How to Fix Lumpy Gravy—and Prevent It From Ever Happening Again
Some lumpy foods can be forgiven; some are even desirable. Textured mashed potatoes or bits of banana in your banana bread, anyone? That rustic mouthfeel 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
No-lump gravy just requires a little forethought and a few easy tricks. Here, the three best ways to smooth out your sauce.
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.
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.
Ready to try? Make a batch of our ultimate gravy recipe here.