How To Make Simple Thanksgiving Gravy…..

Ok, the clock is ticking!  The bird is out of the oven and you’ve got your sides are now in the oven to warm…. One last and extremely important detail, the gravy.  The best thickener to use when making turkey gravy is cornstarch.   You get a smooth and luscious  gravy without lumps.  Before we get to making the gravy, let’s discuss the very first step.  The drippings.

The best way to extract those lovely pan juices from the pan is with a turkey baster.  Remove as much liquid as possible, I’d say to go for 4+ cups if you can.  If you’ve made a large bird you will need lots of gravy.  If you come up short you can always make up the difference with chicken stock.  You’re in a bit of a hurry but try not to skip this step.  There are three good ways to do this.  (if you do not remove the fat the gravy will still thicken fine but there will be an unappetizing layer of fat over the top)

1)  A fat separator.  This is the simplest way of doing it.  Simply pour all of the liquid into the cup and let it sit for a minute or two.  You will see that all of the fat rises to the top.  When you pour the de-fatted liquid out through the spout, liquid comes out from the bottom where there is no fat.  You stop pouring when you get close to the fat layer.  This is the best one I’ve seen out there.  It’s by Pampered Chef and it has a four cup capacity.  You can see that there is a strainer on the top if you wish to remove any bits of food debris.  It’s awesome!  If you don’t have this type of gadget, read on.

2)  Believe it or not a heavy duty zip bag would work fine too.  Carefully pour the liquid into the bag, wait a minute or so until the fat rises to the top.  Carefully snip off a SMALL corner of the bag and drain the broth part of the liquid into a medium size sauce pan.  You must be quick as you don’t want the fat portion of the liquid to run through.

3)  A turkey baster.  I’ve done this on many occasions where I have way more than 4 cups of liquid I need to de-fat.  Pour all of the liquid into a large clear bowl, let it sit for a minute or so.  Using your turkey baster, extract liquid from the very bottom of the bowl.   Of course, you’ll want to stop when you get to the fat layer.  I found this to be very effective as well.

Now we’re ready to make gravy.

Simple Thanksgiving Gravy

4 cups turkey broth minus the fat (add chicken stock to make up the difference if necessary)
1/2 cup cold water
4 tablespoons cornstarch
salt to taste

1)  Pour the turkey broth into a medium size sauce pan.
2)  Add the cornstarch to 1/2 cup of water.  Mix well until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Pour it right into the turkey liquid.  Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. ( Enlist a guest to do this!) Once you see bubbles, it’s done, remove from heat immediately.  Taste it to see if you need to add salt.  Perfect, luscious gravy.

So the rule of thumb basically is this:

2 cups liquid (broth) + 1/4 cup cold water + 2 tablespoons cornstarch

*if you mix the cold water with the cornstarch ahead of time, you’ll need to give it another stir before adding to the turkey liquid as the cornstarch will settle to the bottom.


Email me if you have any questions!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Thats good, your blog is cool, i like it. Thanks for the efforts my friend.