Homemade gravy has never been easier! Learn How to Make Gravy from Drippings, whether you’re cooking chicken, turkey, pork or beef.
Forgot to pick up a jar of gravy from the store? That is about to be the best mistake of your life. Making gravy from drippings is not only easy, but it’s so much more delicious than the jarred stuff. And the same recipe works for chicken gravy, turkey gravy or beef gravy.
It might sound overwhelming, but no worries. I am going to walk you through it step by step, and also teach you how to fix some common mistakes that happen when making gravy.
Fixing Lumpy Gravy
There are a couple of aspects and questions that come up when making any type of gravy at home, but especially gravy with drippings. Let’s address those first.
The first, is undoubtedly, the issue of lumpy gravy. Lumpy gravy is usually the result of trying to thicken the sauce and not doing it properly.
The unfortunate issue is that after you lump it it, no amount of whisking is going to make it smooth. Those lumps are there to stay. There are only two ways to fix the problem.
ONE. The first is to remove the lumps by pouring the gravy through a fine mesh sieve or small holed colander.
If you only have a large holed colander, line it with cheesecloth. You will lose a little gravy absorbing into the cheesecloth though.
TWO. The second is to use an immersion blender or transfer the whole mixture to a stand blender (not a stand mixer, an actual BLENDER) and give a nice whirl.
But you can prevent lumps when making gravy from drippings pretty easily. The basic elements to thicken gravy are flour, cornstarch or arrowroot. Any of these three needs to be mixed with a small amount of water before being added to the larger batch of gravy. Flour is usually added before in the form of a roux.
Other lumps sometimes come from pieces of food or seasoning, but those are the good kind of lumps. You can smooth those with an immersion blender, if desired.
In review, how to remove lumps from gravy:
- Pour gravy with drippings through a fine mesh sieve or small holed colander.
- Use an immersion blender to smooth them out.
How to Fix Salty Gravy
The next issue is that gravy is too salty. Generally this happens because the cook has seasoned the gravy too early in the cooking process and the other ingredients already carried a lot of salty flavor.
Drippings and broth, stock or bullion are all going to carry a certain amount of their own saltiness. Until it is all combined, you won’t know how much, if any, salt is needed.
ONE. It is potatoes! Chop up a potato and add it to your gravy. It will absorb the salt in about 15 minutes.
Fish out the potato chunks using a slotted spoon or run it through a colander. Although I haven’t tried this technique, it is touted by Better Homes & Gardens, so I am guessing it works!
TWO. The second is to counterbalance salt with sugar and pepper. Both will help balance the flavor profile of your gravy with drippings. Start with just a teaspoon of sugar and quick pinch of pepper, stir well and taste. Add more as needed.
THREE. The last way to reduce salt in gravy is all about ratios. You can dilute the gravy by adding more liquid and a tablespoon of butter.
You might also end up with WAY more gravy than you need, but I supposed that is better than not having gravy at all.
Add 1 cup of broth (or just plain water if the stock is what was contributing to the saltiness to begin with) and 1 tablespoon UNSALTED butter. Salted butter will just add to the saltiness.
How to Get Drippings
So you made the meat, now how do you even get the drippings? Drippings are little flavor bombs, but the liquids in the roasting pan will also have some fat and while flavorful, you’ll want to avoid that.
The drippings are just the liquids that pools in the bottom of the pan. To collect the drippings, ladle or pour liquid into a fat skimmer cup or regular cup and wait for fats to float. Skim this off the top and then use the liquid that remains.
If you used seasoning, try to capture some of those in the amount that you use. You can also use more drippings than this recipe calls for, just reduce the amount of broth you add to supplement.
Making gravy is very forgiving on exact measurements.
How to Make Gravy with Drippings
Whether you are making chicken, pork, beef or turkey, you can follow this basic recipe to make a gravy to accompany all of them! The only difference might be in the way you season the gravy.
Be mindful that depending on the hue of drippings and also broth, gravies will be vastly different colors. Chicken broth is clearly lighter than beef broth and within those, homemade and store bought will also have a lot of variety.
Melt butter, whisk with flour until a paste forms, called the roux. Continue to whisk until roux starts to brown and become fragrant. This is key to developing a deep, rich flavor.
Slowly add broth and pan drippings while whisking vigorously. Mixture will be a little lumpy just based on drippings having some texture, this is normal. Stir constantly until gravy has thickened. This prevents the pan gravy from burning to the bottom of the pan.
Continue to whisk while bringing to a boil. Taste test for seasoning. Add coarse salt sparingly until desired taste is achieved.
Add other seasonings, if desired and continue to heat for 5-15 minutes for flavors to marry. And making gravy with drippings is as easy as that!
Serve over roast meat, mashed potatoes, biscuits or anything else your heart desires.
More gravy recipes:
How to Make Gravy from Drippings
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
- When melted, whisk with the flour until a paste forms. Continue to whisk until roux starts to brown and become fragrant.
- Slowly add the broth and drippings while whisking vigorously. Continue to whisk until fully heated.
- Taste test for seasoning. Add the salt and freshly ground black pepper sparingly until desired taste is achieved.
- Add other seasonings, if desired and continue to heat for 5-15 minutes.
- If you run into problems, such as your gravy being too thin, too thick, too salty or having other issues, check this post for common gravy problems and how to solve them!
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.
- 3-4 leaves sage
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2-3 whole anise pods
- 3-4 grates of fresh nutmeg
- 2-3 whole cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 1 tablespoon red wine
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped giblets
- 2-3 tablespoons minced or grated onion
- 2-3 cloves finely minced or grated garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons grated apple
- 1/3 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 cup cream or half and half