How to Thicken Gravy in the Slow Cooker

Since moisture in a slow cooker does not evaporate as quickly as in a stove, do you want to know how to thicken gravy in a slow cooker? Continue reading to learn more about techniques!

Slow cookers are a lifesaver. Mix the ingredients in the cooker, cover tightly, set the heat and timer, and return in a few minutes. On occasions, you can make simple and healthy food even with a slow cooker. 

Slow cooking contains recipes with more water due to the condensation built on the lid; the lid remains sealed so that it doesn’t lessen as some stovetop or oven processes would do.

It isn’t easy to make perfect homemade gravy, but it’s always worth the time and effort. You can amaze your friends and relatives with these simple solutions for resolving typical gravy problems, whether you’re preparing for the festivals, a memorable party, or just for the family.

How does a slow cooker work?

The slow cooker has a unique method of working. The coils heat up when you switch on the cooker, which indirectly heats the crockpot to a temperature of 180°F to 320°F, which allows the contents within the cooker to bubble over several minutes till cooked thoroughly.

Heating in a slow cooker comes from the bottom and moves up the sides before reaching the food. The steam generates a tight seal with the lid. Cooking at slow, constant heat helps keep the moisture in the food. There is no evaporation or concentration of the liquid.

Sometimes, when you add a little more water to a mixture greater than the requirement, it comes out watery.

There are many options to make the perfect gravy to go with the tasty items on the table, from thick and creamy to rich and flavorful.

How to thicken gravy in the slow cooker?

Making rich, velvety, thick gravies needs a little extra effort in the slow cooker. A slow cooker holds moisture, resulting in soft food but a watery gravy. Thus many thickening procedures apply to any type, so the one you pick mainly depends on the recipes according to your priorities for taste and texture.

Perfect gravy is thicker than water or other liquids but thin enough to pour. There are a few methods for thickening gravy, but be careful not to overdo it, or your gravy will have the texture of paste!

Flour

Flour thickens a range of gravies, sauces, soups, and stews in various ways. Flour’s consistency makes it ideal for making smooth sauces and gravies. Remember the rice flour can make the difference between brilliant and disaster; either you use it to make a delicious sauce to pour over meat meals or a sweet dessert. This gluten-free flour differs slightly from other flours because it adheres and restricts the separation of the other additives.

Prepare a slurry by combining equal parts flour and boiling water in a mixing bowl, then use two tablespoons of slurry for every cup of liquid in the slow cooker. Stir in the slurry and heat the liquid for 15 minutes on high in the cooker. 

You can also replace butter for water in the slurry to form a paste, termed “blue manie,” and mix it into the liquid in the same manner which makes a creamy gravy. Or you can prepare a roux by heating the flour and butter in a small saucepan until bubbling, then stirring in one cup of the liquid. Stir the roux into the soup and cook until it thickens (about 5 minutes).

Types of roux:

  1. White Roux: Prepared in 5 minutes or less. Ideal for thickening and preparing a white sauce.
  2. Blond Roux: Ready in up to 10 minutes. It’s light brown with a nutty flavor, and it’s perfect for making velouté sauce.
  3. Brown Roux: Prepared in about 30 minutes, great for meals like gumbo.
  4. Dry Roux: A “dry roux” prepares by skipping the fatty component and browning the flour in a saucepan or the oven. You can use this for gumbo when you’re not using a brown roux.

Cornstarch

Step 1: Starches thicken gravy instantly. Cornstarch does not turn the color white or milky. To make a slurry, combine one part cornstarch with two parts cold water and use three teaspoons per cup of liquid. 

Step 2: Stir the slurry into the broth and boil on high for 15 minutes to allow it to thicken and simmer. 

Step 3: If you want to use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch, use three teaspoons of slurry for every 2 cups of broth.

Remember: To avoid lumping, combine starch with cold water before adding it to a hot mixture.

If you use excess fluids in a slow-cooker dish, it results in watery dishes. There are some other ways you can do to thicken your gravy.

Through Evaporation:

Cooking with the cover off is a timely process for thickening, but it maintains the flavor, leading to a healthier gravy. Remove the lid and turn the cooker to maximum after exceeding the standard cooking limit. 

The time depends on your slow cooker and the initial quantity of the gravy; you must keep an eye on it so it doesn’t reduce too much. You can speed up the process by moving the gravy to a pot and reducing it on the stovetop, stirring regularly to prevent it from burning.

Once you’ve added additional liquid, the result you’re trying for is moisture absorption in the dish. But after adding too much fluid, you can remove the lid to allow some moisture to evaporate.

It is a simple and effective method to thicken gravy, sauce, or stew in a slow cooker is to; remove the lid and let simmer until it controls the thickness you want.

Note: If you’re finding How To Thicken Gravy In The Slow Cooker, be careful to record the time. Monitor it every 10-15 minutes to ensure it isn’t getting too low.

Egg yolk 

Commonly flour or cornstarch are used in thickening gravy, but both are high in carbohydrates and starch. Several keto gravies are thickening with coconut or almond flour. However, they each have a distinct flavor that may interfere with the gravy’s flavor, resulting in graininess. For this purpose, egg yolks act as a thickener. They provide a smooth richness to the gravy without removing its original flavor.

Gelatin 

The gelatin thickens the sauce as well. Let the gravy cool if you want it to be creamier. When you’re ready to serve, slightly reheat the gravy.

Purees 

Slow cooker recipes with starchy foods (i.e., potatoes, turnips, or carrots) have thickening agents of their own. Separate a few cups of the vegetables and broth at the end of the cooking and purée them in a blender before putting them back in. This approach is excellent for thickening gravy, sauces, and soups.

Use less liquid 

During cooking, slow cookers naturally drop condensation from the cover down into the food. Although many people believe that slow cooking meat requires a large amount of liquid, it only takes a small amount. If you routinely notice that a meal has too much liquid, reduce the liquid in the original recipe the next time you prepare it.

Frequently asked questions

Can we leave the lid off to thicken gravy?

Remove the lid to allow some of the water to evaporate. In a slow cooker, opening the lid and letting it boil until it decreases to the required thickness is a simple and easy method to thicken the gravy with a more velvety texture. Slow cookers have a special way of working; the electrical coils warm up when you turn on the cooker.

When does a slow cooker make food watery?

For slow cookers, you require at least half the quantity of water. The cover will hold the moisture in during the cooking process and prevent it from evaporating. If the dish does not adjust in a slow cooker, it will reach too much water.

Should we use flour rather than cornstarch?

Flour, unlike cornstarch, contains protein, fiber, and starch. It means it’s possible to substitute your cornstarch for flour, but you will need more of it to get the same results. We recommend using twice as much flour as cornstarch for thickening purposes. Use two tablespoons flour instead of 1 tablespoon cornstarch

What is the ideal thickening for gravy?

Gravy is usually thickened with cornstarch or flour. Cornstarch has a higher thickening tendency than wheat flour. However, cornstarch is simple to use because it does not lump when it mixes with hot liquid. But you have to be alert since cornstarch will thicken in only a few minutes, so only when you add in large amounts, it will end up with gel-like gravy.

How can we avoid lumps in gravy?

If small lumps appear at any time during the process, you can use the metal whisk to break them up. Simpler, you can remove the lumps from the gravy using a strainer. A very little flour makes a huge difference and responds instantly with hot liquid. So, load a strainer with flour and dust it lightly over the gravy. Gently stir in the flour, wait for the gravy to thicken, and, if needed, dust it more.

Conclusion 

A gravy can greatly affect a meal, but it’s not usually the most convenient thing to prepare. Wonderful gravy-making abilities don’t come naturally; but are earned through effort, patience, and a desire to prepare a delicious meal. You don’t have to worry about slow-cooker dishes getting out soupy again. The gravy thickens as it cools, so make it a little runny (by using a little more broth or liquid), and it will cool to the right consistency.

About Harris V.

Harris is a content coordinator and senior writer at Gliving. After years of cooking professionally, Harris traded in his knives for the pen. He spends most of his time writing these days but still loves to get down with some delicious recipes in the kitchen for his family.