The concept of leftover gravy may be foreign for most American households. It is, after all, one of the most beloved components of a Thanksgiving feast, served in a boat-like vessel for all-too-easy pouring on sliced turkey, dressing , or a bed of mashed potatoes.
But if you find yourself among the minority who end up with gravy to spare (and we're only judging you ever so slightly), you may be wondering how to store the sauce, and whether or not it is capable of being tossed in the freezer.
What Is Gravy?
If you're team cranberry jelly , you may not be entirely aware of gravy's individual components. A typical gravy recipe is made from the leftover juices of meats that are released during cooking. During holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, this typically means turkey or beef.
To impart additional flavors and volume, chicken or beef broth and even cream or milk is usually added to these juices, along with butter and spices like sage, rosemary, or garlic powder. To thicken the liquid, most traditional recipes call for all-purpose or wheat flours, though you can also use corn starch which is a wonderful gluten-free alternative.
How To Freeze Gravy
A gravy can easily be frozen and will turn solid like any other liquid. Allow it to completely cool before spooning it into air-tight containers or freezer bags.
If stored properly, you can enjoy the same rich, decadent taste for up to a whopping six months.
When ready to reuse, simply remove it from your freezer, and allow for it to thaw in your refrigerator overnight.
But if your gravy contains dairy products, it's in your best interest to not freeze it at all. The texture will turn gritty, and it will completely separate once it melts back into a liquid.
And, of course, do not refreeze gravy once it has been thawed. You're practically begging for freezer burn, and it will undoubtedly split.
How To Refrigerate Gravy
Planning to pour that leftover gravy on other leftovers sooner rather than later? Gravy can also be stored in the refrigerator.
Pour it into an airtight container, and it will last for up to four days. Just be sure to cool it down within two hours of cooking. Otherwise, it is likely that bacteria will begin to form and could potentially get you sick.
How To Tell if Gravy Has Gone Bad
Your nose is your best friend when it comes to identifying spoiled foods. If it smells rotten or sour, toss it. Or as chefs like to say, "When in doubt, throw it out."
You should also look for signs of mold. Separation is natural, especially with dairy-based varieties, but if you see anything fuzzy or abnormal, then into the trash it goes.
How To Store Dry Gravy
Those who appreciate shortcuts may opt for a premade gravy dry mix to be added to juices and broths. This opened packet of powder, if kept in a sealed container or plastic bag and stored at room temperature, can last up to two years.
But we strongly suggest preparing a homemade gravy when time permits. This Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy recipe is quick and easy, but can make one of the most lasting impressions of anything on the table.