Gravy is a superstar addition that ties together hearty meals from roasted chicken to fluffy mashed potatoes.
Its depth of flavor has the power to elevate any dish it graces quite easily.
However, preparing gravy in a slow cooker can sometimes leave you with an overly watery consistency, turning this star sauce into a runny disappointment.
No worries, though!
In this article, we’re going to find out how you can transform your thin, watery gravy into a rich, luscious sauce still using your slow cooker.
We’re offering four different approaches tailored to fit everyone’s kitchen – so you can pick what works best for you!
Furthermore, we’ll share handy tips on how to prevent your gravy from becoming too liquidy in the first place.
That way, you’ll always get that perfect pour-over every time.
Will Gravy Thicken In A Slow Cooker?
A lot of the time, no really. But why does this happen?
Well, unlike stove top cooking where evaporation helps in reducing liquids, slow cookers lock away every bit of moisture within them.
This traps potential room for the reduction in gravy that’s often needed to achieve a hearty consistency.
However, there could be more factors at play:
Excessive Liquid: If you’re enthusiastically adding broth, water or even wine into your slow cooker, it might be time to hold back a little. Too much liquid can lead to flavor dilution and a thinner gravy than desired.
Insufficient Thickener: Perhaps you’ve been light-handed with flour or cornstarch? Not utilizing enough of these thickening agents can leave your gravy missing its rich gel-like consistency.
Timing with Thickeners: When and how you add thickeners like flour or cornstarch can significantly affect your gravy’s outcome. Too early introduction can lead to clumping and insufficient mixing with the liquid. Conversely, if you add cornstarch too late in the cooking process, it might not have adequate time to cook properly and work its thickening magic.
Choice of Meat: Opting for low-fat or lean cuts might be healthier but remember, they naturally have less fat and gelatin – both great contributors in achieving that beautiful thickness in gravy.
Heat Settings Matter: Cooking on low heat for extended periods might seem like an effortless method but beware! It can cause starches within your thickeners to break down over time, reducing their capability to add body to your gravy.
How Do You Keep Gravy Thick In A Slow Cooker?
With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can perfect the gravy game every time you focus on it.
Vent Your Slow Cooker
Allowing steam and moisture to escape is a simple way to concentrate flavor and reduce the overall volume of your gravy.
To do this, just leave the lid off your slow cooker for about 15 to 30 minutes towards the end of cooking, stirring periodically.
Switch your heat setting to warm or high, and you’ll be on your way to reducing the excess liquid in your gravy and enhancing those delicious flavors.
When cooking stuff like gravy, thickeners are your best friend.
These could include flour, cornstarch or any other type of starch or even a roux.
The key here is to carefully mix these with cold water before incorporating them into your gravy – ensuring no lumps form.
Whisk it with cold water until smooth and stir it into the gravy at least half an hour before completion time for cooked-in thickness.
Cornstarch or potato starch lovers should go for a similar method and still introduce it towards the end of cooking and let it simmer till thickened.
For those who prefer roux, melt some butter over medium heat before whisking in flour – cooking for several minutes while stirring constantly.
Gradually whisk in some slow-cooked gravy until you reach a thick consistency before transferring back into the slow cooker.
Remember that quantities matter – traditionally use 1-2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch per cup of liquid. If using roux, stick to 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour per cup of liquid.
Turn To Evaporated Milk
Cream-based gravies may benefit from adding milk fat like evaporated or coconut milk.
This rich addition not only adds depth but emulsifies your gravy leading to more creaminess.
Puree It Up
Get it blended!
Use an immersion blender right inside your slow cooker to puree for about a minute or so – transforming texture along the way.
Alternatively, extract a cup or two of gravy and puree in a standard blender before reintroducing it back in – this method will ensure that your water gravy becomes thickened.