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Gravy Too Salty? Here Are 9 Ways To Easily Fix It

Did you prepare delicious gravy just to find out that it’s too salty at the last minute? Since gravy is usually prepared last, it doesn’t leave much time for fixing.

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. This is why we scouted for the most effective ways to help your dish and fix gravy that is too salty in a matter of minutes.

So, if your gravy is too salty keep on reading to find the best solution in your pantry.

Why is your gravy too salty?

Gravy is usually made from meat drippings with added spices, flour, and stock. For the fatty base, you can use the drippings from any meat you have prepared like beef, chicken, or turkey. If you don’t have any drippings you can always use butter.

As you can see all of the ingredients in gravy are considered quite salty on their own, so combining them into a delicious sauce can make it too savory and spoil the taste. In addition, the gravy is usually reduced to a thick texture thus increasing the salt content.

If you are looking for the best ways to reduce saltiness in gravy, stay tuned until the end because we have some surprising tricks and tips you never heard before.

How to make gravy less salty?

Making any dish a bit too salty can happen, but some dishes can be salvaged with a couple of the right ingredients. These suggestions can help desalt gravy and any sauce you might have prepared.

1. Add Sweetener

Most people have heard about this one, but it should always be your first choice when you need to reduce saltiness in gravy. Adding sugar, especially a white one is the perfect ingredient that will combat the saltiness and balance out the flavor.

Keep in mind that a little sugar goes a long way, and you need to add in ¼ of a teaspoon at a time. This will ensure that the gravy doesn’t become too sweet and it will reduce the salty taste.

You can always add more if you need, but make sure to give sugar enough time to completely dissolve. When you hear people complain that this trick didn’t work you should know they added too much.

2. Put in some potatoes

This is one of the tricks our grandmothers used and for a good reason. A few slices of potato in any dish will soak up the liquid and salt. All you have to do is peel a potato, slice it in wedges, and pop it in your gravy for 15 or so minutes.

After a light simmer, you can take out the potatoes and add a bit more water because the gravy will be thicker. Potatoes are naturally starchy and absorbent, a perfect combination that will help you with saltiness but not change the flavor.

If that didn’t solve the problem, we have more suggestions ahead.

3. Add a bit of dairy

Adding creaminess to your sauce will not just make it more delicious and easy to spread, but it will also cut saltiness in gravy. So, if you don’t have lactose intolerance go on and add some milk, sour cream, or heavy cream.

This will make the gravy more mellow and less salty, the perfect combination for any dish you are about to serve.

Keep in mind that not all the gravies are meant to have dairy in them, so examine the recipe and the dishes you are serving with your sauce before adding anything.

4. Increase volume of the dish

One of the simplest ways to fix salty gravy is to make more of it. You can do this by adding water or even better unsalted stock, but keep in mind that you will need to adjust other ingredients too.

Adding too much liquid can make the gravy runny, but you can easily solve this by adding some butter, flour, or cornstarch. The flavor and the consistency will be perfect and you will have some leftovers for tomorrow. 

The good news is that you can also freeze gravy and it will be good as new even after a few months in the freezer. So having leftovers is not a problem.

5. Add acidic agent

Adding anything sour and acidic to your gravy will fight the saltiness and enhance the flavor of the dish. You can choose between lemon juice or vinegar, whichever you have at hand.

Keep in mind that you need to add just a small amount to avoid changing the flavor of the gravy completely. Adding too much will taste sour, but with a bit of sugar, you can balance the sauce once again. 

As you might notice the whole process of fixing saltines is finding the right balance of ingredients.

6. Add beans

If you want to increase the volume of the gravy and make it less salty, but you don’t want to add water you can opt for beans. Using canned beans with low-sodium content and mashing them up before adding to the gravy will work the best.

For even better results, you can use a bit of water and a hand-held mixer to get that perfect texture without lumps.

This will add thickness and soak up all the excess salt you might have in the gravy. Beans will also add a fuller flavor that goes well as a side dish for many meals.

7. Add roux

A good base for any gravy is grease, and you can add more of it if you have too much salt in the gravy. By combining equal parts of butter and flour, and heating it on the stove until you get that golden-brown color, you will get roux.

Once you have the perfect colored base you can add it to your gravy and increase the volume of the dish, thus reducing salty flavor. Because you are adding equal parts of fat and flour the sauce will not be oily. It will have the perfect texture and taste to accompany any dish. 

Just keep in mind that this might create a thicker gravy and you will need to add some water or unsalted stock if you like it runnier.

8. Serve with less salty dishes

This might sound redundant, but if you are out of ideas and you tried all of our suggestions you might need to think outside of the box. This means turning to the rest of your dishes and making them less salty.

Gravy goes great with mashed potatoes, meat, sausages, vegetables and so much more. So, if you can’t fix the saltiness of the gravy just serve it with unsalted dishes. 

The salty gravy will be served on top of the unseasoned dishes, the combination will be just right in the end, and you will have one delicious meal.

9. Serve with dry wine

Another trick you can use is serving salty food or in this case gravy with some dry wine. This might not be an option for the entire family, but if you have adults at your table a glass of red wine might just do the trick.

It will cleanse the palate and reduce the saltiness of the dish when you consume it together. And there is nothing better than adding some wine to the rich and delicious feast you prepared. 

How to make the perfect gravy

Now that we have all the best solutions for your salty gravy, we can add a few more tips that will help you avoid this in the future. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Since the gravy is usually made last and pretty fast you need to add seasoning slowly and taste now and then. If the base for your gravy is dripping from meat, it might have enough salt already. However, if you are making the base from butter you can always choose the unsalted version and add saltines as you go.
  2. A lot of people are concerned that the gravy might not be flavorful enough, but this can easily be solved with a splash of Worcestershire Sauce or other spices. Keep in mind that it’s always easier to add saltiness rather than reduce it later.
  3. When adding stock to your gravy you can choose the ones with less salt and high-sodium content. This is not only the healthier alternative but it will make it less likely for you to end up with a sauce that is too salty.
  4. Be careful with the salt shaker or the container, because too much salt may get out. Professional chefs and cooks always use teaspoons or pinch the salt with their hands for the perfect and controlled amount.

With these tricks and tips, your gravy will be delicious each time and the perfect addition to all of your meals. Its thick and creamy consistency is what makes it one of the most popular sauces in the world, and you now know how to impress your guests and even fix the salting in a hurry.

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Passionate chef, in love with everything related to food and cooking it to perfection!
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