Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s close to the heart (and stomach) of many homemakers…. freezing gravy. Yep, you heard it right. We’re going to chat about how to freeze gravy so it will last longer and you can enjoy its savory goodness whenever the craving hits.
Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Why freeze gravy? It’s so good; it won’t last long anyway!” Well, I totally get it. Gravy’s the unsung hero of the Thanksgiving dinner, the secret sauce that transforms dry meat into a delicious masterpiece.
But sometimes, life happens, and we’re left with more of that turkey gravy than we can finish in one sitting. That’s where freezing comes in, my friends – it’s like putting a little slice of the holiday in your freezer, ready to save the day when you need it most.
So, whether you’ve got a surplus of grandma’s famous homemade gravy or you simply want to plan ahead for those comfort food cravings, stick around as we break down the art of freezing gravy in the most down-to-earth way possible. No fancy gadgets, just good ol’ practical tips to keep that gravy train chugging along.
Does gravy freeze well?
Yes, leftover gravy can freeze well.
Freezing gravy is a good way to reduce food waste and save it for later so you can enjoy it another time. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn, and keep it’s rich flavor when you thaw and reheat it.
What different types of gravy can I freeze for later use?
You can freeze most any type of gravy for later use. Here are some common types of gravy that freeze well:
- Turkey Gravy: Leftover turkey gravy from Thanksgiving turkey or any other occasion can be frozen and enjoyed later. It’s a great way to make that holiday flavor last.
- Beef Gravy: Whether it’s homemade beef gravy or leftover pan drippings from a roast, you can freeze beef gravy without any issues. It’s handy for future beef dishes.
- Chicken Gravy: Chicken gravy, whether made from scratch or leftover from a chicken dinner, can also be frozen successfully. It’s perfect for future chicken or poultry dishes.
- Mushroom Gravy: Creamy mushroom gravy is delicious and freezes well. You can use it as a topping for steaks, pork chops, or even pasta dishes.
- Vegetable Gravy: If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, vegetable-based gravies, like mushroom or onion gravy, can be frozen without any problems.
- Onion Gravy: Rich and savory onion gravy is a favorite for many. It can be frozen and later served with sausages, mashed potatoes, or other comfort foods.
When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stove, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. Frozen gravy can be a real time-saver for busy weeknight dinners or when you want to enjoy those comforting flavors again.
can I freeze cream-based gravy?
Yes, you can freeze cream-based gravy, but there are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Separation: Cream gravy can sometimes separate or become slightly grainy when frozen and then thawed. This is due to the water content in cream, which can separate from the fat and other ingredients during freezing. While the texture may change slightly, the good news is the flavor should remain the same.
- Stirring: To help with separation and keep a smoother consistency, it’s a good idea to stir the cream-based gravy thoroughly before freezing and again after thawing. This can help recombine any separation.
- Thawing: When you’re ready to use frozen milk-based gravy, thaw it slowly in the refrigerator rather than using high heat. Gently reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Testing: After thawing and reheating, taste the gravy to ensure it meets your expectations. You can adjust the seasoning and texture as needed by adding a little more cream or broth if it appears too thick or separated.
While cream-based gravies may change in texture a bit when frozen, they can still be a convenient option for preserving the flavors of your favorite dishes. Just keep these tips in mind to ensure the best results when freezing and reheating them.
Can gravy made with corn starch be frozen?
Yes, gravy made with cornstarch can be frozen. Cornstarch-thickened gravy freezes very well.
Allow the cornstarch-thickened gravy to cool to room temperature before freezing. This helps prevent condensation inside the container, which can lead to freezer burn.
What is the best container to freeze gravy in?
Honestly my very favorite thing to freeze just about anything in, is recycled glass pasta sauce jars. But if that’s not what you were wanting to use, here are the best types of containers to freeze gravy in:
- Freezer-safe air-tight container: These are typically made of plastic or glass and have a secure, sealable lid. They prevent air from getting into the container, which helps keep the quality of the gravy and prevents freezer burn.
- Freezer Bags: Use heavy-duty, resealable freezer bags designed for freezing like hefty or ziploc bags. Remove as much extra air as possible before sealing to minimize freezer burn. Lay them flat to save space and make thawing easier.
- Mason Jars: If you’re using glass jars like Mason jars, leave some space at the top to allow for expansion during the freezing process. Make sure the lids are not screwed on too tightly to allow for this expansion. And make sure the gravy is completely cooled down before putting in the freezer.
- Ice Cube Trays: For smaller amounts or if you want to use gravy in small amounts, you can freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the frozen cubes to a sealed freezer-safe container or bag.
- Vacuum-Sealed Bags: If you have a vacuum sealer, it can be a great way to freeze gravy, as it removes all the air from the bag, lowering the risk of freezer burn.
Remember to label your containers with the date so you can keep track of how long the gravy has been in the freezer. Proper packaging helps preserve the flavor and texture of your gravy until you’re ready to use it again.
Can you freeze gravy in a plastic container?
So, can you freeze gravy in a plastic container? Well, you can, but it’s important to consider whether it’s the best choice. Let’s chat about the good and not-so-great sides of using plastic for this purpose.
- Plastic containers are easy to find and use. They come in lots of sizes, so you can store the right amount of gravy for your needs.
- Many plastic containers have tight-fitting lids, which help keep your gravy safe from freezer burn and bad freezer smells.
- Plastic containers are stackable, making it easy to organize and save space in your freezer.
- Plastic containers may not always provide an airtight seal, leading to freezer burn, which can affect the texture and taste of your gravy over time.
- Some plastic containers may not be leak-proof, so be careful when storing liquid gravies, as they can leak in your freezer.
- There’s concern about chemicals in certain plastic containers leaching into food when exposed to extreme temperatures. To lower this risk, look for containers labeled as “freezer-safe” or consider using glass containers for long-term storage.
In simple terms, plastic containers are convenient and easy to use for freezing gravy, but you should choose ones with tight-fitting lids and be mindful of potential issues like leaching of chemicals and freezer burn. If you’re concerned about chemicals, consider other storage options like glass containers.
How to reheat frozen gravy
Reheating frozen gravy is easy, and you can do it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Here’s the step-by-step guide:
Reheating gravy on the stovetop:
- First, thaw gravy. The best way is by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost setting on your microwave if you’re in a hurry. Thawing in the fridge over night is the safest method.
- Once the gravy is fully thawed, pour it into a saucepan.
- Heat the gravy over low heat on the stovetop. Stir frequently to ensure even heating. This will help prevent the gravy from burning or forming lumps.
- As the gravy heats up, taste it to check the flavor and consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add a little water, broth, or milk to reach the thickness you like. Continue to stir well.
- Once the gravy is hot and has reached the desired consistency, it’s ready to serve over homemade biscuits or fried chicken, yum!
Reheating gravy in the microwave:
- Thaw the frozen gravy in the microwave using the defrost or low-power setting. Be sure to use a microwave-safe container.
- Heat the gravy in short intervals, such as 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir the gravy between for even heating.
- Taste the gravy to check the flavor and consistency. Adjust the thickness with a bit of water, broth, or milk if needed.
- Once the gravy is hot and reaches your preferred consistency, it’s ready to serve.
It’s worth reminding you again about the dangers of using plastic to freeze food in but especially to reheat it. Here’s what Harvard Health has to say about it:
“Studies have found that certain chemicals in plastic can leach out of the plastic and into the food and beverages we eat. Some of these chemicals have been linked to health problems such as metabolic disorders (including obesity) and reduced fertility. This leaching can occur even faster and to a greater degree when plastic is exposed to heat. This means you might be getting an even higher dose of potentially harmful chemicals simply by microwaving your leftovers in a plastic container.” (source)
Well friends, I hope this was helpful to you!
What’s your favorite way to make gravy? Completely from scratch? Or the easy peasy way, out of a package? Let me know in the comments.