Ask a Food Blogger: Better Leftover Gravy

Question: I like to make homemade gravy and it comes out smooth and tasty when I cook it. However, after I refrigerate it, when I take it out it is covered with gel. I cannot sell my family on gel gravy. Help! What can I do?

I wouldn’t be able to sell my family on jelly gravy either. No doubt, gravy is meant to be smooth, evenly browned and perfectly seasoned. Unlike some dishes, gravy is not forgiving. I cannot promise you that doing the following will completely eliminate the gel, but I can promise you that storing and re-heating using proper techniques will have your clan believing that the leftover gravy was just made. (Hint: one trick that we use is not to let our kids see us reheating stuff!)

Proper Storing

Gravy is one of those dishes that requires special handling. It’s picky, like a spoiled child and only a certain way will work. The reason you get gel is because the ingredients of the gravy separate themselves, like water separating from fat. It’s almost unavoidable but if you rapidly cool the gravy, that will help.

To rapidly cool gravy, pour leftovers into shallow containers. Then set them in an ice bath. (I do this by plugging my kitchen sink and adding ice cubes to cold water.) Stir the gravy frequently to expedite the cooling. When they are cold, cover and freeze. What you’re doing is essentially not giving the gravy an opportunity to separate entirely. Frozen gravy will keep for two to three months.

Proper Reheating

The other trick to keeping gravy gel-less is to reheat it to a full rolling boil before serving it again. Any gel globules that have formed, will be re-incorporated into the gravy and so by the time you serve it–you’ll family will be none the wiser. I melt my gravy in the microwave (like chocolate) and then stick it in a pot and bring it to a boil stirring constantly. You can also just melt it in the pot and stir it frequently until it is boiling.

One More Sneaky Trick

I actually got this idea out of my Amish cookbook where apparently, once a week, the women throw all the leftover meat and all the leftover vegetables into a pot pie. Using the gravy for the pot pie is an excellent way to use leftover gravy. . .and again, once it’s reheated there is no gel!

Valorie Delp shares recipes and kitchen tips in the food blog, solves breastfeeding problems, shares parenting tips, and current research in the baby blog, and insight, resources and ideas as a regular guest blogger in the homeschooling blog. To read more articles by Valorie Delp, click here.

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