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What Are the Best Tips for Making Gluten-Free Gravy?

A.E. Freeman
By A.E. Freeman
Updated May 17, 2024
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Usually, gravy contains wheat flour. The easiest way to make gluten-free gravy is to use a gluten-free substitute for the flour. Cooks have a number of options for gluten-free flour substitutes, from rice flour to cornstarch. Some stocks or broths may contain gluten, so a cook needs to check the ingredients carefully when making gluten-free gravy.

Gluten hides in a number of places, so a cook looking to make a gluten-free gravy needs to be extra careful. It's best to avoid gravy mixes, as many of them do contain gluten. Some prepared chicken or vegetable stocks may also have gluten, so a cook is better off making her own stock from scratch if she can't find a certified gluten-free stock. If a meat gravy is being made, she can use the pan drippings, provided no wheat- or gluten-containing ingredients were cooked with the meat.

There are two methods to use to make gluten-free gravy. In the first method, a cook can use a gluten-free flour substitute instead of wheat flour to make a roux. To do this, he should melt margarine or butter in a saucepan and add an equal amount of gluten-free flour. Chickpea or rice flour will work well. He can also use an oil such as canola or olive oil instead of margarine or butter.

The flour and fat should be whisked together over medium-low heat until they turn slightly dark brown. The cook should keep an eye on the roux while it cooks, as gluten-free flour may cook more quickly than a wheat-based roux. After the roux is cooked, the cook should pour in the stock or pan drippings, whisking to break up the roux and get rid of any lumps. She can add any gluten-free seasonings she'd like to the gravy.

Another simple method for making gluten-free gravy is to slowly dissolve cornstarch or another gluten-free starch, such as arrowroot powder, into warmed stock or pan drippings. To eliminate any lumps, the cook should mix the starch with a small amount of water to form a paste, or slurry, before pouring into the hot stock or drippings. If the stock is cool, she may add the starch directly to it.

If starch or gluten-free flour is added while the stock is hot, it won't dissolve properly and the gravy will be lumpy. Usually, gluten-free gravy takes a longer amount of time to thicken than regular gravy. A cook may expect to wait about 20 minutes for the gravy to thicken fully.

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