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In a pickle: How to fix lumpy gravy

Lumpy gravy?! No thanks! Here’s how to fix it without having to start over.

Lumpy gravy

I’ve made gravy at least a dozen times, and, no matter how good at it I think I am, it turns out lumpy every few times. What gives? Luckily, I’ve learned a thing or two about fixing it because, honestly, who has the time to start over? Preparing dinner for guests at the holidays is stressful enough without having to worry about the gravy.

What causes lumpy gravy?

Gravy consists of three main ingredients — flour, fat from meat and liquid. Of course, you can add sliced mushrooms and season it as you choose, but basic gravy is just those three items. The flour is what causes it to become lumpy and, unfortunately, leaving it as-is can ruin the meal. Who wants to be biting into chunks of flour? Not me!

Always make sure you add in the flour slowly. Whisk the gravy often, especially as you’re adding in the flour. Some recipes state that it’s best to mix the flour with water (or another liquid base) before adding to the gravy. This allows it to start dissolving before being added to the gravy, thus reducing the chances of clumps forming.

How to fix lumpy gravy

So maybe you slowly added in the flour but still wound up with lumps (hey, it happens). Now what?

Tip: If you use a strainer and the gravy is now too thin, dissolve flour in water and add to the gravy once it’s fully dissolved.

Whisk, whisk, whisk. Put your muscles to the test by whisking that gravy as much as you possibly can. This helps break up the bigger chunks and helps smooth out the gravy.

Use a strainer. Before serving the gravy, pour it through a mesh strainer to separate out the clumps. As long as there aren’t too many floury clumps, the flavor won’t be affected.

Puree it. You can carefully put the gravy in a food processor or blender to break up any of the chunks. Be very careful and always make sure the lid is on tight since you’re dealing with hot liquid.

Our best gravy recipes

Rich turkey gravy
Rich turkey gravy is basic, yet delicious; perfect for Christmas Eve dinner. It’s so good you may find yourself covering your entire meal in the gravy, rather than just the potatoes.
Portobello mushroom gravy
Portobello mushroom gravy, a personal favorite, is certain to be a hit at your dinner. It’s super simple since it uses jarred turkey gravy (a great way to avoid clumps), but feel free to make your own from scratch and then add in the other ingredients.
Brown flour gravy
Brown flour gravy is gravy in its simplest form. Master this recipe, and you’ve mastered gravy. Add in your own seasonings to give it a little kick — we love dried bay leaf and thyme or black pepper with a dash of onion and garlic powder.

More cooking problems

In a pickle: How to avoid rubbery mashed potatoes
In a pickle: How to make the most of leftovers
In a pickle: What to do with a bad bottle of wine

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