Peanut butter and jelly, butter and popcorn, burger and fries – these are some of the greatest food pairings out there. But any list of flavor combinations is surely incomplete without the addition of at least one gravy dish, if not multiple.
My personal favorites are mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits and gravy, and shepherd’s pie with gravy. While the last one may not be a famous combo, it’s still one of my favorites. And keep in mind, these are just a few of the tasty gravy combinations. There are many more possibilities.
Since gravy is such a good addition to so many foods, it’s something that’s always good to have to hand. Sure, you could always keep a dehydrated packet of it. But those aren’t even close to how delicious homemade gravy is. However, the thing with homemade gravy is that you can’t store it in your fridge forever like you can with the instant gravy mix. There’s a solution to this, though. You can freeze homemade gravy and save it for later. Much later in fact.
So next time you make a big batch of gravy, don’t worry about it going to waste. You can easily store it in your freezing and use it even months later.
What Happens If You Freeze Gravy?
When you freeze gravy, a number of things may happen. But it depends on the type of gravy and its contents – particularly the type of milk or cream. The higher the fat content, the less well it will freeze. This is because the higher the fat (cream, high-fat milk) the more it will separate when you freeze it. To avoid this, though you can do a couple of things.
First, instead of using high-fat milk or cream, you can alternatively use low-fat milk or water. While this will make it less rich and flavorful, it will freeze better.
The other thing you can do if you still want to use cream is to strongly mix it in the blender or food processor before you put it in the freezer for storage. This helps to mix the contents up as much as possible to help them freeze together and not separate as much. However, you still may see some separation.
Can You Freeze Gravy Granules?
Gravy granules, unlike their homemade counterpart, are dry and can be stored for a long time even without freezing. How long exactly will depend on the storage conditions, though. Generally speaking, an opened or unopened package of gravy granules can last about two years. So, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to freeze it. Since it’s a granular, dry powder, you could technically freeze it without harming it. But, as it already has such a long shelf-life, you likely won’t need to.
To properly store gravy granules all you need to do is make sure that the package is tightly closed and kept in a cool, dark area like your pantry. If excess moisture is kept out, as well as pests, then it can stay good even past the two years. This is because the two-year date is usually merely a “best by” or “best when used by” date and not in fact an expiration date.
The two-year date is just an estimate by the manufacturer of how long the dry gravy mix will remain at its peak quality. But while it may be completely safe to eat, the taste and color may start to change after this point. So, it’s important to keep that in mind if you are using it when it’s past the date. But, if you ever notice an off odor or mold appears, then, of course, it should be immediately discarded.
How to Freeze Gravy
If you have a lot of leftover gravy, or you want to make a big batch in bulk to save time in the future, then it’s pretty easy to freeze and use later. Here is how you do it:
- First, let the gravy completely cool to room temperature before moving forward, and think of how many portions you would like to freeze. It’s more convenient to defrost only as much as you plan on using each time.
- Next, perhaps while it’s cooling, find a suitable container or containers that are suitable for use in the freezer. This can be either an airtight container or a freezer bag. Either one will work as long as they are impermeable and freezer safe.
- If you’re using a freezer bag, label it before adding the gravy. It’s much more difficult labeling it when it’s full of gravy.
- Add the gravy to the desired number of containers and then make sure they’re tightly sealed.
- Place them in the freezer in a safe location. Until the gravy is completely frozen, it can create a big mess if it tips over or the bag breaks open. You can add an additional bag around the freezer bag or containers for an extra layer of protection against spills as well.
Ice Cube Method
There is also another way that you can freeze gravy into individual portions and this is by freezing gravy ice cubes. You can use this similar to a bouillon cube or stock if you’d like.
- First, allow the gravy to completely cool.
- Grab an ice cube tray or trays and pour the gravy into each cube. Don’t feel each cube all the way up, though. You need to allow a little space for the frozen gravy to expand.
- Then, place the ice cube tray on a flat surface in the freezer. You can use a baking sheet to help with this.
- After they’re completely frozen (I would allow them to freeze overnight) pop the gravy ice cubes out of the tray and transfer them to a labeled and dated bag.
- Return the bag to the freezer.
Each of these methods can be used depending on how you plan on using your gravy. You could even use both of them for the same batch of gravy!
How Long Can Gravy Be Frozen?
For the best results, gravy can be stored in the freezer for up to four months without having any problems. So it should be just as tasty when it’s defrosted as it did when it went into the freezer. After four months you will likely see a decline in the quality of the gravy. Try to eat it as soon as you can.
How to Defrost Frozen Gravy
Sometimes gravy is super easy, but sometimes it can be a bit tricky. This also can be the case when it comes to defrosting it. But, usually, it’s easy enough if you give yourself a little bit of time. This is because it really is just as simple as transferring it from the freezer to a bowl in the fridge and allowing it to defrost overnight.
If you’d like to thaw gravy quicker (and if you froze it in a bag), you can also put it in cold water until it’s defrosted. However, don’t leave it sitting out after it’s defrosted. It should be used or put in the fridge until you use it, which should be as soon as possible.
How to Reheat Thawed Gravy
When it comes to reheating thawed gravy, you will need to plan ahead for the best results. This is because you need to allow the gravy to fully defrost before you reheat it.
First, allow the gravy to completely defrost in either the fridge (recommended) or in cold water. It should start to return to a more liquid consistency. However, it won’t be as liquid as when it’s warm because as gravy cools, it starts to congeal because of the fat content.
After it’s defrosted, put the gravy into a saucepan and reheat it slowly over low heat. You will need patience. Don’t attempt to speed up the process by using medium or high heat. This may leave you with clumpy and separated gravy.
How Many Times Can You Freeze Gravy?
You should freeze gravy as few times as necessary. I wouldn’t recommend refreezing gravy at all. While it will still be safe to eat, assuming it hasn’t been left out in the danger zone for too long, the quality of the gravy will surely suffer every additional time it’s frozen and thawed.
Besides convenience, this is the biggest reason to freeze your gravy in portions, so you can avoid defrosting more than you plan on using.