This basic pan gravy is a cinch to make. No fuss. No mess. No lumps. Just easy, foolproof gravy. Which isn’t as easy to pull off as you may think. Because great gravy doesn’t happen by accident. Here’s how it does happen. Complete with instructions outlining every last detail of how to make it.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Can I make pan gravy from brined meat?

Wondering how to make gravy from a brined cut of meat? The short answer is don’t even try. Seriously. The saltiness in the pan drippings will truly overpower everything else in your gravy. Sorta like a narcissist dominating the conversation at a cocktail party. There’s just no chance of salvaging the situation. Don’t even bother.

A person stirring flour into the basic pan gravy with a wooden spoon on a rimmed baking sheet.

Basic Pan Gravy

5 / 4 votes
This basic pan gravy is a foolproof lesson that teaches you how to make any kind of gravy using three ingredients: pan drippings, flour, and stock. A must for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Sunday supper.
David Leite
Servings10 servings
Calories55 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • Roasting pan with the drippings, from a roast beef, chicken, turkey, guinea hen, pork loin, or other cut of meat (NOT a brined cut of meat)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade stock, warmed (use a chicken stock for roast chicken, turkey stock for turkey, beef stock for roast beef, and so on)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • After roasting the meat, transfer it to a warmed platter or plate and set aside to rest.
  • Skim the excess fat from the surface of the liquid that collected in the roasting pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons juices mingled with a little fat. Place the roasting pan over 1 or 2 burners on medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the caramelized pan juices, then sprinkle the flour over the top, stirring constantly to blend it well with the fat and juices. Cook, still stirring constantly, until the flour becomes a light golden color, about 2 minutes.
  • Still stirring, slowly add the warm stock to the roasting pan. Bring to a boil and cook—say it with us, still stirring constantly—until the sauce thickens and the mixture is reduced by about a third and has a gravylike consistency. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve immediately.



Gravy Variation

Herb and Mustard Gravy
Simply add a small handful of your favorite herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or sage, to the gravy as it reduces. Whisk in 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard before straining.
Wine Gravy
Substitute 1/3 cup red wine, port, or white wine for 1/3 cup stock and add it gradually, as you did with the stock.
Beer Gravy
Add a 12-ounce bottle dark beer to the gravy in place of 1 1/2 cups stock. Wonderful with roast beef or pork.
The Sauce Book

Adapted From

The Sauce Book

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Serving: 0.25 cupCalories: 55 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 2 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 4 mgSodium: 94 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Paul Gayler. Photo © 2012 Richard Jung. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I think this is a great basic pan gravy to keep on hand when you make any roast item that needs a gravy. This would make a super easy Thanksgiving gravy as well as Easter roast gravy or anything else. I didn’t try any of the variations, but I think that each would work great!

This is a great way to make pan gravy for a roast—even if you don’t have enough drippings. The roast I cooked didn’t surrender enough drippings, so I improvised by adding some butter. Sure enough, the roux yielded a fantastic sauce for our roast beef. I used the wine variation, adding 1/2 cup port for a well-rounded gravy, and everyone loved it.

This pan gravy is foolproof, easy, and has demonstrated that it’s really versatile.

My slightly alternative approach was to substitute the braising liquid from a big pile of short ribs for the roast pan drippings. I chose the herb and mustard variation. I added a heaping tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs rather than a small handful of dried herbs. It tasted perfect, and I didn’t have to strain the herbs out.

This is a nice way to end up with pan gravy after making any of a wide variety of roast meats, poultry, or game. It’s pretty straightforward and open to many variations. I tried a beer gravy to use up the rest of the bottle of beer I had opened when making the Wheat Beer Chicken.

I had some beautiful fresh thyme, so I added that to the gravy also. I cooked some vegetables and used the leftover chicken and gravy to make a crustless chicken potpie. There are even leftovers for tomorrow, all after having a nice amount of gravy to begin with.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. My mother-in-law always made a white wine reduction, with a couple cups of white wine and a bouquet garni, boiled down by half, to add to the drippings. After the second time some helpful soul threw out the wine, thinking it was water, I began simply pouring a bottle of dry white wine into the roasting pan, a cup at a time or so over the course of roasting time; keeps drippings from burning, infuses them with wine flavor, and makes the best gravy ever.

    1. Ooooh, Liz, I wouldn’t want to have been the person who tossed the wine! I love your idea of adding wine throughout the cooking process. Smart….