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How to Reheat Gravy

If you know how to reheat gravy properly, it will taste as delicious as if it had been prepared at that exact moment!

Winter holidays bring with them a variety of traditional foods; turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and many other options.

Gravy is also a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner staple, but it doesn’t get as much love as the other traditional foods thanks in part, no doubt, to the fact that it’s not a side dish or entrée.

But gravy still has an important place at the holiday table, and knowing how to store and reheat gravy is just as important as knowing how to store and reheat turkey, mashed potatoes, or casserole.

How To Reheat Gravy

The Best Way to Reheat Gravy

Choosing the best to way to reheat gravy depends on a few factors. If you’re in a hurry or only preparing a single-serving, a microwave is probably the best option.

The following advice applies to all kinds of options from sausage gravy to turkey gravy. White gravy or brown, it doesn’t matter. There are a few basic techniques to try.

The 4 best options to reheat gravy are:

  • Skillet: Best tasting, my favorite way.
  • Pot: Less risk of burning than with a skillet.
  • Microwave: Good for single-servings, small quantities or if you’re in a rush.
  • Oven: Slowest method but good if oven is already heated up and ready to use.

You’ll notice a few reheating methods are missing from the list above, such as air fryers, pressure cookers, or Ninja blenders (some of those come with a heating element to make soups with).

That’s because reheating gravy in these devices takes far more time than it’s worth or it’s not what they’re best at. You’re better off with a stovetop, pan, or microwave for better or faster results and less cleanup.

For all methods gravy should reach a temperature of at least 165°F.

Storing Leftover Gravy

Before you can reheat it, you have to find a way to store gravy properly. Gravy can be made in a number of ways, but it is typically made with juices from cooking meat, and tends to separate when stored. You will need to refrigerate any leftover gravy in an airtight container and use it within five days.

Another option is freezing. If there’s no dairy, like cream or milk, gravy can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Some choose to put the gravy in a blender prior to freezing to reduce any separation.

When gravy gets cold it can get a jelly-like layer on top due to congealed fats and other things. Reheating the gravy should reduce that significantly, if not entirely.

How to Reheat Gravy in a Skillet

A skillet can help you get more even heating, and the thicker the pan the better when it comes to not burning the gravy. Select a skillet rather than a pan to increase the gravy’s surface area to reheat it evenly and gently.

Steps

  1. Spoon the gravy into a cold pan; This breaks up any congealed, jelly-like gravy.
  2. Turn the skillet on low heat and let the gravy come up to temperature slowly.
  3. Stir or whisk frequently to avoid the gravy getting burnt and remove any lumps, until simmering. Serve immediately.

Low and slow is the best way to go when reheating gravy.

Is your gravy thinning out? Try adding the same thickening agent (many use corn starch) you made the gravy with originally, a little at a time. Add stock or milk if the gravy is too thick.

It’s best to keep your stove top temps low to keep the gravy from breaking up.

How to Reheat Gravy in a Pot

Reheating gravy in a skillet carries a higher risk of burning than doing it in a pot. Why? Because you can use a double-boiler technique, putting water in the pot, and putting your gravy in a separate container that rests in the pot while it is heating.

  1. Spoon the gravy into a cold pan.
  2. Heat the gravy over low heat, stirring often.

The double boiler trick is great because, yes you do still need to stay with the gravy and whisk it as you go to avoid singeing it, but the risk of burning is far less with the double boiler or a pot with a separate heat-safe container like a Pyrex bowl. Add at least two inches of water, stir until the gravy is hot enough and serve!

How to Reheat Gravy in a Microwave

Reheating in the microwave isn’t quite as simple as putting a container in the unit, and hitting start. You’ll want to use the shallowest container possible (a plate is ideal in some cases but if you have a lot of gravy this might not work)

  1. Spoon the gravy into a shallow microwave-safe container and cover it with a splatter lid or damp paper towel.
  2. Use a medium or medium-low heat for 30-second bursts and stir the gravy in between.
  3. If the gravy seems thick, add a spoonful of stock to thin it out.

How to Reheat Gravy in an Oven

This is likely the slowest way to go unless you are already using the oven, so chances are good that this technique is better for Turkey Day or your favorite December holiday meal the day-of when your oven is getting a lot of use and won’t have time to cool back down to room temperature soon. Use an oven-safe pan, cover the pan with foil, stir halfway through, reheating for 5-10 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spoon the gravy into an oven-safe pan or baking dish and cover with foil.
  3. Heat for 5-10 mins, stirring halfway through until simmering.

The shallower the pan, the more quickly it will heat up.

Make Ahead Gravy

Now that you have these reheating instructions, there is no need to be running around trying to roast a turkey and preparing the sides, plus the homemade gravy. You can make a homemade gravy up to five days ahead!

Reheat your gravy and use this list of Creative Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes for inspiration!

Monique McArthur
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