How to Make Homemade Brown Gravy with Flour and Water

How to Make Homemade Brown Gravy with Flour and Water

Making your own brown gravy is a lot easier than you might think! In just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious and hearty gravy to serve with your favorite meals. Plus, it’s cheaper and healthier than store-bought brown gravy mix, so you can feel good about serving it to your family. Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn how to make homemade brown gravy with flour and water.


What is Brown Gravy?

Brown gravy is a type of beef gravy that is made using the pan drippings from meat, along with flour and water. It’s typically used to top off roast beef or grilled steak but can also be served with chicken, pork, mashed potatoes, or vegetables. The gravy gets its rich brown color from the caramelization of the meat juices and has a slightly thick consistency.

Brown gravy is beloved all around the world for its rich and savory flavor, but it’s also a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. For example, you can use it to make a delicious cream of mushroom soup or add it to your favorite stuffing recipe. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers or even use it as a marinade for grilling.


Where Did Gravy Originate From?

The term “gravy” was first encountered in Middle English. Experts believe that the word is derived from the French as it is often found in old French cookbooks. Its original meaning referred to a sauce made from meat juices that came from roasting meat. Throughout time, though, the term has come to be used more broadly to refer to any type of sauce or condiment served with food.


What is the Roux Method of Making Gravy?

The roux method is a French cooking technique that is used to thicken sauces and gravies. It’s made by whisking together flour and fat (usually butter) over low heat until it forms a paste. This paste is then added to the liquid that you want to thicken, such as broth or milk. The roux will help to thicken the liquid and add a delicious richness to it.


What is the Slurry Method of Making Gravy?

The slurry method is a quick and easy way to make gravy. It’s made by whisking together flour and water until it forms a smooth paste. This paste is then added to the liquid that you want to thicken. The slurry will help to thicken the liquid and add a delicious richness to it.

Cooks like using the slurry method because of its flexibility. You can make a slurry with any type of flour, such as all-purpose, wheat, or gluten-free. Plus, it’s easy to make a slurry with whatever liquid you have on hand.


Why is Homemade Brown Gravy Better?

Homemade brown gravy is better than store-bought gravy for a few reasons. First, it’s cheaper to make your own gravy at home. Second, you can control the ingredients that go into your gravy, which means you can avoid unhealthy additives and preservatives. Finally, homemade gravy just tastes better!

If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty gravy to serve with your next meal, give this easy homemade brown gravy recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!


How to Make Homemade Brown Gravy with Flour and Water

gravy boat filled with brown gravy

Brown Gravy Recipe


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Begin by whisking together the flour, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl.
  2. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the gravy into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until it comes to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the gravy has thickened.
  5. Serve the gravy warm with your favorite dishes. Enjoy!


Useful Tips for Making Homemade Brown Gravy with Flour and Water

gravy boat filled with brown gravy

Making homemade brown gravy is easy and uncomplicated. Here are some more tips that can help you make a delicious and foolproof gravy:

  1. Use beef broth for the best flavor. If you don’t have beef broth on hand, you can also use chicken or vegetable broth.
  2. If you want a richer gravy, you can add some milk to the mixture.
  3. To give the gravy more depth of flavor, try adding some chopped onions, mushrooms, or celery to the mixture.
  4. If you want a smoother gravy, you can use an immersion blender to blend the gravy until it’s smooth.
  5. This gravy can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to serve it. Simply store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  6. Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the gravy.
  7. If you want a gluten-free gravy, simply use gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
  8. This gravy can also be made in the slow cooker. Simply whisk all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  9. Use a nonstick pan to prevent the flour from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.


Even More Tips on How to Make Homemade Brown Gravy with Flour and Water

  1. If you find that your gravy is too thick, simply add more beef broth until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. If your gravy is too thin, you can thicken it by whisking in more flour or by cooking it for a longer period of time.
  3. This gravy can be spiced up with a variety of herbs and spices. Try adding some thyme, rosemary, or sage for a flavor boost.
  4. The leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply place the gravy in a freezer-safe container and thaw it in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use it.
  5. This gravy is also great for making French onion soup! Simply sauté some chopped onions in the gravy until they’re softened, then add some bread and cheese and bake until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. So good!

Storing and Reheating

To ensure your homemade brown gravy remains delicious after storage, it’s important to employ proper techniques for storing and reheating. Careful attention to these steps will maintain your gravy’s quality.

Proper Storage Techniques

When storing leftovers, always let your brown gravy cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. This container can be placed in the refrigerator for up to four days. For best results, use shallow containers to allow for even cooling, and label them with the current date.

  • Cool: Bring to room temperature.
  • Transfer: Use an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate: Store up to 4 days.

Tips for Freezing and Thawing

To freeze gravy, first let it cool completely. Pour it into a freezer-safe bag or container, leaving some space at the top as gravy will expand when frozen. You can store frozen gravy for up to three months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the gravy in the refrigerator overnight. For quicker thawing, place the sealed container in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.

  • Freezing:
    • Cool completely.
    • Pour into a freezer-safe container.
    • Store up to 3 months.
  • Thawing:
    • In the refrigerator overnight or
    • In cold water, change water every 30 minutes.

Reheating Without Losing Quality

For reheating, gently warm your gravy on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. If you’re short on time, you can also reheat gravy in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe container and cover it with a lid or a microwave-safe wrap to keep the moisture in. Heat in short intervals, stirring each time to ensure even reheating.

  • Stovetop:
    • Low heat.
    • Stir frequently.
  • Microwave:
    • Use a microwave-safe container.
    • Cover to retain moisture.
    • Heat in short intervals, stirring in between.

Special Occasions

When crafting homemade brown gravy for special occasions, your goal is to enhance the dish’s flavor to complement the festive mood. Whether you’re serving a traditional turkey or a savory beef dish, a customized gravy can elevate the meal.

Holiday Variations

For Thanksgiving or Christmas, turkey gravy is a must-have. To create a rich, flavorful base, start with:

  • Turkey drippings: Extract the juices from your roasted turkey.
  • Flour: Whisk into the drippings to form a roux.
  • Water: Add gradually to achieve desired consistency.
  • Seasoning: Incorporate a bay leaf and sage for classic holiday taste.

Pro Tip: For an extra depth of flavor, simmer the bay leaf and sage in the gravy for several minutes, then remove before serving.

Holiday Key Ingredient Flavor Enhancer
Thanksgiving Turkey Drippings Bay Leaf, Sage
Christmas Turkey Drippings/Beef Bay Leaf, Thyme

Thanksgiving turkey gravy often pairs well with other sides such as dressing or mashed potatoes, adding a festive touch to the traditional meal.

Customizing for Gatherings

Whether you’re hosting a casual get-together or a formal event, custom gravy variations can be a hit. For a relaxed atmosphere with dishes like poutine or pork chops, consider the following gravy adjustments:

  • For poutine, make a simple brown gravy using:
    • Flour and Water: Keep it classic and thick.
    • Beef Drippings: For a savory kick.
    • Add a pinch of pepper to taste, and generously drizzle over hot French fries and cheese curds.
  • When serving gravy over pork chops or crock pot roast prepared in a slow cooker:
    • Use pork or beef drippings to match your meat’s flavor.
    • Introduce a touch of rosemary or thyme for a refined taste.

Remember, the goal is to enhance the dish you’re serving while keeping the palate of your guests in mind.

Gathering Type Dish Example Recommended Gravy Base
Casual Poutine Beef Drippings
Formal Crock Pot Roast Pork/Beef Drippings

By fine-tuning your brown gravy with thoughtful ingredients and seasonings, you can provide a memorable dining experience for any special occasion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Making homemade brown gravy can seem tricky, but with the right methods, it’s simple to achieve a thick, smooth texture using flour as the thickening agent or to create a delicious gravy from pan drippings without the need for broth. Understanding how ingredients like butter influence the flavor and consistency of your gravy will ensure a perfect result every time.

How can I make brown gravy thick and smooth with flour as the thickening agent?

To make your brown gravy thick and smooth with flour, start with a roux. Combine equal parts flour and fat (oil or pan drippings) over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture turns a light tan color. Gradually whisk in the liquid—water or stock—ensuring it’s well incorporated to prevent lumps. Cook until it reaches the desired thickness.

What are the steps to prepare brown gravy from pan drippings without using broth?

Begin by collecting pan drippings from the meat you’ve cooked. Heat the drippings in a pan, and if there’s less fat than needed, add a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle an equal amount of flour over the fat and stir constantly to form a roux. Once smooth and tan-colored, slowly add water while continuously whisking to achieve the proper consistency. Season according to taste.

Can butter be used in making brown gravy, and how does it affect the flavor and texture?

Yes, butter can be used in making brown gravy either as the base for your roux or added at the end for a richer flavor. Butter adds a creamy texture and a depth of flavor that enhances the overall taste of the gravy. It also contributes to the silky mouthfeel of the finished sauce.

How do you achieve the perfect consistency for homemade gravy with just three ingredients?

With just flour, fat (butter or pan drippings), and water, achieving the perfect consistency for homemade gravy involves careful proportion and method. Start with equal parts flour and fat to create a roux, cook until it changes color, then slowly whisk in water until your gravy reaches the desired consistency. Simmer and stir until smooth and thickened to your liking.

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