Turkey Tips: Making Perfect Gravy Article - Allrecipes.com
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Turkey Tips: Making Perfect Gravy

Learn a few easy tricks to making smooth and savory turkey gravy.




Making Gravy

Step 1: Heat 4 cups of turkey broth, chicken broth or water--or a combination of broth and water--in a saucepan until hot but not boiling.

Step 2: Transfer the cooked turkey from the roasting pan and set it on a cutting board to rest. Remove as much grease or fat as possible from the pan using a spoon, ladle or gravy separator. Reserve ¼ cup fat.

Step 3: Place the roasting pan over two burners on the stove on medium heat. Deglaze the pan by adding ½ cup water or other liquid (wine, turkey, or chicken stock). Stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits. Pour off the liquid from the roasting pan into a measuring cup or the saucepan of hot turkey broth.

Step 4: Add ¼ cup reserved fat to roasting pan over medium heat. Whisk in ¼ cup all-purpose flour. Cook gently, stirring constantly, until the flour loses its “raw” smell and the mixture becomes golden in color. Cooking the flour enhances the thickening power of the roux and adds color and nutty flavor to the gravy.

Step 5: Then transfer the roux to a saucepan. Whisk in the hot turkey broth and pan drippings and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until thickened.

Step 6: Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed gravy boat or serving bowl and garnish with fresh chopped sage. Other herbs and spices may suit your tastes as well; experiment with a pinch of cloves, a sprinkle of thyme, and a touch of mace. 

Want to see how it's done? VIDEO: How to Make Turkey Gravy.


Avoid the Lumps

The trick to avoiding lumps is to cook together equal parts of flour with a fat, such as clarified butter, vegetable oil or grease. This mixture is known as a roux and serves as a thickener for gravy. As a general rule of thumb, a ½ cup of roux will thicken 4 cups of gravy. (See Making Roux for more information.)

Any type of liquid can be added to a roux to make gravy, including the broth or drippings from beef, pork or chicken. If you're roasting a turkey, use the drippings from the roasting pan and turkey broth to make the gravy.


Have questions? We've got answers to the most commonly asked Thanksgiving cooking questions.

Find tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipes.

    Comments
    Rachel 
    Nov. 17, 2009 3:10 am
    Thank you!
     
    Nov. 19, 2009 8:08 pm
    This year I smoked a turkey and made a stock from the smoked bones. In addition to the smoke, I used a little bacon grease with butter to make the roux. Smokey with a hint of bacon, best gravy I've ever had. Roomies loved it too!
     
    kcsbas 
    Nov. 23, 2009 7:13 am
    Watched your drinthekitchen video on how to degrease and I'm going to try it on Thanksgiving day. Can't wait!
     
    mary 
    Nov. 26, 2009 5:03 am
    This was easy and really good gravy. Thank you so much for sharing.
     
    Lynn 
    Dec. 4, 2009 7:52 pm
    A gravy separator works not only great, but effectively and without the nonsense of poking holes in plastic bags etc. (re: the above website with instructions) Another option (if you have time) is to plan ahead: at Thanksgiving set aside some of your turkey juices (I freeze mine in those Ball Plastic cup containers: it measures for you and stack in the freezer amazingly well). At Christmas pull out one or two of your leftover containers of turkey juices; all of the fat has risen to the top. Defrost slightly in microwave. Using a butter knife simply separate the fat from the turkey juice on the bottom (it will slide away cleanly). Discard the fat and prepare your roux/gravy as you normally would. Voila! I also use this trick with leftover beef and chicken drippings (I can't use the store-bought since most of them have msg in them). I use the chicken and beef drippings for soups, chili, and stews.
     
    mkauk 
    Feb. 14, 2010 6:56 pm
    We have an allergy to gluten in our family. Can you make this with cornstartch instead of flour?
     
    Oct. 26, 2010 12:29 pm
    Yes, you can use cornstarch and water to thicken the gravy.
     
    Kircrich 
    Nov. 4, 2010 10:04 am
    i wish there was a way to save this.
     
    Nov. 7, 2010 6:29 am
    Kircrich: copy the URL, goto your recipe box, click weblink, paste the url into the provided box and follow the prompts ^_^ I save articles like these as referances for when I am cooking so fast I get frazzled lol
     
    Chris A. 
    Nov. 7, 2010 10:28 am
    I have always had a problem with my drippings from the turkey being too burnt and giving my gravy a burnt taste. How can I fix this? Thanks.
     
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:47 pm
    Potato starch works very well to thicken gravy, I prefer it over flour and cornstarch.
     
    abbeym 
    Nov. 16, 2010 1:31 pm
    How much gravy does this make?
     
    scudrunner 
    Nov. 17, 2010 5:43 am
    When making gravy I ALWAYS use COLD liquids to mix together the flour or corn starch. Chef Alton of the Food Network explains this very skillfully in chemical terms. Using cold liquids totally avoids the lumps which most people complain about. After mixed then add heat to thicken. Dave
     
    scudrunner 
    Nov. 17, 2010 5:45 am
    When making gravy I ALWAYS use COLD liquids to mix together the flour or corn starch. Chef Alton Brown of the Food Network explains this very skillfully in chemical terms. Using cold liquids totally avoids the lumps which most people complain about. After mixed then add heat to thicken. Dave
     
    Nov. 19, 2010 3:39 pm
    where do I find the url address?
     
    kupkake2U 
    Nov. 22, 2010 8:59 am
    Where is the URL button, and how do you copy or paste anything? I have never been able to figure out how to do any of these
     
    Nov. 25, 2010 8:39 am
    @ drinthekitchen there is such a thing as a separater, Pampered Chef carries it for sure...
     
    bevstitch 
    Nov. 25, 2010 4:47 pm
    This is the best Turkey gravy. I used corn starch with no lumps in the gravy. It makes a lot.Who ever put this recipe on the board great job. Thanks
     
    Karly 
    Dec. 6, 2010 11:20 am
    My grandmother told me so many years ago that "you MUST let the grease in the bottom of pan cool before you add any flour to it,otherwise you get lumps."I have followed this rule my entire life,passed it on to my daughters and grandaughters and everyone says it is a life saver.No lumps.
     
    tommy51 
    Jul. 19, 2011 5:33 pm
    Lazy gravy: Take one or two cans of butter beans (what?), add poultry seasonings/boullion, pepper and garlic/onion powder and blend them to liquefy. Simmer in a saucepan until desired thickness. Options: add pan juices, bacon grease or butter.
     
    miamikatt 
    Sep. 9, 2011 4:19 pm
    Help please! My gravy looks fine but is too salty after adding pan drippings. Is there a way to fix this? Would adding sugar do the trick?
     
    miamikatt 
    Sep. 9, 2011 4:28 pm
    Help please! My gravy looks fine but is too salty after adding pan drippings. Is there a way to fix this? Would adding sugar do the trick?
     
    AlbertaGoddess 
    Oct. 7, 2011 11:10 am
    My mom is a terrific cook, and her gravy is always demanded at family gatherings. She skims the fat off the drippings, adds pepper and OXO to taste. Then, using a cup with a lid, add COLD water (about 3/4-1 cup) and the same amount of flour on top of water. Put lid on cup and shake vigorously. Dripping should be at boiling point, then with a wire whisk add flour and water mixture (Bisto can be used in place of flour) slowly and whisk until mixture thickens... Turn heat to low and stir occasionally... Taste to see if needs salt & pepper... Yum yum... Voilà, a non lumpy gravy! I hope this helps all of you who haven't found the perfect gravy recipe. Thanks again Mom!
     
    AlbertaGoddess 
    Oct. 7, 2011 11:20 am
    I heard splitting a whole uncooked potato and letting it sit in the gravy works well for cutting down the salty taste... Not sure if it works, but quite a few people have told me it does.
     
    Yoni 
    Oct. 25, 2011 8:57 pm
    1. I freeze water in plastic jugs, then place one or two in my brine mixture. Keeps the brine ice cold and doesn't add water to it, like ice cubes would. I do this when camping also to keep foods cold or when I am serving punch or ice tea in the 5 gallon containers. You can't see the frozen jugs and sure keeps your items cold.
     
    Yoni 
    Oct. 25, 2011 9:05 pm
    2. I make my cornbread dressing/stuffing separate. I made some and froze it for a month (didn't bake it), then baked it Thanksgiving - I received so many compliments - just as if it had been made that day! I also add an entire boiled or roasted chicken to my dressing. It is so good! I have the chicken broth to use for my dressing, so works out great.
     
    Yoni 
    Oct. 25, 2011 9:08 pm
    3. When I skim the fat, I can do this quickly by adding ice cubes into the broth. The fat adheres to the ice immediately. Discard in a bowl and add some of the fat later if you choose.
     
    Yoni 
    Oct. 25, 2011 9:20 pm
    4. Next week I'm going to buy the smallest turkey I can find. Will brine it, then bake and use the drippings for my gravy and dressing. Will freeze both my dressing and my gravy. I'm having 30 guests this year, so I want to be prepared with the amounts and great taste! I may use the white meat of my make ahead turkey to add to my dressing instead of the chicken like I normally do,
     
    Dana 
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:59 am
    Wow! I learn something new everytime I access this website. Love the idea of ice cube into the drippings which attract the grease. Love the idea of making ahead stuffing and freezing it. Why haven't I thought of these before. Not a big crowd to feed but every little idea helps. Thanks!
     
    Linda N 
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:00 am
    Definitely find yourself the small covered mixing cup as described by AlbertaGoddess. My mother also passed this secret and cup on to me and the gravy is perfect every time. (The cup is great for any sauces you make) "Then, using a cup with a lid, add COLD water (about 3/4-1 cup) and the same amount of flour on top of water. Put lid on cup and shake vigorously. Dripping should be at boiling point, then with a wire whisk add flour and water mixture (Bisto can be used in place of flour) slowly and whisk until mixture thickens... Turn heat to low and stir occasionally...
     
    dalesadler 
    Nov. 16, 2011 5:33 pm
    By "pan drippings" do you mean the liquid that was poured off in step 3?
     
    wingerone 
    Nov. 17, 2011 12:09 am
    Haven't tried this recipe yet but I will. My own basic recipe is very similar. One thing I found that always makes any gravy recipe better is adding a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. It tastes better, makes for a richer creamier gravy and makes more gravy. I haven't met anyone that doesn't love my gravy so I must be doing something right. Actually, my best gravy comes from roasting legs, wings, giblets, veggies and making a stock and combining that with the drippings sans fat. Depends on how you want to go, easy and great or longer but greater. If you're going with the stock you'll need another can of CoM soup. Something you can do to make it easier is don't make the roux with the fat but just mix the flour with water and wisk until the four is completely mixed with no lumps, pour into the gravy and simmer until the flouor smell is gone.
     
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:12 pm
    I usually set my bowl of drippings from the cooked turkey in the freezer for about 5 minutes. The fat comes to the top and becomes much more easy to skim than while it's still warm. :)
     
    Janice 
    Nov. 17, 2012 10:30 am
    No need to use any extra fat. In a jar with a lid mix the flour with cold water or stock and SHAKE WELL (Martha Stewart's tip)then slowly stir this into your warmed liquid to thicken.
     
    Run & Eat 
    Nov. 18, 2012 6:05 pm
    Deborah...degreasing method for gravy looks poetically simple. Just seeing it now 3 yrs after your post, but can't wait to try it this T-giving 2012...Thanks! Others, check it out at: http://www.adoctorskitchen.com/archives/degreasing-liquids
     
     
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