How to Make Gravy

Two easy gravy recipes with photos and step-by-step instructions.

  • Cook time: 10 minutes

Method

Making Gravy with Corn Starch

1 Remove the roast from the pan. Place pan on stove on medium high heat. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of the drippings in the pan.

2 Dissolve 2 Tbsp of corn starch in the minimum amount of water needed to make a thin paste - about 1/4 cup. Pour into pan with drippings and use a wire whisk or spatula (as pictured) to blend into the drippings

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3 Stir with a wire whisk until the gravy begins to thicken. As it thickens, slowly add water, stock, milk, or cream, or some combination to the pan. Alternate stirring and adding liquid, maintaining the consistency you want, for several minutes (about 5). You will probably add about 2 cups of liquid all together. Taking into consideration the evaporation that is occurring while you are cooking, you will end up with about 2 cups of gravy. Season with salt (we use Vege-Sal).

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Making Gravy with Flour

1 Remove the roast from the pan. Place pan on stove on medium high heat. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of the drippings in the pan.

2 Into the 2 tablespoons of drippings in the pan stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir with a wire whisk until the flour has thickened and the gravy is smooth. Continue to cook slowly to brown the flour, and stir constantly.

3 Slowly add back some of the previously removed drippings (remove some of the fat beforehand if there is a lot of fat). In addition, add either water, milk, stock, or cream to the gravy, enough to make 2 cups. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and herbs.

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Comments

  1. Michael Armstrong

    Back when I worked in a kitchen, a sous chef taught me how to make gravy. He put in a dash of Tobasco sauce to serve as a flavor enhancer (not for its kick) sort of in the same way you use salt. You should try it. It makes a difference.

  2. Charles W. Stanton

    Rather than whisk flour or cornstarch directly into the drippings, I’ve always started with a roux. (Light-to-medium works great. Use butter for the flavor, olive oil for a healthier gravy, or mix them for both.) I then whisk my mostly-fat-separated drippings with the roux and add other liquids/seasonings as desired. This approach is simple and ensures a tasty, lump-free gravy!

  3. barbara

    For no lump gravy , I use the stock and drippings of whatever has been cooked, roast , turkey ,, etc. Pour it into a sauce pan. Use a jar with a lid, add about 1/4 cup of flour , or three heaping table spoons . To the flour, add “COLD” water about a cup. SHAKE WELL . Heat the drippings to a boil over medium high heat, pour in the desired amount of flour water,continually stir til gravy boils lightly and thickened to the desired consistancy . Season to taste.

  4. Dave Hatfield

    I much prefer not to use either cornstarch or flour in a gravy. Both alter the flavor.
    Pour off excess fat from the roasting pan.
    Then simply put the roasting tin over high heat on your stovetop. Add a bit of wine (3-4 oz); white for chicken, veal or fish & red for red meats or duck. Deglaze the pan making sure you scrape off all the browned bits. Reduce until all the alchol has evaporated. Add full cream & reduce again. That’s it!
    If you need a bit more volume add a non-salty stock cube of the appropriate variety & increase the amount of wine & cream.

    Yes, its rich, but worth it!

  5. Dave

    Hey Elise, I’ve watched my grandmother make gravy for years just eyeballing the ingredients. Since we normally have potatoes with the meal, she uses the water the potatoes have been cooked in (keeps some of the vitamins) and adds all purpose flour directly. When we’ve asked her how she knows how much to add, or when it’s done, she always says “just make sure that it’s boiled”. I know that it doens’t answer the question but she says it’s important to the texture and flavour to “cook the flour or the cornstartch in the gravy”. Her gravy is always delicious. Just thought I’d share that tip.

  6. Denise

    For Turkey gravy use cream of chicken soup. Dilute with enough broth or pan drippings for desired thickness. Add chopped hard boiled eggs, some turkey bits. (giblets if you like that)Heat thoroughly. It’s like homemade!

  7. JASMINE HAYNES

    I was making a dish using pork chops when I used the drippings, flour, and chicken broth just to see if they would still make a great gravy. Even though I really don’t use much broth, they made a great gravy!

  8. isabelle

    When I serve ham, I keep the bone and boil it in a couple cups of water for stock for gravy; or you can buy a small ham hock. I always make a roue with flour and lard (vegetable shortening does not allow the roue to brown). I then add the stock, and no added salt is required because the salt from the ham stock provides a deep, rich flavor.

  9. Nick vanman

    For gravy I drain as much fat of baking tray as possible and mix corn flour in a small cup of water stirring as i pour of oil remants then add a stock cube and more water if needed, then again I am a man only learning these things but it tastes good.

  10. maria

    For Turkey gravy use 1/4 wheat flour or 3 tablespoons put in the pan and roasted until it’s brown then put the turkey juice in the pan and keep stiring until its boiling and it gets thicken. Add salt for taste yum yum. Also what I do if you feel the turkey is dry what I love to do is take the turkey a part and put in the pan that’s full of gravy. Your mouth will feel juicy and not dry.

  11. K. Christopher

    I just tried out this recipe. I was in a pinch and didnt have plain flour, so I used pancake mix and garlic and salt and pepper for seasoning, and it actually worked well and gave it a slightly creamier thicker texture. I was worried the leavening agent in pancake mix would effect the ability to produce the roux and would result in a giant chicken flavored pancake. But if you work quickly and add your liquid a little early, and don’t brown the roux too long, it will make a delicious gravy.

    Very helpful recipe!

  12. issachar5

    I sure appreciate your recipes. I tried to get such info from the Betty Crocker site and another cooking site, but they had no such information on how to make gravy from turkey drippings. When I saw the corn starch part, I remembered that my mother used cornstarch when making gravy. I look forward to trying to make gravy when I cook the turkey. It should bring back some fond memories.
    Thank you, from an old guy.

  13. Derek Blackburn

    I actually just made some gravy without any prior knowlegde really, I looked this up afterwards and thought I would share my results. I panfried two porkchops breaded porkchops in clarified butter and afterwards added in roughly a quarter of a cup of leftover chicken stock from some lentil soup I made yesteday along with approx. the same amount of whole milk, I used enough flour to thicken it up and added some mushrooms I had left over quarterd, I reduced it down to a gravy consistency and it was wonderful over the porkchops, albeit not very healthy I would imagine. Glad to know I was somewhere along normal lines though. I’m going to try the tabasco next time :).

  14. Giulie

    I always make a roux for gravy, then add the turkey drippings and chicken broth and broth from the giblets and neck. Then (this is the great secret for delicious gravy) 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry sherry. Fabulous!

  15. Ms Fau

    I like to use the flour in cold water & shaken method best. Try adding a little Kitchen Bouquet to darken the gravy. Done this for years to rave results.

  16. Lisa

    Elise,

    I used your Mom’s turkey recipe and roasted it breast side down. How great!!! Very tender. I noticed, also that there was less drippings with which to make the gravy. :(

    No matter. I had simmered the giblets, neck, heart and liver in a pot while the turkey was roasting. When my gravy called for water to be added, I added the “innards” stock and it was amazing. No need to salt or pepper (and I usually add both) the gravy; it was perfect just as it was.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions! You and yours ROCK!

    Lisa

  17. Cindy Fox

    Thank you! :) My husband is an awesome cook and so I try to be at least competent! I was unsure how to make gravy, although I know he uses cornstarch! It worked great! I will try the wine recipe in the comment one time when it’s just he and I. The kids have balked at winey flavored things. :)

    Thannks! :) c.

  18. Joeleine

    I always drain my drippings then scoop off/out the little flour crunchies. Next I pour the drippings into a large saucepan, add a stick of butter, handful of onions a bit of salt and pper to taste. I bring this to a boil,while waiting for this to boil I mix White Lily flour with warm water and whisk till smooth, I then add a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet to get a lovely light brown or tan tone, once the water and drippings boil I whisk the flour and KB mixture very quickly then turn off the heat and continue to whisk. I adjust with chicken stock or buttered water if it thickens too much.
    This is a basic restaurant gravy recipe, great over rice and mashed potatoes

  19. Christine

    I just wanted to thank you for these simple to follow instructions! I have tried to make gravy a few times and it always turned out terrible. After reading this and trying it…my gravy turned out AMAZING! I used the corn starch method. I finally figured out what I had been doing wrong all those other times and now I realize gravy isn’t as difficult to make as I thought it was!

  20. Jen C.

    I made breaded fried pork cutlets and my new husband asked me to make gravy. I said,” oh boy I don’t know how to make it with fried pork drippings.”But all that you need is canned chicken stock,half and half,water and a few Tbs. of the grease drippings minus the bread crumb rocks he loved it!

  21. Chris

    Can somebody please help me. I have always followed a similar recipe for gravy. My problem comes from the turkey drippings from the bottom of the pan, they are so burnt it gives my gravy a burnt taste. How can I fix this. If the drippings were not so burnt I really believe it would add more flavor.
    Thanks

    Perhaps you’re cooking your turkey at too high of a heat? We always start our out high for the first half hour and then drop the temp for the rest of the cooking so the turkey cooks more evenly. You might try putting a half a cup of water in the roasting pan to help moderate the temperature and give the drippings more of a chance not to burn. ~Elise

  22. House Wife in Training

    I just made gravy successfully for the first time! My friends say it’s the best roast they have ever had! Thank you!!!!

  23. Linda

    Can I reduce the marinade & use it in/as the gravy?

    Depends on the marinade. If you do reduce it, make sure to boil it for at least 10 minutes to kill anything the marinade may have picked up from being in contact with raw meat. ~Elise

  24. Joyce

    Gravy without browning the flour first or making some sort of simple rioux is just a white sauce with flavorings, in my opinion. That’s why I’ve never made white gravies by shaking flour in a jar with cold water. I suggest that you limit this approach to instances when you already have flavorgul browned pan drippings. I’ll trade a lump or two every time for the flavor you get by taking the time to brown the flour.

  25. Kay

    I always have trouble getting my gravy to thicken, either browning the flour first or adding the flour to cold water. Could it be the fact that I use 2% milk instead of whole milk?

    You might try using a little corn starch. ~Elise

  26. betty crocker is my hero

    steak and potatoes gravy ‘homemade’ style desired: what about the steak and potatoes? there isn’t even a few teaspoons of ‘drippings’ afterwards. all i have is chicken stock and flour (of course at a time like this!).. maybe worcester sauce or something? extra salt..

    and may i also suggest my dad’s homemade marinade for grilled steak (there’s nothing like a mouth watering marinaded filet mignon): put steak in bowl or dish to hold marinade in. add worcester sauce, soy sauce, teriaki sauce all in equal parts to cover 1/2 the height of the steak and some ground pepper. let it soak for about 1 hour or more(longer tastes better), flipping every 10-15 minutes. grill on medium/high heat, about 6-7 min. each side. enjoy! …oh, wait, i just need some gravy for my potaoes!??

    Sear the steak on high heat, with the steak slathered in butter. That should give you some drippings. ~Elise

  27. Rheanna

    I lacked meat drippings so my Husband sugested a beef top ramen packet. It was salty and tasted like beef top ramen. But learned somthing important, don’t listen to my Husband.

  28. Donna

    I’m allergic to corn & my husband to wheat. A great gravy solution is potato starch. Either start with a roux of butter or olive oil & potato starch, cook to get the “grainy” texture out of it & start adding stock or drippings. Another method is to add a bit of your cooking liquid to the potato starch & whisk until smooth, then add it back into the liquid you’re making gravy with. Makes a nice, silky sauce & it’s gluten-free.

  29. Kate

    Thanks for teaching me how to make really tasty Thanksgiving gravy! I think I used a lot more cream than necessary…but got a lot of compliments from our guests.

  30. Butch

    I bought a chicken from a farm by my house, plucked it’s feather, chopped it up, and then cooked it. When I tasted it I knew it needed something so, I decided it needed gravy. I decided to choose this one and it tasted delicous. Now every time i walk by the chicken farm I’ll be thinking about this gravy.