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The Crucial Mistake: Where You Cook Homemade Gravy Makes All the Difference

The Mistake You Make With Homemade Gravy Is Where You Cook It

Gravy is an essential part of a classic roast dinner, adding rich flavor and moisture to your meal. However, many people are frustrated with thin and flavorless gravy and often resort to using store-bought versions for convenience. The key to achieving delicious homemade gravy lies in a common mistake made during the cooking process: choosing the wrong pot. In this article, we will explore why the pot you use to make gravy is important and how to correct this mistake to create the most flavorful and satisfying gravy for your roasts.

Using Meat Drippings for Flavorful Gravy

When preparing dishes like pot roast, turkey, or chicken, you are left with a pan full of rendered fat, tasty juices, aromatic flavors, and seasonings. Unfortunately, these precious elements often go to waste as many home cooks throw them away and try to make gravy with only packaged broth, flour, and butter. By ignoring meat drippings, however, you are missing out on an important source of savory flavor and depth that can elevate your gravy to new heights.
To maximize the potential of these tantalizing drippings, it is important to make your gravy in the same pot or roasting pan in which you cooked your meat. This allows the flavors to blend seamlessly, resulting in a sauce that perfectly complements your roast.

Tips and Tricks for Roasting Pan Gravy

When you remove your roast from the pan, cover it with foil and let it rest. In the pan, you will find a combination of fat, juices (the browned bits stuck to the bottom), and flavorful juices that will serve as the basis for your gravy. To ensure a smooth, lump-free sauce, strain any chunky vegetables from the pan before proceeding.
Separating the fat from the stock is another important step in achieving the ideal consistency and flavor. Using a fat separator or letting the drippings sit in a bowl for a few minutes will allow the fat to rise to the top as it cools, making it easier to separate from the flavorful liquid. This rendered fat can be used to make a roux, while the remaining liquid can be used to thin the sauce.
If you used a large roasting pan for your roast, you can use two stovetop burners to make your gravy. To prevent the fatty solids from burning, deglaze the pan with liquid, such as stock or wine, which will loosen them from the bottom of the pan. This step ensures that you can extract all the flavorful bits while preventing any burnt flavors in your gravy.
Once the pan is deglazed, it’s time to make the roux. Combine the flour with the separated fat and cook until you reach the desired consistency and color. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. The result should be a velvety smooth, intensely flavored sauce that will enhance both your mashed potatoes and your meat.
To ensure a silky texture, strain the gravy once to remove any remaining lumps or impurities. This extra step results in a refined and elegant sauce that will impress your guests and elevate your roasts to a new level of deliciousness.


By avoiding the common mistake of ignoring meat drippings and instead using them to make homemade gravy, you can transform your roasts into culinary masterpieces. The pot or roasting pan you choose plays a crucial role in infusing your gravy with the rich flavors and depth that come from cooking the meat itself. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can ensure that every gravy you make is a savory and satisfying accompaniment to your roasts. Say goodbye to thin and lackluster gravy and embrace the decadent indulgence of homemade goodness.


Why is the pot I use to make gravy important?

The pot you use to make gravy is important because it directly affects the flavor and depth of your gravy. Using the same saucepan or roasting pan in which you cooked your meat allows the flavors to meld and the flavorful juices and aromatics from the meat drippings to be incorporated into the gravy.

Can I make gravy without using drippings?

While it is possible to make gravy without meat drippings, using them adds a significant amount of flavor and richness to your gravy. Meat drippings contain concentrated savory flavors that can enhance the flavor of your gravy and complement your roast.

How do I separate the fat from the liquid when making gravy?

To separate the fat from the stock, you can use a fat separator or let the drippings sit in a bowl for a few minutes. As the liquid cools, the fat will rise to the top, making it easier to skim. This separated fat can then be used to make a roux to thicken the sauce.

What if I don’t have a large roasting pan to make gravy in?

If you don’t have a large roasting pan, you can still make gravy in another pot or skillet. The key is to deglaze the pan or skillet in which you cooked your meat, making sure to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. This will infuse your gravy with the flavors of the stock and create a delicious sauce.

Do I need to strain the sauce?

Straining the sauce is recommended to remove any remaining chunks or impurities, resulting in a smooth and velvety texture. Straining results in a refined and elegant sauce that is perfect for topping mashed potatoes and meats. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can skip this step, but keep in mind that it may have a slightly different texture.

Can I make the sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the sauce ahead of time. Prepare the sauce according to the instructions in the article, allow it to cool, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, gently heat the sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature and consistency.

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