Gravy Recipe

Learn how to make a flour gravy that’s delicious and has the correct thickness every single time.  The ratio of flour to fat to stock is given as well as the method for how to combine everything to make it taste amazing.

Making gravy used to be a mystery to me. I’d add flour to my roast’s drippings and maybe some broth or stock. Then season it up, stir it up, and simmer it up. Sometimes it would be delicious, thick but not too thick, meaty but not overpowering. Other times, it would taste a bit like flour, water, and salt. Too thin. Just plain not good.

I did some research and started making notes about what I was doing. I’m going to tell you the stuff that worked and what led to me being able to make perfect gravy every single time.

Gravy being poured from a white gravy boat with the text How to Make Perfect Gravy Every Time.

Gravy isn’t complicated but if you want to be great at it you need to understand why you’re doing each step. What I’ve done is to put a very lengthy explanation here with pictures and all the info you need. It has the method and also the gravy ratio for how much fat to use with how much flour and how much stock or broth.

This post is going to tell you how to make a gravy using flour. All-purpose white flour. You would use a different method if using cornstarch or any other flour as a thickener. If you want to use cornstarch, amounts are given over here in my Instant Pot Gravy recipe. You don’t need an Instant Pot to make that though, you can make it on the stove in a regular pot following those instructions, don’t worry.

As I said, the instructions are a bit lengthy but, at the bottom of this article, there’s a much shorter set of instructions in printable form that you can take into the kitchen with you.

If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below. I’m happy to answer and help you make the best gravy of your life, and I hope you’ll then keep making it for the rest of your life. It’s easy once you’ve got it down. Promise.

How To Make Gravy Perfectly Every Time:

Here’s a video showing all the steps to perfect gravy, and then there are more written tips and instructions below:

Step #1: Make Good Drippings

Drippings are the liquid (fat and juices) that pool at the bottom of your roasting pan when you cook a large piece of meat or poultry. The thing is, sometimes you don’t get a lot (or any) drippings. So I’ve found a way to get nice concentrated meat juices no matter what.

(Side Note: It is totally possible to make gravy without drippings if you, for instance, are a vegetarian or aren’t making a roast but want gravy anyhow. The method is a bit different but the results are great. Learn how to make gravy without drippings here).

To make sure that I have lots of good drippings, even from a small roast, I put unsalted store-bought broth in the bottom of the roasting pan while the roast cooks. Just a quarter of an inch or so.

Drippings under a roast

Why do you need good drippings?

I first explained how and why to do this when I did the instructions for How to Roast Pork Perfectly over here. But basically, that broth evaporates as the roast cooks. As it does, some of the broth is left on the sides and bottoms of the pan. Those bits caramelize there. Midway through roasting, add more liquid and it will wash those caramelized bits into your juices making them more delicious.

Also, by putting broth in the bottom of the pan I counteract something that can happen with roasts. Sometimes you get nice juices coming off of the roast. Other times, not as much. When there’s less they can sometimes burn a bit on the bottom of the pan. A mild caramelization of juices is fantastic. But too much and your drippings will taste burnt and then so will your gravy.

Having the broth in the bottom of the pan stops the possibility of burning. Instead, juices that fall from the roast drop into the broth and mix in there.

Step #2: Separate The Juices

Pour all the juices from the roasting pan into a gravy separator.

Pouring drippings into a gravy separator

This is like a measuring cup with a long spout that goes right to the bottom of the cup. The fat of your drippings will rise to the top and the tasty juices will stay at the bottom.

Fat rising to top of a gravy separator

When you pour from a gravy separator, the spout is down at the bottom so it gets your juices out first, not your fat. (Although we are going to use some of that fat. Don’t you worry!)

Step #3: Get All The Flavor From The Pan

You need to get all of the flavor out of the roasting pan.

I use a spatula to make sure I’m getting all the browned bits and then anything else from the bottom of the pan.

Scrape the roasting pan

Why I don’t make gravy in a roasting pan

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t make my gravy right in the roasting pan. I find that it’s too big and is harder to incorporate the ingredients.

Instead, just use that spatula like I said and make sure you get all the goodness out. After using the spatula, if there’s a lot of nice caramelization on the roasting pan, pour some wine or water (1/2 cup should do) in there and bring it to a simmer, stirring around and then add that to the juices in your gravy separator.

Step #4: Ratio Of Fat, Flour, And Liquid For A Perfect Roux Gravy

I should say that there are several different methods to make gravy. My favorite gravy is a flour roux gravy because I feel like I really have control of the amount I make and the eventual thickness. So that’s what I’m explaining here.

Tip: The important thing to know when making a roux gravy is the ratio of flour to fat to liquid. The ratio I use is:

1.5 tablespoons fat to 1.5 tablespoons flour to 1 cup liquid, which yields 1 cup of gravy.

(Note: If you like your gravy thicker, go with 2 tablespoons of fat and 2 tablespoons of flour to 1 cup of liquid, which yields 1 cup of gravy).

What you do is decide how many servings of gravy you need and then work from that towards the above ratio to get your amounts.

Let’s figure out the amounts we need:

You’ll want 1/3 – 1/2 of a cup of gravy per person. So if you need 6 servings then you want 2-3 cups. I tend to go with the higher amount because I like leftover gravy. (For ideas of what to do with leftover gravy, check this out!). But probably most people can go with the smaller amount.

For 6 people we need 3 cups of gravy so we’ll need:

  • 4.5 tablespoons of fat (that’s 1.5 tablespoons fat X 3 cups of gravy = 4.5 tablespoons fat)
  • 4.5 tablespoons of flour (that’s 1.5 tablespoons flour X 3 cups of gravy = 4.5 tablespoons flour)
  • 3 cups liquid (6 people X 1/2 cup liquid = 3 cups liquid)

Now that we’ve used our gravy ratio to get our measurements, we can make our roux gravy.

Step #5: Make The Roux

Use a measuring spoon to scoop the right amount of fat from the top of the gravy separator.

Get fat off the top of the drippings in the separator to make the gravy

Pour the fat into a medium saucepan. Using the fat from the roast instantly give your gravy extra roast flavor. If you don’t have that much fat on the top of your gravy separator, or if you don’t really like this idea, go with unsalted butter.

Put the butter in the medium saucepan and melt it over low heat. Then remove it from the heat and proceed with the below.

Pur fat in saucepan

Add the same amount of flour to the saucepan as you have fat (we’re going with 4.5 tablespoons of each for 6 people).

Add flour to fat to make a roux

Note: The following is NOT happening over the heat. You do this part at the counter.

Whisk the fat and flour together into a paste.

Tip: I really like using a flat whisk like this because it gets right into the edges of the saucepan. It’s one of my favorite tools in the world for all kinds of things, but especially for making gravies and sauces.

(FYI, the paste you just made is called a roux. You can use a roux like this as a base for all kinds of sauces and soups).

Step #6: Make Your Drippings Tasty

Taste First

Before you add any of the drippings to your roux, taste them. Sometimes a lot of salt or other seasoning from the outside of the roast gets washed off into your drippings.

If they’re really salty, you need to know that before you add them to the gravy. Pour a little into a bowl and slurp. They should be meaty and flavorful but not salty.

If your drippings taste great, proceed with step #7 below.

What to do if your drippings don’t taste great

If not, pour them into a large bowl, leaving the fat in the gravy separator (you don’t need this fat anymore. Discard it or save it for another use). To the liquid in the bowl, add unsalted store-bought broth or stock.

If you’re making chicken, pork, or veal gravy, use chicken broth. For beef gravy, use beef broth. You can instead use water or wine. Just make sure you’re not diluting the meaty flavor too much. If the meat flavor is very intense, water and wine will be great. If it’s less intense, you need that broth.

Keep adding broth, stirring and tasting until your liquid has a nice unsalty flavor.

Step #7: Get The Right Amount Of Liquid

Now make note of how much liquid you have. Remember, our goal this time is 3 cups of gravy so we’re going to need 3 cups of liquid. How much do you have? If it’s more than 3 cups, you’re not going to use it all. You can add the extra to your mashed potatoes instead of milk, freeze it for later, or discard it.

If, on the other hand, you have less than 3 cups, then add to it. As noted above, you can use unsalted broth or stock, wine, or water. Only go with wine or water if the drippings are very meaty flavored. If they’re not, stick with broth or stock. Make sure it’s unsalted though. Gravy can get salty quickly as it simmers and reduces. You want control over that salt as much as possible.

Step #8: Actually Making Gravy

Whisk about one-sixth of your liquid into your butter and flour roux. You want a nice smooth paste.

Pour drippings into the roux slowly

Pour in a bit more and whisk it some more. You want it to be smooth after each addition. Do it a couple more times. Then you can go ahead and slowly stream in the rest of the liquid, whisking the entire time to make sure you don’t have any lumps. (If there are a few lumps, don’t worry. We’ll be straining it later).

Whisk until smooth

Step #9: Heat And Cook The Gravy

Once all of the liquid is in and it’s whisked and smooth, put the saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir often until it comes up to a boil.

Heat to a boil

Reduce heat to low and simmer for a minute or two.

Step #10: Taste And Season The Gravy

Taste the gravy. What you want now is to check for seasonings. It might need a little salt and pepper. Add small amounts at a time because it can get salty quickly.

Season the gravy to taste

I also add poultry seasoning to chicken and pork gravies. Or whatever seasoning I put on the roast. I don’t like to add much though (about 1/4 teaspoon to 3 cups gravy). I like the gravy to taste rich and meaty. I don’t want it to cover up the flavor of the other foods on my plate.

Step #11: Strain the Gravy (optional)

OK, one last step, and it’s optional. For reasons I don’t understand, some people love lumpy gravy. Well, maybe I do get it. I also like bits and pieces of tasty stuff floating in my gravy, though not so much lumps of flour. Whatever.

Anyhow, if it’s just for us, I skip this. If it’s for company, I do it. I sit a fine mesh sieve over my gravy boat and strain the gravy in (if you’re worried about making a big mess getting it through there, strain it into a large bowl and then pour it into your gravy boat).

Strain the gravy using a fine mesh sieve

There you have it. That’s how to make a flour gravy using a roux perfectly, each and every time.

Perfect Gravy in a Gravy Boat.

Gravy Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Step-by-step instructions with pictures for how to make a flour gravy that’s delicious and has the correct thickness every single time.  The ratio of flour to fat to stock is given as well as the method for how to combine everything to make it taste amazing.


  • 4.5 Tbsp. butter or fat rendered from a roast
  • 4.5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups drippings from roast (fat removed) or unsalted broth
  • salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste


  1. Melt the butter or fat in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk flour into fat.
  3. Whisk in 1/2 cup drippings until smooth. Whisk in another half cup. Repeat until all drippings are used.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 minute. Taste and add salt, pepper, and seasonings.
  5. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Serve warm.


This recipe is for 6 servings. See step #4 above if you need more or fewer servings. Calculations are given there for how much fat, flour, and liquid you need per person.

Frequently Asked Questions

I answer a lot of questions in the comment section at the bottom so do read those, but here’s a summary of the most frequently asked questions.

Why doesn’t this recipe have you cook the roux for a few minutes before adding the liquid?

Many gravy recipes have you mix together the flour and fat and then cook it on the stove for a few minutes. It is said that this is to cook the flour and thus get rid of the floury taste. That is probably true, however I find that bring the eventual gravy to a simmer also cooks out the floury taste, so it’s an extra step that isn’t required. I think that cooking the roux sometimes makes it turn a nice brown color, which can make your gravy browner, which is nice. Even though that possible color can be nice though, I still don’t cook the roux and for good reason. Cooking the roux can actually make it less good as a thickener once you add the liquid. This is imprecise to me. I like to know that if I add 1.5 tablespoons of flour to 1.5 tablespoons of fat, and then add 1 cup of liquid, I will get 1 cup of gravy that is of good thickness. When I cook the roux first, it doesn’t thicken as well, which means I need to add less liquid. I find that skipping that step doesn’t adversely affect my gravy and makes it more predictable and consistent.

Can I make gravy if I don’t have any drippings from a roast?

Yes. Follow the instructions over here. That recipe is great for when your roast doesn’t yield drippings. But it’s also great if you want to make the gravy ahead of time. Make it a bit thicker if you want to drizzle in drippings after roasting meat. You can also use that method if you’re deep-frying a turkey and don’t have any drippings at all, or if you are brining your meat and the drippings are too salty.

Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on one and then buy something, at no additional cost to you, I receive a small commission. All opinions are truthful and my own.
This post originally appeared in November 2015 and was revised and republished in November 2018.
Gravy Recipe

50 responses to “Gravy Recipe”

  1. Josette says:

    Ok so I googled this exact process, not necessarily for gravy but to make red chile from powder. It’s basically the same process and I never seem to make enough.

    So an additional question would be, do i add the same amount of red chile powder as i do flour?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      To make red chili sauce from powder, you would use twice the amount of chili powder as flour.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Using cold liquid means I never get lumps. Obviously if I’m just using drippings, that would take forever, but since I almost always add broth, I add it cold. Or if I’m using a bouillon such as Better Than Bouillon, I just add the water that’s cool and add the bouillon in after I’ve stirred the cool water into the roux.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I’ve been making gravy for thirty years. I learned from my grandma and it has always been like Russian roulette. I’ve gotten good at doctoring the failed efforts but it stressed me out each time. The instruction you gave that never even crossed my mind…taste the drippings, taste the roux, taste the liquid? I do that with ALL my other cooking (and I taught that to my boys when they were learning to cook) but the gravy mystified me so much that I never even considered tasting the components! I made a pork roast yesterday from your recipe and it’s great. I made the gravy today and it’s great. I can’t wait for dinner. Thank you.

    For those who don’t have a gravy separator, I just put the pan drippings in a bowl and let it set in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. The fat hardens on top of the liquid and I can easily lift off the fat.

  4. Tristan Terry says:

    I made the Pork Roast and gravy YAY!! IT IS PERFECT!! Both of them! Thanks so much!!

  5. Michelle Jeffrey says:

    Can I use cornstarch in place of four? How much do I use? Have nephrew who does gluten free diet.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      The method is different for a cornstarch gravy than for a flour gravy, Michelle. For the above flour gravy, you whisk the flour into the melted fat and then add liquid. For a cornstarch gravy, you want to already have a flavorful liquid base. Then in a separate bowl, you whisk together some cornstarch and water. Then you add that to the flavorful liquid, and you bring it up to a simmer. I don’t think that the flour and cornstarch amounts are equivalent, but I’m working on this now to find out.

  6. Jimmy B says:

    What would you think of using vegetable broth with a pork roast to make the gravy?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      If you want to make gravy using broth instead of drippings, we’ve got instructions here. Use any type of broth you’d like!

  7. Maria Kerstetter says:

    What do I do if I do not have a separator measuring cup?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      If you don’t have a separator measuring cup, you can pour the juices into a regular measuring cup, let the fat rise to the top, then pour off the top layer, trying to not pour off the juices from underneath.

  8. L. A. Bad says:

    Hello! Thanks for sharing. I have one quick question. ALL the recipe about making gravy that I’ve come across all these years calls for the butter/fat and flour (roux) to be mixed and cooked over the fire on the stove for several minutes until it gives a little color before mixing in the broth. They say say the roux need to be cooked this way to get rid of that floury taste. What can you say about this? Have a great day!

  9. MK Reichenbach says:

    I have always been afraid of making roasts in the oven for fear of undercooking or over cooking.  I followed to a tee and it was PERFECT!  I questioned the amount of spice thinking it was too little but it wasn’t.  I bought a 4.91 pound roast and with the meat therm it was 3 hrs 15 min.  Almost exactly what she said it would be.  Follow instructions, use a good thermometer and you will have yourself a wonderful dinner.  Thank you so much!!!

  10. Jasmine says:

    Wonderful recipe! Thank you.  
    Had a minir freak out tonight when I went to the cupboard for the instant gravy powder…  ( I know, I know).
    “It’s okay”  I thought, “I’ll google a recipe”, but it wasn’t that simple. 
    I always do my roast in a bag so have heaps of beautiful juices in the bag ready to go.  All the other recipes I looked at talked about using the roasting dish and scraping the crispy bits and I was thinking I was going to have to dirty my roasting dish after all 😂 but you came to the rescue!  
    This was perfect first go!  I never thought to use cooking fat to make a roux! 
    No more instant gravy powder for this family!  Thank you!! 💕

  11. Carrie says:

    Hands down the best pork roast I have ever had and I will be 50 next year! My gravy came out very watery but I’m sure I probably did something wrong but it tasted amazing! Thank you so much for this receipt. Will definitely be making this again! Happy New Year!

  12. Chris R says:

    Thank you SO much for the ratios! Contrary to other opinions, they really do make a big difference! My mother has always made the perfect gravy, and I’ve never been able to get my roux to resemble hers in consistency, so my gravy has fallen slightly short. Sometimes I nail it, others not so much. With this method, you can nail it every time! I love when I learn something new…and between your ratios, and the comments, I learned the key to make gravy perfect every time, and also that I think I’ll avoid gravy if ever in the UK (I like my gravy sans boiled cabbage water, LOL) Looking forward to looking through your other recipes! Thanks so much!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Chris, Thanks for your comment and kind words. I used to wing it with gravy too and was delighted when it worked and sad when it didn’t. The ratios have totally helped me too! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that you enjoy the rest of my site.

  13. Tracy Brown says:

    Used these instructions with the fat/liquid and drippings from my Turkey. Came out perfect, no additional seasoning needed. Thank you.

  14. Nicole says:

    Thanks for perfect instructions. My mom taught me this method, and I’m here to spread the word that it is perfect. Brilliant site, and great instructions for anyone who feels daunted in the kitchen-don’t be. If you follow these steps you won’t fail.

  15. Micki French says:

    This is one of the best cooking sites I have seen. While I was formerly a professional cook, I still need to look up recipes! Your roux instructions are flawless. Just one note: Step #11 has a typo saying to “STAIN” the gravy into a boat. I think you mean STRAIN of course. Anyway, thanks for the superb cooking skills and explanations for the home cook.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Micki, You’re welcome and thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate hearing that from you very much. I’ll fix the typo now!

  16. Bob L. says:

    I followed this recipe about a month ago with a pork roast and it actually did make the perfect gravy! No lumps, just thick enough, and poured elegantly. Delicious after the basic steps, and did not require any additional seasoning. Going to try it again tonight. One quick note is that I made my own marinade for the roast and that really gave the gravy its own distinctive flavour and colour. So you may want to consider what you will be adding to the roast beforehand to ensure that everything works together, especially if you’re doing this for the first time and wanting to impress your guests. Thank you for this post!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Bob, good point about the marinade. I always taste the drippings I have from the roast just in case they ended up too salty or some other strong flavor got in there. If that happens, if you don’t want to use the liquid from your roast, that’s ok. Discard it or save it for another purpose. Then use store-bought or homemade stock (chicken stock for chicken and pork, beef stock for beef). I use unsalted stock so that I can add the amount of salt that I want. Thanks for the comment and tips!

  17. Yvonne says:

    Gravy turned out excellent and was delicious!! Thank you so much for your help! This was the first time ever I made gravy and Im in my 50’s. My mom, grandma and great aunt  and aunt always cooked from scratch for the family, so I never had to learn. Now they have all passed away and I know they are with Jesus in Heaven looking down on me. They would have all loved the gravy and the moist, perfect pork roast I just cooked before the gravy. Thank you for those excellent instructions as well!  👏🏻👍❤️🙏🏻

  18. DavidO says:

    I volunteered to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving and figured I might as well make the gravy because it’s simple, you just make a paste of flour and water, add it to the drippings and heat it up until it thickens, right? I only went on line to check proportions because I never made gravy for a lot of people. But nowhere did I find my “library paste” method, it was all roux, roux, roux. Yours was the easiest to understand and the most useful, especially the ratio and per-person explanations. And very good thing you said taste the liquid before adding it to the “roux” (my new word) because yikes! was it salty and strong! I diluted it a lot with white wine. My gravy came out great. It was the best gravy I’ve ever had and I don’t mean just compared to my old method. It got lots of compliments. Nine people went through four cups of it. Sadly, none left over.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      David, Thank you so much for the comment. I’m so happy that it worked out for you and that you found all of the details I included helpful. I do worry sometimes that I inundate people with info. Then I hear from someone like you that all that info really helped and I’m glad I did it. You just made my day!

  19. Syndee says:

    Grandma could make the best gravy, mama made it look so easy. Both tried to teach me. I just never mastered it. Until today. I made your perfect pork roast. Perfection. Decided to give gravy one last shot. Finally, I know how to make gravy. Sublime. Thanks for the post. I will definitely be checking out more.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Sundee, What a lovely compliment. I’m happy to have helped and am delighted that you liked the result!

  20. Jay says:

    You should honestly not be so accurate with the measurements and not worry about separating the liquid from the fat. The fat helps as a roux. Add flour to the meat juices and 2 oxos or some gravy granuals in the tin gradually over a medium heat stiring until it clumps together and is slightly cooked through. No point should you add salt to gravy! Salt should come from the vegetable juice in the potatoes.. gradually add the water you have saved from your boiled vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, peas, sprouts..Not carrots) add this gradually stiring with a whisk continuously. Every time it thickens add more vegetable water until you get your desired thickness. Towards the end add a teasespoon of red current jelly which gives it a nice glossy look and cuts through the fat. Best wishes chef Jay, Wales, United Kingdom.

  21. Tara says:

    WOW! I initially came to your site to figure out how to do a whole chicken straight from the freezer! The gravy picture was on that page, so I clicked on it. I’m so glad I did! I immediately put a little chicken stock in the bottom of my roasting pan. Your instructions were perfect! No lumps, either. My husband raved about it. THANK YOU!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Tara, So excited that it worked out well for you. I love that way of making gravy too!

  22. Carla says:

    Thank you for this…my gravy turned out great! Knowing what to check for, when, and why was so enlightening! Now I know what to look for at each stage and how to make adjustments as needed. I feel like I really learned how to make gravy rather than just following a recipe.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Carla, Thank you so much for your comment. That was exactly my goal with this post and I’m so happy to know that I reached it and that it helped you.

  23. Corri says:

    Where has this been all my life? The world finally makes sense. Perhaps my gravy courage this year will finally be rewarded! I scour the internet and cookbooks every year, thinking I’ve finally got the right information, only to resort to the back-up can or sachet. This is the info I never found. Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Corri, That’s so great to hear. Once you give it a try, come on back and let me know how it turned out for you.

  24. Jane Woods says:

    If you do not have chicken broth only beef broth, not unsalted, can you adjust beef broth instead?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Yes, you can use salted beef broth. But be careful about adding salt to your roast. The salt you add to the roast can get mixed with its juices and roll off into the broth. You might want to use half broth and half water to make sure things don’t get too salty. And taste the juices before you start making your gravy. If they are very salty you will want to dilute them.

  25. Laurie says:

    You are the BEST!! I love cooking and always host Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners (especially for my Jewish husbands’ friends) every year and have been “winging it” until now. I read every word and must say… you have done your homework! I will refer to your post from now on. Thank you for sharing!!

  26. […] #11: How to Make Perfect Gravy Every Time […]

  27. Jenna says:

    Oh, my goodness, this makes me SO want Thanksgiving dinner right now! I’ve never made gravy before, but I’m definitely pinning for when I do! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Oh man, this gravy really does look perfect–it is all about the drippings for me :)

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