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Help with gravy, gravy not thickening

I hope someone can help with my made-ahead gravy for Thanksgiving. I made a roux, added heated broth slowly, then the remainder and simmered/whisking over medium heat for 20 minutes, but it wouldn't thicken. I continued whisking occasionally at a good simmer (not boiling) for close to an hour with no thickening.
I thought perhaps I hadn't added enough roux for the amount of gravy, so I made more roux, incorporated, but still no thickening. Now the gravy is beginning to lose the wonderful flavor it had and the liquid has been reduced by 1/2. I'm not sure I'll have enough now for Thanksgiving, and certainly don't want to add additional liquid.
Can anyone help? I've never not had my gravy thicken after adding flour. Perplexed.

asked by Dee 11 days ago
16 answers 565 views
85eec992 1575 48a9 b9bd 150152de8456  lou ny 2008 2 reasonably small
added 11 days ago

What is the ratio of roux to broth? Did you add the second roux directly to the ongoing gravy?

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Dee
added 11 days ago

Thanks feastathome for your reply...
I had 2 quarts of gravy made from roasted turkey and veggies that were simmered in broth. After solids were removed and gravy was cooled, I skimmed off the fat into a saucepan and added 1 C. flour to make a roux. When that didn't thicken the gravy. I repeated the above.

85eec992 1575 48a9 b9bd 150152de8456  lou ny 2008 2 reasonably small
added 10 days ago

You may also try a cold roux with same ratio of butter and either flour or cornstarch, mixed thoroughly. If you do have more stock, reduce some separately, and add afterwards.

85eec992 1575 48a9 b9bd 150152de8456  lou ny 2008 2 reasonably small
added 10 days ago

My go to fix is cornstarch - a bit at a time and whisk the heck out of it. I'm perplexed too.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Dee
added 11 days ago

I now have about 1 qt. of gravy, after trying to reduce as a way to thicken, which also didn't work. Scratching my head as to why this gravy won't thicken! Should I add rice flour? I read where that would thicken gravies quickly. I'm also concerned I need to make more gravy at this point as 1 qt. may not be enough for 14 guests.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 10 days ago

I'd try tapioca starch, or a pureed cooked potato or carrot. They'll thicken without needing to cook in for much time. Flour loses its thickening ability after boiling too long. (I don't remember how long it takes.) It just takes a minute or two at a hard simmer/boil to thicken. The longer time is reducing the broth, but probably reduced the starch's effectiveness.

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Dee
added 10 days ago

Thanks BakerRB - perhaps I'll try the tapioca on the side and add to the mix if successful. A friend had also suggested that.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 10 days ago

Take a tablespoon of flour and some water to it, just a little at a time (stirring as you do so to avoid lumps). While stirring your roux slowly pour the flour mixture in. Hope this helps.

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Dee
added 10 days ago

Thanks Derrick!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 10 days ago

Derrick's suggestion has worked for me. If you have to , buy a store bought jar and mix it in with your homemade gravy, no one will know but you and me.

Df2d539f 4b79 4684 9d1b 726bb830d217  bitt portrait web
Mark Bittman

Mark is the author of over a dozen books, including his most recent, How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking.

added 10 days ago

Don't worry about adding more liquid - you've got pure flavor there now. I agree that the easiest fix is cornstarch - a tablespoon or 2 at a time, mixed with an equal amount of water. It'll work. You'll be happy.

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Dee
added 10 days ago

I'm on the fence between using tapioca starch flour or cornstarch. Are they interchangeable, do you know?

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Leith Devine

Leith is a trusted home cook.

added 10 days ago

I always make a flour/butter paste (beurre manié) before I make gravy, and if it's too thin, add it a lump at a time until the gravy thickens. Make sure to cook the gravy after adding the flour to get rid of the raw four taste.

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Dee
added 10 days ago

Thanks for the tip Leith!

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 10 days ago

I'd lean toward start over, but I thought I'd mention a flour product called "Wondra" (I think) that can be sprinkled directly into the gravy on the stove- a friend who is an excellent cook swears by it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Dee
added 10 days ago

I had read about that as well - perhaps another trip to the store is in order! :)