how to make gravy from slow cooker juices

Are you staring at the leftover juices in your slow cooker, unsure how to transform them into a mouthwatering gravy? Gravy made from slow cooker drippings is an age-old secret for rich, flavorful sauce.

In this post, we’ll guide you through turning those savory juices into the perfect accompaniment for your meals. Read on and let’s make some gravy magic!

Key Takeaways

  • To make gravy from slow cooker juices, start by skimming fat and using the flavorful liquid to create a roux with butter and flour.
  • For thickening gravy without lumps, whisk all-purpose flour into cold water before adding it to your drippings.
  • Enhance the flavor of your gravy by adding things like wine, herbs, Worcestershire sauce, or a little bit of acid like lemon juice.
  • Keep leftover gravy in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze it for up to 4-6 months. Reheat safely before serving again.
  • Personalize your gravy by trying different herbs or sweet touches like honey to match your meal’s taste.

Basics of Making Gravy

There are different types of gravy, from thick and creamy to rich and savory. To make a good gravy, you’ll need ingredients like beef drippings, flour, and seasonings.

Types of Gravy (thick and creamy, rich and savory)

Gravy turns a good meal into a great one. It can be thick and creamy or rich and savory, depending on what you like.

  • Thick and creamy gravy: This type uses milk or cream with flour or cornstarch to become thick. You often find it with chicken or turkey. Start with butter in a pan and stir in flour to make a paste before adding milk slowly. Stir constantly until it gets thick.
  • Rich and savory gravy: For this kind, meat juices are key. Use beef, chicken, or turkey drippings from your roasting pan. Add these juices to a pot and mix in flour for thickness. Cook the mixture while stirring until it reaches the right texture. You can put in some wine or herbs for extra flavor.

Ingredients needed

To make gravy from slow cooker juices, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. Beef drippings: The flavorful liquid that remains after cooking the beef in the slow cooker.
  2. All-purpose flour: Used to thicken the gravy and give it a smooth texture.
  3. Butter: Adds richness and flavor to the gravy.
  4. Beef stock or broth: Provides depth of flavor and enhances the savory taste of the gravy.
  5. Salt and pepper: To season the gravy to your taste preference.
  6. Optional herbs and spices: Such as thyme, rosemary, or garlic powder, to add extra flavor to the gravy.

How to Make Gravy from Slow Cooker Juices

To make gravy from slow cooker juices, start by collecting the beef drippings and creating a roux with butter and flour. Slow cook the mixture for added depth of flavor before serving over your favorite roast or mashed potatoes.

Collecting beef drippings

After cooking the roast in the slow cooker, carefully remove it and place it on a cutting board to rest. Then, take a large spoon or ladle to skim off the fat from the top of the beef drippings.

Pour the remaining mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a bowl, allowing you to separate the flavorful juices from any bits of meat or herbs. Once strained, allow the liquid to settle so that any remaining fat rises to the top and can be easily removed with a spoon.

Creating a roux

After collecting the beef drippings from the slow cooker, it’s time to create a roux for your gravy. In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat and gradually whisk in all-purpose flour until smooth.

Keep stirring for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown. This roux will serve as the thickening agent for your gravy, giving it a rich and velvety texture.

Once you have achieved the desired color and consistency of the roux, carefully pour in the collected slow cooker juices while continually whisking to avoid lumps. Let this simmer over low heat until it thickens to your preference, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slow cooking for depth of flavor

Slow cooking is a great way to extract deep, rich flavors from the ingredients. When you slow cook your roast or chicken in the crockpot, the juices concentrate and develop complex tastes.

This not only enhances taste but also provides a flavorful foundation for your gravy. Slow-cooking allows these juices to meld together over time, creating a delicious base for your homemade gravy.

The low and slow method of cooking ensures that all the flavors from the meat, herbs, and seasonings have plenty of time to infuse into the liquid, resulting in a gravy with depth and richness that will elevate any dish.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Gravy

Thicken your gravy with all-purpose flour for a classic texture and taste. Whisk the flour into cold water before adding it to the slow cooker juices for a smooth consistency. Additionally, consider additional flavoring options such as using herbs or spices to enhance the overall depth of flavor in your homemade gravy.

Thickening with all-purpose flour

To thicken gravy with all-purpose flour, start by melting butter in a pan. Then, whisk in an equal amount of flour to create a smooth mixture called a roux. Cook the roux for a few minutes until it turns golden brown.

Finally, gradually add the slow cooker juices while whisking constantly to avoid lumps and continue cooking until the gravy reaches your desired thickness.

For extra flavor, you can also sauté onions or garlic in the butter before adding the flour. This method not only thickens the gravy but also enriches it with savory taste from the slow cooker juices and aromatics.

Whisking flour into cold water

To thicken gravy, whisk all-purpose flour into cold water until smooth. The mixture should be free of lumps and have a consistent texture before adding it to the simmering liquid in your slow cooker.

This method helps prevent clumping and ensures an even consistency throughout your gravy, resulting in a velvety-smooth texture that complements the rich flavors of the roast juices.

Gradually pour and whisk the flour-water mixture into the hot juices from the slow cooker, stirring continuously until the desired thickness is achieved.

Additional flavoring options

After you’ve mastered thickening your gravy with flour and creating a silky texture by whisking it into cold water, consider these flavor-boosting options to take your slow cooker gravy to the next level:

  1. Enhance the richness of the gravy by adding a splash of red wine or a dollop of tomato paste to deepen its savory undertones without overwhelming the meaty flavors.
  2. Infuse aromatic depth by stirring in a pinch of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or sage for a fragrant and earthy note that complements the roasted meats.
  3. Elevate the complexity of your gravy with a dash of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce, enhancing its umami taste and adding an extra layer of savoriness.
  4. Balance out the richness with a touch of acidity by squeezing in some fresh lemon juice or adding apple cider vinegar for a subtle tang that cuts through the richness.
  5. Customize your gravy with a hint of sweetness by incorporating a spoonful of honey or maple syrup, providing a delicate contrast to the savory flavors and rounding out the overall taste profile.

Storage and Reheating

Proper storage techniques and how to reheat leftover gravy will ensure that you can enjoy your slow cooker gravy for days to come. Read on to learn more about making the most out of your delicious homemade gravy!

Proper storage techniques

Store leftover gravy in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. Use it within 2-3 days for the best flavor. To freeze, allow the gravy to cool completely before transferring it into freezer-safe containers or bags.

Label with the date and use within 4-6 months for optimal taste. When reheating, do so on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Remember to refrigerate any leftovers promptly to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage over time. It’s important to label your frozen gravy with the date for easy tracking of its storage time.

How to reheat leftover gravy

After you’ve stored your leftover gravy properly, here’s how to reheat it to enjoy all over again:

  1. Pour the refrigerated gravy into a saucepan or microwave-safe dish.
  2. Heat it slowly over low to medium heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
  3. If using a microwave, heat the gravy in 30 – second intervals, stirring between each interval until thoroughly heated.
  4. Make sure the gravy reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for consumption.
  5. Consider adding a splash of broth or water to loosen the consistency if needed.
  6. Once heated through, serve and enjoy your flavorful gravy with your favorite dishes.


In conclusion, making gravy from slow cooker juices is a simple and delicious way to elevate your roast dishes. By collecting the beef drippings and creating a roux, you can slow cook for depth of flavor that will leave everyone wanting more.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to store and reheat your homemade gravy for future meals, adding savory goodness every time.


1. Can I use the leftover juice in my slow cooker to make gravy?

Yes, you can take the juicy drippings from a crock pot roast or chicken and turn them into homemade gravy by adding flour or cornstarch for thickness.

2. What are the steps to making roast drippings gravy from a slow cooker beef dish?

First, pour the beef juices into a pan, then create a roux with butter and flour. Cook it until it’s golden before slowly mixing in your leftover juices.

3. How do I thicken gravy made from slow cooker chicken juices?

Use flour or cornstarch mixed with some water to make a paste, then stir this into your cooking juices and heat until the gravy thickens up nicely.

4. Is it okay to put gravy mix directly in my crock pot roast and let it cook together?

Yes, placing gravy mix in with your roast as it cooks adds flavor and helps thicken the sauce for easier homemade pot roast gravy when done.

5. Do I need any other ingredients besides what comes out of my crock pot roast to make great-tasting gravy?

For richer flavor, mix in some beef stock with your roast drippings; use butter and flour if you’re making a roux-based recipe.

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