (a slightly caramelized color).

Step 4

Add the pan drippings. The pan will sizzle and the gravy will try to clump up, so whisk even more vigorously until the mixture smooths out.

Step 5

Then add half of your stock and whisk it until smooth. Add the rest of your stock and, again, whisk until smooth. Take your time with this so you don’t add too much liquid. Start with 2/3 cup and go from there. You’ll only need to add 1 cup if the drippings are thick.

Step 6

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Now just stir occasionally. It will come to a boil. Let it bubble and boil away for 5 minutes, give or take a couple of minutes depending on your desired thickness.

Step 7

Turn it down to low and whisk. At this point carefully sample your gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Between the salted butter and the drippings, you may not need to add salt. If you’re cutting down on salt, feel free to use unsalted butter and salt at the end of cooking.

Step 8

Stir a minute or two more. Then remove it from the heat, pour into a gravy boat and serve.

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Test Kitchen Tips

  • If you don’t have drippings (or get rid of all the drippings by accident), create a substitution by mixing 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon base (found at the grocery store) with 2/3 cup of hot water.
  • Only add 1 cup of stock/water if the drippings are very thick. Adding too much will cause the gravy to be thin.
  • If you get to Step 7 and the gravy it to thin, you can thicken it up by removing 1/4 cup of the gravy and putting into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour or cornstarch. Whisk vigorously to make sure you get out all of the lumps. Then add the paste to the gravy. Pour that mixture back into the gravy and whisk away. The gravy should thicken up.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup or 4 servings. Use the ratio of ingredients to double or triple the recipe for larger crowds.