OT: Homemade Gravy or Gravy from a Jar

Submitted by Marvin on January 16th, 2019 at 8:34 AM

I am an excellent cook and generally make everything from scratch: salad dressing , barbecue sauce, even ketchup on special occasions. Gravy, however, has always been a bit of a question mark for me. I suppose deep down I prefer the taste of homemade gravy, but I also occasionally find it too oleaginous, lumpy, or even pasty at times. I would love to hear what other fans of Michigan sports think. Do you take the time to really make the gravy special, or do you take the safe route and buy it ready made?



January 16th, 2019 at 8:39 AM ^

I don't know anyone who makes salad dressing, bbq sauce, or ketchup from scratch, but 90% of the people I know make gravy from scratch.  So final answer - homemade gravy.


January 16th, 2019 at 9:01 AM ^

making salad dressing from scratch is the easiest thing in the world. It's such a waste not to. Oil and Vinegar with something to emulsify it like honey or mustard. Salt, pepper. If you want, grated/minced garlic and other herbs. It just takes a couple minutes to put together

901 P

January 16th, 2019 at 9:43 AM ^

Yep. I squeeze half of a lemon into a glass bowl. And a little dijon (tbs or so) and some salt. Then add olive oil while whisking until you like the taste. You don't even have to emulsify it. Julia Child's cookbook recommends making it in a jar and just shaking it up when you are ready to use. 


January 16th, 2019 at 8:55 AM ^

Common now.  I cant speak for everyone here but I know whenever I've got a food question the first group of people I think of to go to for insight and help are a bunch of dudes (mostly) who talk about Michigan sports anonymously.

I can think of no grouping of experts more uniquely qualified to render opinions on the quality of gravy options than that.....can you?


January 18th, 2019 at 6:07 PM ^

IIRC, you used to post links to your wife's recipes. And I think her cooking helped with your health? Not sure if I'm remembering that correctly. But still, to the question, "I can think of no grouping of experts more uniquely qualified to render opinions on the quality of gravy options than that.....can you?" the answer in your case would have to be your wife, amirite?


January 16th, 2019 at 8:40 AM ^

I'll chime in.

I use the juice from whatever I cook, try to strain some of the fat off, add some Tone's Beef Base, and flour to thicken.

I've had compliments. 

I  hate jar gravy.


January 16th, 2019 at 8:48 AM ^

I also use teldar's method, it's basically fool-proof and is much better than jar gravy.

To prevent lumps, make sure you mix the flour into a thin paste with some water, and don't pour it into boiling broth; let the broth cool slightly first. Then bring it back up to boiling or simmering to thicken.

Alternatively, you can basically use a white sauce method. Cook some flour in butter or skimmed fat for like 30 seconds, then mix in your broth. I use this method if I am making a gravy with things in it - for example, onions. 


January 16th, 2019 at 9:21 AM ^

to elaborate on the "mix flour with water" above - it has to be COLD water. Otherwise the flour will lump and you will have lumps in your gravy. I use teldar's method as well, and it couldn't be easier to make a homemade gravy. You can even sub corn starch for flour as a thickening agent - just beware, you only need like 1/4th the amount


January 16th, 2019 at 9:23 AM ^



As people point out below make a very thin paste out of the flour. Make sure your paste is free of lumps before adding. Add slowly and stir/whisk vigorously.

I have a whisk I use particularly for gravy. It might be a sauce whisk. A little one without many loops. I use the large whisk for eggs and cream.


January 16th, 2019 at 12:59 PM ^

I'll concur with this, except that I prefer corn starch to flour.  Same results, better flavor - none of the flour taste you get from flour if you're not really careful about how much you use.  Adding a base (beef or chicken, depending on what you cooked) can enhance the flavor, but is not always needed.


January 16th, 2019 at 8:41 AM ^

I tried to make some ham gravy on Christmas night, but did not turn out well.  Any good recipes you would be willing to share?  To answer your question I'm not a big fan of the ready made gravy.

Shop Smart Sho…

January 16th, 2019 at 8:44 AM ^

I have a hard time believing this, "I am an excellent cook", is true if this, "too oleaginous, lumpy, or even pasty" is true.

If you're having all of those different problems with your gravy, you're making it wrong.

And gravy from a jar is trash. Just to clear that confusion up.

4th and Go For It

January 16th, 2019 at 8:45 AM ^

Homemade - if you're getting lumps may be that you're adding too much flour too fast. You can either slowly mix the flour with a little water/broth and whisk in before adding it in to the rest of the ingredients or just sift it in in small amounts. Good gravy should be slow - low heat, stir constantly. If your consistentcy is off you can often rescue it the same - slowly adding the opposite ingredient (flour if too thin, broth/water if too thick) until it's back to the consistency you want. 

I want to beat OSU this year. everything else is gravy. There - made it about sports


January 16th, 2019 at 2:19 PM ^

My wife is from Canada. Her brother likes what he calls blood and mud. Its a thing there. Ive seen people in restaurants doing it. He takes a big pile of french fries and douses it in vinegar. Then he adds brown gravy and lastly covers it in ketchup. /vomit

My wife always asks for brown gravy with her french fries when eating out. She skips the ketchup but will use vinegar if there isnt access to gravy.

Nobody in her family does poutine though we all love p mail bacon. I made the mistake of trying to get p mail across the border once because the canadian bacon we get here is really just ham. My p mail bacon was quarantined for 2 weeks. So now I just order it direct and save myself the headache.

Booted Blue in PA

January 16th, 2019 at 8:48 AM ^

If your gravy is lumpy, I'm guessing you're thickening it with flour.....   Instead of flour use a rue, equal parts corn starch and cold water, mixed well until the starch is completely dissolved.  Add the rue to your gravy after its boiled for a minute.... stir like a madman while you're adding it and while the gravy thickens.

Not so easy a caveman can do it, but not all that hard after a little denial and error.