If you’ve ever made a lovely, rich gravy, but it has turned out a little too thin, you might be wondering how to correct that without spoiling the taste and texture. Watery gravy is not very nice, but you don’t want to make things worse by adding unsuitable ingredients or overcooking it in an attempt to help it thicken up.
How do you thicken a very thin gravy? You can thicken gravy by carefully stirring in a flour and water paste, or by including some pureed vegetables. You will need to simmer the sauce after adding either, ensuring that they get incorporated and the gravy thickens nicely.
It’s a good idea to avoid making gravy too thin if possible, so add stock slowly and use a recipe to guide you on how much to add.
How Do You Thicken Gravy?
The easiest way to thicken a very thin gravy is to put some flour and a little water in a clean bowl and mix them into a paste. You can then gradually stir this paste into the gravy, whisking thoroughly to combine. Make sure you don’t end up with any lumps.
Adding flour is probably the simplest method for thickening gravy. Gravy is usually made by creating a roux with flour and oil or butter at the start, but if you have added too much liquid to it, you’ll need to add more flour to balance this out. The flour will expand and absorb the liquid in the gravy, helping it to thicken.
If you don’t want to mix the flour with water, you can also mix it with butter. Simply work some flour into some softened butter until you have a small ball of floury butter. Add this to the pan and whisk thoroughly until it is combined.
Make sure that you bring the gravy to a boil after you have added the extra flour, and keep stirring so that it gets mixed in properly. When the gravy begins to boil, it should start to thicken.
Why Does Gravy End Up Too Thin?
Gravy usually ends up too thin because you have either added too little flour to the roux, or too much stock afterward. Gravy thickness depends upon these two ingredients, and too much liquid or too little flour will result in watery gravy.
It is best to follow a recipe when making gravy, because it can be challenging to guess at the amount of flour that you need in order to create a good gravy. If you are planning to increase the quantities, make sure you keep the ratios the same to maintain the gravy thickness.
Adding more flour will result in a gravy that is too thick, and adding more water will result in a gravy that is too thin. It’s important to get the balance right and to keep it the same if you scale your recipe up or down.
Does Extra Boiling Thicken Gravy?
Extra boiling can help to thicken gravy, yes, but it will take quite a lot of extra boiling if your gravy is very thin. You need a large quantity of water to evaporate off, so it may be better to use other methods to get the gravy thick.
Boiling gravy helps the extra liquid in the pan to evaporate, especially if you leave the lid off so that the steam can escape. If you are going to use this method, make sure that you are stirring the gravy so it doesn’t stick at the bottom.
You will need to be patient to make this work; it will take quite a while for a very thin gravy to thicken up like this. However, it can be done, and it may result in gravy that tastes richer. Adding flour can occasionally give your gravy a somewhat powdery taste if the flour doesn’t cook in properly, so the boiling method does have its advantages.
You may wish to try a combination of this method and the flour method. Add a small amount of flour paste and then boil the gravy hard to help some of the excess water evaporate while the flour absorbs the rest.
What Else Can You Use to Thicken Gravy?
There are a few other tricks you can implement to help gravy thicken up. One involves using corn flour instead of ordinary flour, and another involves stirring in pureed vegetables. You can also add arrowroot powder or tapioca starch if you have these available.
All of these methods should help the gravy to thicken well. Corn flour is a popular option and may help to avoid the floury taste that ordinary flour could add. It’s important to mix it thoroughly with water or butter before adding it to the pan, or you will get lumpy gravy.
Similarly, if you are going to add any of the other powders, you need to mix them with water. If you just sprinkle the powders straight into thin gravy, they will clump up and may prove extremely difficult to combine with the gravy.
This is because the outer particles will absorb the water and create a barrier between the dry flour and the gravy, preventing further absorption and causing lumps.
If you want to add vegetables, roast them first. You can use any vegetable you choose, but your choices will somewhat alter the flavor of the gravy, so make sure you choose ones you enjoy. Pureed carrots, cauliflower, and red bell peppers all make nice options. Blend them thoroughly and then tip the mixture into the gravy and stir well.
This should give the gravy a bit of thickness, and more depth of flavor. You can experiment with different vegetables to see which you like best, and if you’re already making a roast, this may be an easy option.
If you have accidentally made very thin gravy, one of the easiest solutions is to add small quantities of flour or a similar powder, such as arrowroot. Mix this with water or butter before adding it to the gravy to prevent lumps from forming, and then boil the gravy to help the liquid thicken.