Why Does My Gravy Taste Like Flour: Reasons, Fixes, Preventions

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Gravy is a beloved accompaniment to many dishes, adding richness and flavor to meals. However, encountering the taste of flour in your gravy can be a disappointing experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this common issue, effective fixes to salvage your gravy, and preventive measures to ensure it turns out perfectly every time.

What does gravy taste like?

The taste of gravy can vary widely depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and any additional seasonings or flavorings incorporated. Generally, gravy has a rich, savory, and comforting flavor profile.

The primary taste elements in gravy include:

Umami: Gravy often has a strong umami flavor, which is associated with the savory and meaty taste. This comes from ingredients like meat drippings, broth, or stock used as a base.

Saltiness: Gravy is typically seasoned with salt to enhance the overall taste. The level of saltiness can be adjusted based on personal preferences.

Richness: The use of fats like butter, pan drippings, or oils contributes to the richness of gravy. This richness provides a smooth and satisfying mouthfeel.

Depth of Flavor: The cooking process, especially if a roux is involved, can add depth and complexity to the flavor. This might include roasted or caramelized notes, depending on the ingredients and techniques used.

Herbs and Spices: Additional flavors come from herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, or other seasonings added to enhance the overall taste.

Creaminess: In some cases, cream or milk may be added to certain gravies, contributing to a creamy and luxurious texture.

The specific taste of gravy can vary based on whether it’s meat-based, poultry-based, vegetarian, or vegan.

Meat gravies may have a more robust and intense flavor due to the inclusion of pan drippings and stock.

On the other hand, vegetarian or vegan gravies can be flavorful through the use of vegetable broth, herbs, and other seasonings.

Why Does My Gravy Taste Like Flour? The Reasons

If your gravy tastes like flour, it’s likely that the flour wasn’t properly cooked or incorporated into the mixture.

Here are a few common reasons why your gravy might have a raw flour taste:

Insufficient Cooking Time:

When making gravy, it’s crucial to cook the flour thoroughly to eliminate the raw taste.

This process is known as creating a roux, where you cook flour in fat (like butter or oil) until it turns a golden color.

If the roux is not cooked long enough, it can result in a floury taste in the finished gravy.

Inadequate Mixing:

Flour needs to be well-mixed with the fat to form a smooth paste (roux). If there are lumps of flour in the mixture, they may not cook properly and can contribute to a raw taste in the gravy.

Incorrect Ratios:

The ratio of flour to fat and liquid is crucial for a well-balanced gravy. Using too much flour in proportion to the fat and liquid can lead to a dense, pasty texture and a strong flour taste.

Improper Incorporation of Liquid:

Gradually adding liquid (such as broth or milk) to the roux while stirring continuously is essential.

Adding too much liquid at once or not stirring well can result in clumps of uncooked flour.

Use of All-Purpose Flour without Cooking:

If you added all-purpose flour directly to the liquid without creating a roux, the flour may not have had the chance to cook and blend properly, leading to a raw taste.

Why does my gravy taste sweet?

If your gravy has an unexpectedly sweet taste, there are several potential reasons for this flavor imbalance.

One common cause is the caramelization of sugars during the cooking process.

This can occur when you sauté onions or other vegetables before making the gravy, and the natural sugars in these ingredients caramelize, introducing a sweet note.

Another possibility is the use of sweet broth or stock. Ensure that the base liquid you use, whether it’s homemade or store-bought, is not inherently sweet.

Additionally, review the ingredients you’ve added, such as ketchup or sweet condiments, as they can contribute to the sweetness.

Adjusting the seasoning by adding more salt or introducing savory elements like soy sauce can help counteract the sweetness and restore balance to your gravy.

Why does my gravy go watery on my plate?

If your gravy turns watery on your plate, it may be due to the separation of liquids during the resting or serving phase.

Gravy can sometimes release moisture when it sits, especially if it’s exposed to heat or the steam from the main dish.

To mitigate this, ensure that your gravy is served immediately after preparation. If your gravy is part of a larger meal that sits on a buffet or serving table, consider using a gravy boat with a lid to minimize exposure to air and heat.

Additionally, make sure your thickening agent, whether it’s flour, cornstarch, or another option, is adequately cooked and that the gravy has reached the desired thickness during the preparation phase.

If needed, you can also thicken the gravy further before serving to prevent excessive moisture release on the plate.

Why does my gravy taste like sour?

A sour taste in gravy can result from several factors. One common cause is the addition of acidic ingredients such as vinegar, wine, or lemon juice without proper balancing.

If you’ve included any of these ingredients in your recipe, try adjusting the quantities or adding a touch of sweetness, like sugar or honey, to counteract the sourness.

Additionally, ensure that the broth or stock used as a base is not overly acidic.

Taste and adjust the seasonings, incorporating more salt or herbs to balance the flavors and mask the sour taste.

Why does my gravy taste like burnt?

A burnt taste in gravy can occur if the cooking process is not carefully monitored. If you’re using a roux (a mixture of flour and fat), ensure that it doesn’t overcook and turn too dark, as this can impart a burnt flavor.

Similarly, if you’re deglazing the pan with drippings, wine, or broth, be cautious not to let it scorch.

To remedy a burnt taste, start by discarding the burnt portion, if possible. Adjust the seasonings, and consider diluting the gravy with additional liquid, preferably without the burnt flavor, until the taste is more balanced.

How do you fix gravy that tastes like flour?

If your gravy tastes like flour, don’t worry; you can salvage it with a few simple steps.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to fix gravy that has a raw flour taste:

Step 1: Identify the Issue

Determine the cause of the floury taste. Did you not cook the roux long enough? Were there lumps in the mixture? Identifying the problem will help you address it more effectively.

Step 2: Add More Liquid

Gradually add more liquid to the gravy. This will help dilute the flour taste. Use the same type of liquid you used in the original recipe, such as broth or milk.

Step 3: Adjust Seasonings

Taste the gravy and adjust the seasonings. A bit more salt, pepper, or other herbs and spices can help mask the floury flavor.

Step 4: Cook it Longer

Continue to cook the gravy over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. Cooking the gravy for a longer time can help the flour taste dissipate. Be patient and give it some time to improve.

Step 5: Strain the Gravy

If there are lumps in the gravy, strain it to remove them. This will result in a smoother texture and eliminate any uncooked flour particles.

Step 6: Make a Quick Roux

In a separate pan, make a quick roux by melting some butter and adding flour. Cook this mixture until it turns golden brown.

Then, gradually whisk in some of the floury gravy. This can help incorporate the roux more evenly and cook any remaining raw flour.

Step 7: Use a Blender

If the gravy is still not improving, carefully transfer it to a blender. Blend until smooth. This can help break down any remaining lumps and integrate the flour more thoroughly.

Step 8: Add Flavor Boosters

Enhance the flavor by adding ingredients like a splash of wine, a touch of soy sauce, or a squeeze of lemon juice. These additions can add depth and balance to the overall taste.

Remember, fixing gravy is often a trial-and-error process, so taste as you go and adjust as needed.

With these steps, you should be able to rescue your gravy from the dreaded raw flour taste.

How Can I Prevent My Gravy From Tasting Like Flour In The Future?

To prevent a floury taste when making gravy, consider the following steps:

Cook the Roux Properly:

Ensure the roux, a mixture of flour and fat, is cooked thoroughly before adding liquid. Cook it until it reaches a golden or tan color to eliminate the raw taste.

Use Proper Ratios:

Maintain the right balance between flour, fat, and liquid. Following the recommended ratios in your recipe can prevent the gravy from becoming too thick or having an overpowering flour taste.

Whisk Vigorously:

Whisk the flour into the fat vigorously to create a smooth roux. This helps prevent lumps and ensures even distribution of the flour throughout the mixture.

Gradually Add Liquid:

Add liquid to the roux gradually, stirring continuously. This prevents the formation of lumps and allows the flour to incorporate smoothly into the liquid.

Choose the Right Flour:

Use a high-quality, all-purpose flour or a flour specifically labeled for gravy making. Avoid overusing flour, as too much can lead to a pasty consistency and a strong flour taste.

Strain the Gravy:

If your gravy does develop lumps or a floury texture, strain it before serving. This will remove any unincorporated flour and provide a smoother consistency.

Opt for a Roux-Free Method:

Explore alternative thickening agents, such as cornstarch or arrowroot, as substitutes for flour. These alternatives may yield a smoother texture and are less likely to impart a raw taste.

Add Flour to Cold Liquid:

If you’re incorporating flour directly into a liquid (without making a roux), mix the flour with a small amount of cold liquid before adding it to the hot liquid. This helps prevent clumping and ensures even dispersion.

Consider Pre-cooking Flour:

Some recipes suggest pre-cooking flour in the oven before using it in the gravy. This can help eliminate the raw taste and give the flour a slightly toasted flavor.

Season Well:

Proper seasoning can help mask any subtle flour taste. Ensure you taste and adjust the seasonings in your gravy before serving.

By paying attention to these steps and techniques, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of your gravy having a floury taste, resulting in a smooth, flavorful sauce to complement your dishes.

How do you thicken gravy without it tasting like flour?

Thickening gravy without it tasting like flour requires a thoughtful approach and the use of alternative thickening agents to achieve a smooth and flavorful consistency.

One popular option is cornstarch, a gluten-free alternative that imparts a neutral flavor to the gravy.

Mix cornstarch with cold water to create a slurry before gradually adding it to the hot liquid.

Similarly, arrowroot and potato starch are gluten-free alternatives that can be used to avoid the taste of flour by creating a slurry and slowly incorporating it into the simmering liquid.

If you choose to use flour, employ the roux technique with care. Ensure the roux is cooked thoroughly until it reaches a golden brown color, eliminating any raw taste.

Using less flour than the recipe suggests can also be an effective strategy. Gradually add the flour while whisking continuously to achieve the desired thickness and minimize the floury taste.

Blending the ingredients with a blender or immersion blender is another technique to break down lumps and create a smoother texture without the pronounced taste of flour.

Additionally, incorporating umami-rich flavors such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or tomato paste can enhance the gravy without relying solely on the thickening agent.

Herbs and spices can play a crucial role in adding complexity to the flavor profile.

Thyme, rosemary, sage, or a pinch of nutmeg can complement the taste and distract from any floury notes.

If you’re making meat-based gravy, rely on the natural flavor of pan drippings and a flavorful broth to enhance the taste, diverting attention from the thickening agent.

Straining the gravy before serving is a final step that can remove any lumps or particles of uncooked flour, resulting in a smoother texture and eliminating the floury taste.

By experimenting with different methods and incorporating these tips, you can achieve a thick and flavorful gravy without the undesirable taste of raw flour, catering to your specific taste preferences.

How do you make gravy taste better?

To enhance the taste of your gravy, start with the foundation of high-quality ingredients.

Whether you’re using chicken, beef, or vegetable broth, the choice of a good-quality base contributes significantly to the overall flavor.

As you progress in the cooking process, taste your gravy frequently and adjust the seasoning with a blend of salt, pepper, and other herbs or spices to achieve a well-balanced profile.

Infuse your gravy with depth and complexity by sautéing aromatics such as onions, garlic, or shallots during the initial stages of preparation.

The addition of these flavor-rich elements creates a robust foundation for your gravy.

If you’re making meat-based gravy, don’t forget to deglaze the pan with wine or broth after cooking the meat.

This step captures flavorful caramelized bits and incorporates them into the gravy.

To elevate the savory notes, consider adding ingredients rich in umami, such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or tomato paste.

These umami enhancers contribute to a more nuanced and satisfying flavor profile.

If your gravy is derived from pan drippings, incorporating them into the recipe ensures that you capture the concentrated flavors from the roasted or cooked meat.

Fresh herbs, finely chopped and added towards the end of the cooking process, bring a burst of freshness to your gravy.

Thyme, rosemary, and sage are excellent choices that complement a variety of dishes.

For a luxurious touch, consider adding a splash of cream or a knob of butter. These additions contribute richness and smoothness to the texture.

Introducing a touch of acidity, such as a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar, can brighten the flavors and cut through the richness, providing a well-balanced taste.

Experimenting with different spices, such as paprika, cayenne pepper, or nutmeg, adds complexity and depth to your gravy. Begin with small amounts and adjust according to your taste preferences.

Ensure that the flour or roux is cooked to a golden brown before adding liquid. This step not only eliminates the raw taste but also imparts a delightful nutty flavor to the gravy.

Layering flavors gradually by adding ingredients in stages allows each component to contribute to the overall richness and complexity of the gravy.

If necessary, balance the flavors with a touch of sweetness. A teaspoon of honey or a bit of brown sugar can harmonize the taste, rounding out the savory elements.

By incorporating these tips, you can create a gravy that is not only rich and flavorful but also a perfect complement to a variety of dishes.

Adjust the quantities based on your preferences, and don’t hesitate to experiment to find the ideal balance of flavors for your palate.

How do you get the chalky taste out of gravy?

If you find that your gravy has an unpleasant chalky taste, there are several steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Begin by adjusting the seasonings – a careful addition of salt, pepper, or other spices can help balance the flavor and mask the chalky undertones that may be present.

Next, consider diluting the gravy with more liquid. This helps reduce the concentration of any thickening agent, potentially lessening the chalky texture.

Straining the gravy using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth can also be effective in removing lumps or undissolved particles contributing to the undesirable texture.

Adding a creaminess factor can enhance the overall mouthfeel of the gravy.

Incorporating a dairy or non-dairy creamer can counteract the chalky sensation and bring a smoother consistency to the dish.

Alternatively, using a blender to process the gravy until smooth can help break down particles causing the chalky taste.

Check the thorough cooking of any thickening agents, such as flour or cornstarch, which may be contributing to the chalky flavor.

If needed, cook the thickening agent for a longer duration to eliminate any raw taste.

Experimenting with flavor enhancers can also be beneficial. Ingredients like broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or a dash of vinegar can add depth and complexity to the gravy, potentially overshadowing the chalky notes.

If an alternative thickener was used, consider trying a different one in your next attempt, as each thickener has unique properties and flavors.

Ensure that all ingredients are in balance, as an excess of one component, such as flour or salt, can throw off the overall taste and texture of the gravy.

Lastly, serve the gravy immediately after preparation. Gravy can develop an undesirable texture if left to sit for too long, so serving it promptly can help maintain the desired consistency.

By following these steps and adjusting ingredients to your taste, you can often eliminate the chalky taste and achieve a smoother, more flavorful gravy.

Does gravy taste better with flour or cornstarch?

The choice between using flour or cornstarch to thicken gravy often depends on personal preference, dietary considerations, and the desired end result.

Both ingredients have their advantages and can contribute distinct characteristics to the gravy.


Traditionally, flour is a common thickening agent for gravies. When mixed with fat, such as butter or drippings, and cooked to create a roux, flour imparts a nutty flavor and a subtle richness to the gravy.

The roux not only thickens the liquid but also enhances the overall mouthfeel.

Flour-based gravies tend to have a heartier consistency and can provide a comforting, classic taste that many people associate with traditional recipes.


On the other hand, cornstarch is a gluten-free alternative and is often preferred by those with gluten sensitivities or dietary restrictions.

Cornstarch creates a clear, glossy finish and results in a lighter, more translucent gravy compared to flour.

Cornstarch has a neutral flavor, allowing the other ingredients in the gravy to shine through.

Gravies thickened with cornstarch are generally smoother and silkier, offering a different textural experience.


The choice between flour and cornstarch may also be influenced by the type of dish you’re preparing.

For hearty stews or savory meat-based gravies, flour might be the preferred thickener to contribute to the overall robustness of the flavor.

In contrast, if you’re aiming for a lighter sauce, especially in dishes like stir-fries or Asian-inspired cuisine, cornstarch can provide the desired consistency without overshadowing the other flavors.


With the right techniques and a keen understanding of the reasons behind a floury taste, you can rescue your gravy and elevate it to a delectable accompaniment.

By incorporating preventive measures in your cooking routine, you’ll consistently achieve perfect, flavorful gravy that enhances your meals with every serving.

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