How to Make Gravy

I’m always surprised by how many people are totally intimidated about making gravy. Making gravy for the Thanksgiving turkey is about the easiest thing, so I thought I’d outline how I do it. (For those of you who already know how to make gravy and could practically do it in your sleep, I’m sure there are other blogs to read right now….)

Homemade Gravy for Turkey

See all those lovely rich juices at the bottom of the pan once you’ve lifted the cooked turkey out to carve it? Those juices are going to become your gravy.

Start by pouring the drippings (another name for the turkey juice) into a sauce pan. Make sure you don’t fill the saucepan more than 2/3 full. Bring the drippings to a rolling boil. Salt this just a little.
Meanwhile, stir 4 T. of cornstarch into a cup of very cold water. If you add cornstarch directly into hot juices, the cornstarch will just clump together and get nasty. So stir it into cold water. Once the juices are boiling heartily, slowly stir in the cold water/cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly. I like to use a wire whisk for this part although a spoon will work just fine.

Bring the gravy back to boiling and cook until it thickens to the degree that you want it to. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

You can also use flour instead of cornstarch. I grew up using cornstarch and prefer the flavor but it really doesn’t matter a lot which you use.

Any leftover gravy can be thrown into the stock pot that you’re cooking the turkey carcass in on the stove. It adds some really nice flavor to the stock.


9 thoughts on “How to Make Gravy

  1. I would think you could just substitute arrowroot, but the sad truth is that I’ve never ever used arrowroot, so I’d sort of making up that answer! Let me know if it works because I’d love to add that bit of knowledge to my arsenal!


  2. One of the few things that I could not do in the kitchen when I got married was make gravy — I bought package mixes, to my great shame, any time I wanted to make gravy!! 😛

    I’ve gotten better and in the last couple of years my MIL taught me the flour w/o making roux trick so I use that a lot b/c I prefer it to the gel I get with corn starch (I think I am not patient enough while it’s cooking). 😉

    I have a friend who has wheat allergies so I’ve been experimenting with various substitutes and I will say that soy flour is a big NO and my attempt at a potato flour/whole grain spelt wasn’t great — I added corn starch and salvaged it. My friend says that plain spelt (not the whole grain stuff) is just like working with flour.

  3. I think you can use arrowroot, but it tends to break down if it gets too hot. I’ve often used flour if I don’t have cornstarch…that’s all my mom and Grandma ever use.

    I’m so glad to see that you don’t put boiled eggs in your gravy. I saw Paula Deen do it on tv, and I was just about put off of gravy for life!

  4. Fruittart, I would think that arrowroot would work for your friend with the wheat allergy. I’d also try rice flour.

    Kris, EEUUUWWWW!!!!! boiled EGGS in the gravy? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I wonder why boiled eggs would be something someone would WANT to to add to gravy…..


    • Oh how funny…my mom always puts boiled eggs in her gravy! Her gravy is great and we only have it on Thanksgiving Day!

  5. I’ve been meaning to come back and thank you for this post. My gravy turned out perfectly! 🙂 And I did use Arrowroot, half the amount (2 TB) – it worked great.

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