Favorite Recipes, Southern Staples

How to Make Perfect White Gravy

gravy over biscuitsEvery great biscuit deserves a little lovin’, right?  Some biscuits need a good dose of strawberry jam, while others need to be smothered in the perfect white gravy!  Well here I go again, giving you the secrets in my kitchen: How to make perfect white gravy!! My dad taught me to make this gravy when I was about 10 years old, and my mom helped me get it down to an art form (yessss, Grasshoppa…Gravy can be art…yesssss).  So I figured since I’ve given you the key to my bread-lovin’ heart by sharing my biscuit recipe, I’d go ahead and give you the secret recipe that keeps my biscuits (and my family!) happy!

This gravy recipe isn’t an exact science (hence why I called it art!), so it is difficult to lay out into steps, but I’m going to do my country darnedest to make it happen for y’all!

First things first, you’ll need:
A large skillet (I use stainless steel or cast iron because I like (okay, actually I LOVE *lovelovelovelove*) my Pampered Chef whisk – and it’s no bueno on non-stick skillets)
2-3TB vegetable oil (add 1 more if your skillet is huge)
1/4 c AP flour (again, add additional flour by the TB until your oil is absorbed)
salt and pepper (lots! at least 1.5 tsp each)
1 1/2 c milk mixed with 1 1/2 c water (or just skim milk, if that’s what you have.  And again, you may need more if you’re using a super large skillet)

Start with the oil.

Heat it in your skillet over medium heat until it’s shiny (odd description but you’ll see it). Next, add your salt and pepper.

salting oilYou’ll smell the peppeppering oilper starting to cook.  (Remember that whole “art” thing?  Well here’s where the rubber meets the road…)  The pepper will begin to smell…well, peppery.  This is when you know that your oil is hot enough to add flour.  If you add it too soon, the flour will just sit and bathe in the oil, not cooking.  Imagine slathering on tanning oil, and then laying on your couch.  Same thing with flour in cold oil.

flour in oilWhen you start sprinkling your flour into your oil, it should start to sizzle.  Begin whisking immediately, and keep whisking until all the flour is absorbed into the oil, and you have something that looks kind of like batter.

whisking flour in oil
This is when you’re ready to add your milk mixture.  Slow and steady, or you’ll make a giant mess.  Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me.  Mmmkay?  milk in roux

Whisk.  Whisk.  Whisk.  After a minute or two, the milk will have blended into the flour and oil.  Hooray, right?  Nope.  You’re not done.  Keep whisking.  About 2 minutes (not like bumblebee speed whisking – don’t get crazy, now!) and your gravy will go from somewhat grainy looking to shiny.  Yes, shiny gravy is what you’re going for.  Again…it’s an art.

shiny gravy

You’ll see it look like this, and you can commence a celebratory jig in the kitchen.  You made the perfect white gravy!  Now just to ladle this amazingness over some of those perfect biscuits I keep telling you about.  Side of eggs and tomatoes?  Yes please!

Guaranteed to make your family happy every Saturday morning.  I don’t have a money back guarantee, but if I did…well you still wouldn’t need it.  Believe me!  🙂family eating biscuits and gravyempty plates

And PS: Just in case you have some biscuits left over, here’s a link for that strawberry jam we talked about earlier 😉

signature 2



15 thoughts on “How to Make Perfect White Gravy

      1. Me too, Cayce. Love homemade biscuits and sausage gravy. Thank you for the White gravy recipe as well. Yummy stuff all the way around. I too, am a southern women, older but…still southern.

  1. My family loves bisquits and gravy also! My southern roots are from Georgia,And its a major staple there. We never measured anything,It was a pinch of this and a hand full of that,We eyeballed things! Its the way my grandmother did it and I learned it that way too! We fried bacon or sausage and used the drippings from it to make the gravy, I take a few tlbs. of flour in the skillet that I fried sausage in and stir it around till the flour browns, we call it a rue, then I pour the milk in and stir till it thickens,then I put the crumbled up sausage back in the gravy and stir till blended,Then we pour it over the hot bisquits! Sometimes we have breakfast for dinner 🙂 I also add a lot of pepper to my gravy, Its just a southern thing! Everyone that spends the night with us expects a southern breakfast, Which I don’t mind fixing,I love to watch people enjoy my cooking.

    1. I completely understand, Pat! I grew up cooking for my vegetarian mom, so I’m less experienced at good old fashioned sausage gravy! Something I’m definitely trying to get better at 😉

  2. I just posted two recipes for Southern Style Biscuits and used your biscuit recipe for the 2nd recipe – for which I give you credit, as is due!! I also included a link to this terrific recipe for The Perfect White Gravy. Who would know how to bake biscuits and make white gravy better than a southern mom!!?? ; o )

  3. I was wondering,,, the picture of flour above says self- rising, but you use all- purpose right? Thank you for posting these wonderful recipes. I love biscuits and gravy. I have been trying to “perfect” them like the ones my mom made.

    1. Yes ma’am – I don’t know how I ended up with a picture of self-rising flour. Definitely use AP flour! If you use self-rising, then it already has baking powder in it and your biscuits will come out super crumbly. 🙂

  4. This never turned into gravy, just a watery mess. I followed the directions perfectly. I don’t have enough ingredients to try again. Im so disappointed ? I think there was too much liquid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.