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PRODUCT: How Good Is Store-Bought Gravy?

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Knorr + your pan drippings = easy, good gravy. Chart courtesy Consumer Reports.

With everything you’re doing on Thanksgiving, do you have to turn those drippings into gravy, too?

Consumer Reports did a taste test with commercial gravies to consider the options. The tasters tried 10 products—four dry mixes (add water, stir, and heat) and six canned or jarred gravies (just heat). They also tried them with and without the turkey pan drippings (minus the fat), which some products suggest—and which produced the best results.

Results

  • Knorr is very good; in fact, guests might think it’s homemade. It has a big roasted-turkey taste, a fresh impression and slightly sweet, caramelized flavors nicely blended with herbs.
  • McCormick actually tastes freshly prepared, though it’s a bit starchy—and meat or potatoes could mask those.
  • Flaws increase as gravies fall lower on the list. Products rated “Fair” have even more drawbacks. The Franco-American is gelatinous; Simply Organic is also bitter; Serv-A-Gravy has little flavor, period.
As we always find when reviewing specialty products with THE NIBBLE, the same proved true with Consumer Reports’ test of supermarket brands: Neither packaging nor price was related to quality. The best and worst gravies were dry mixes, and that low-rated Franco-American was relatively pricey.

Nutrition
Per serving, most of the gravies have 20 to 25 calories, very little fat, and 260 to 360 milligrams of sodium. (The exception, Serv-A-Gravy, has 15 calories and 210 mg of sodium.) Many include a little fat, stock, or broth from chicken or turkey, plus a dairy product. Those without meat flavor, fat or dairy—Simply Organic and Serv-A-Gravy—were lowest-rated.

Bottom Line
Try Knorr with pan drippings (minus fat).

 




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