Gravy is a savory sauce commonly made from the juices of meats that run naturally during cooking. It’s a staple food in American cuisine and can be enjoyed with various dishes. So what happens if you have more gravy than you can use at a time? Can you freeze gravy? Is it safe?
The answer to this question is yes. Freezing gravy is a great way to save money and keep this tasty addition to your meal on hand.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about freezing gravy without all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Read on.
What Is Gravy?
Gravy is a sauce commonly made from the juices left over from cooking meat or poultry, usually thickened with wheat flour or cornstarch.
Gravy can be served on its own, or as a sauce to accompany meat dishes (particularly Thanksgiving turkey). It can also be used as an ingredient in preparing other dishes, such as pies, tarts, and puddings.
Can You Freeze Gravy?
Yes, you can. Freezing gravy is a great way to preserve it for later use. Typically, most gravies will only last for about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator, and freezing is a great way to make them last longer.
If you have leftover gravy, you can freeze it by pouring it into an airtight container or bag and then placing it in your freezer. You can also freeze your leftover gravy in ice cube trays if you need small portions that you can use with ease when cooking.
Just be sure to let the gravy cool completely before freezing it. This will prevent bacteria growth and keep your gravy from spoiling while it sits in the freezer.
Why Should You Freeze Gravy?
There are a lot of reasons why you should freeze gravy. The first is that it’s a great way to prevent bacteria from growing in the food and causing spoilage.
Freezing gravy also ensures that you have enough food on hand when unexpected guests come over unannounced (or if there’s an emergency). This may sound like an unlikely situation, but being prepared is the key.
Furthermore, freezing gravy allows you to make your homemade gravy without having to worry about it going bad before you use it. Homemade gravy has more flavor than store-bought varieties, and you can control what goes in it.
How to Freeze Gravy
Freezing gravy is easy as long as you follow the steps below:
Step 1: Allow the gravy to cool completely
The best way to cool down your gravy is to pour it into a container with lids and then place the container into a shallow pan of ice water. Let the gravy sit in the ice water until it’s cooled down completely (about 30 minutes).
Step 2: Pour into an airtight container
To freeze gravy successfully, you’ll need to use an airtight container. This helps keep out any unwanted odors that could be present in your freezer. It also prevents any moisture from escaping, which would make your gravy separate when you reheat it later.
You can use an airtight container for this purpose — just make sure that it’s clean and dry before pouring your gravy into it. If you don’t have an airtight container on hand, try using a zip-top bag instead. It won’t be as sturdy as a plastic container, but it should do the job.
Step 3: Leave an inch of space
Make sure the container or bag has at least an inch of space at the top for expansion. This prevents the container from bursting open and spilling its contents all over your freezer floor.
Step 4: Label
Label your container with the contents and date before placing it into your freezer. This will ensure you don’t accidentally thaw something else when you’re ready to use your frozen gravy.
Step 5: Freeze
Place your gravy in the back of your freezer. The temperature there is more consistent than near the door, which tends to fluctuate often due to the frequent opening and closing of the freezer door.
Freezing gravy in ice cube trays
- After cooling, pour your gravy into ice cube trays.
- Make sure each cube has enough headspace for expansion.
- Freeze and then transfer the frozen gravy cubes into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Mark the container or bag with its contents and date for easy identification.
- Freeze until you’re ready to use the gravy.
Thawing Frozen Gravy
Avoid thawing frozen gravy at room temperature because bacteria could contaminate it during this process. Instead, place the frozen gravy in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the microwave before serving.
How Long Can You Freeze Gravy?
Commercial gravies will keep for about four months in the freezer, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Homemade gravies will keep for about two months in the freezer because they don’t contain any preservatives.
Pros of Freezing Gravy
- Prolonged shelf life: Gravy lasts longer in the freezer than in the refrigerator or at room temperature. This is because the cold temperature prevents the growth of bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause food spoilage.
- It’s convenient: You can make a large batch of gravy and freeze it in small containers for use later. This is great if you’re cooking for a crowd or just want to make sure there’s always some on hand in case you need it.
- Easy to make ahead: You can make the gravy ahead and freeze it so you don’t have to worry about making it on the day of serving. This is especially helpful if you’re not going to use all of it at once, or if you have unexpected guests coming over.
- Saves money: Freezing your gravy instead of buying a fresh one every time you need it helps cut down your grocery bill.
- You can adjust the recipe to your tastes: If you want a thicker gravy, add more flour or cornstarch before freezing it; if you want it thinner, add milk when reheating instead of adding more liquid.
Cons of Freezing Gravy
- Separation: When thawing frozen gravy, it’ll likely separate into its various components (gravy and fat) and become unappetizing.
- Freezer burn: Freezing gravy will also make it prone to freezer burn, which will affect the flavor and appearance of your gravy.
Can you make gravy at home?
Yes, you can. Make your homemade gravy by adding flour to the pan drippings left behind after cooking meat. Cook the flour in the drippings over medium heat, then slowly add water or broth until you get the consistency you want for your gravy.
Making sure that you have enough flour in your gravy is the secret to making the perfect gravy. The flour will absorb the liquid and add a thick consistency to your gravy. The more flour you use, the thicker your gravy will be.
How do you reheat frozen gravy?
The easiest way to reheat frozen gravy is in the microwave. However, if you don’t like the idea of microwaving your food, you can also reheat it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
The best method depends on how much gravy you have left over and how much time you have available.
What is the difference between white gravy and brown gravy?
White gravy is made by mixing milk with flour and butter and then cooking the mixture until it forms a smooth paste. Brown gravy, however, is made by mixing beef broth with other ingredients like onions and mushrooms and then cooking the mixture with flour so that it thickens completely.
Freezing gravy is a great idea if you’re preparing food ahead of time, or if you have some leftovers. It’s also a great way to save money and make sure you always have some on hand.
The process is simple — all you need is an airtight container, freezer bag, or some ice cube trays. To use frozen gravy, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and microwave before serving.
Thanks for reading.
Visit Cheffist to learn more about how to preserve gravy for future use.