Is your Thanksgiving gravy too lumpy? Try this easy fix to get lumps out of gravy, and learn how to prevent clumping from happening in the future.
Some lumpy foods can be forgiven; some are even desirable. Lumpy mashed potatoes or lumpy oatmeal, for instance? That rustic texture lends body and character. But when it comes to gravy, the optimal texture is silky smooth. Gravy is often prone to last-minute foibles (learn how to fix salty gravy), but if you’re left wondering how to get lumps out of gravy, all it takes is a whisk and a little bit of stirring stamina.
How to Fix Lumpy Gravy
All you need to get no-lump gravy is a little forethought and a few easy tricks. You'll never again wonder, Why is my gravy lumpy?!?
Your first line of defense against a bumpy, lumpy pot of gravy is a simple whisk. Use a pot holder to steady the pan with one hand, then simply break up those clumps with a vigorous bout of whisking, using a circular motion. Make sure to whisk well and into the edges of the pan.
Use a Sieve
If the lumps in your gravy are proving too stubborn for even the most vigorous whisking technique, don’t panic; you can still make gravy without lumps. Simply set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium-sized bowl. Pour the gravy through the sieve, pressing gently with a rubber spatula to strain all that thick, gravy goodness into the bowl. Pour the strained no-lump gravy back into your pan, and give it a little whisking to make sure all the lumps are gone and your gravy is thoroughly smoothed out.
One final lumpy gravy fix: Pour the gravy into a food processor or blender. Press liquefy or whip on a blender, or set the food processor to “on” (not pulse) and use the spinning of the blades to fix lumpy gravy.
How to Prevent Lumpy Gravy
Wondering how to make gravy without lumps in the first place? The best line of defense is a good offense. First smooth out your thickener (see how to thicken gravy) by mixing it with water before adding it to pan drippings and other gravy-making liquid, making a slurry. To make a slurry with cornstarch, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 cup of cool liquid (water or stock). If you want to use flour, use 2 tablespoons of flour per 1 cup of cool liquid. Whisk the slurry until it is smooth and lump-free, then add about 1 tablespoon at a time to your combined hot pan drippings and liquid, using a whisk to thoroughly combine.
Instead of making a slurry, you can also use a sifter or a fine-mesh sieve to sift flour or cornstarch. Add the flour or cornstarch directly, a little bit at a time, to the hot drippings and liquid. Thoroughly whisk until the thickener is fully incorporated.