Gravy Master Substitute9 min read
If you’re a seasoned home cook, you’ve probably come across Gravy Master in numerous recipes. Gravy Master is a popular ingredient used in gravies, sauces, and stews to add flavor, color, and richness to dishes. However, it’s not always easy to find, and some people may have dietary restrictions or want to avoid processed ingredients. For these reasons, it’s important to know alternative options that can replace Gravy Master in your cooking and achieve the same delicious results. In this article, we’ll explore the need for a Gravy Master substitute, how to make them yourself, store-bought alternatives, plant-based substitutes, recipe tips, and more.
The need for a Gravy Master substitute
Many home cooks rely on Gravy Master to elevate the flavor and thickness of their dishes. However, not everyone can find or use the ingredient. Gravy Master contains wheat flour and hydrolyzed soy protein, making it unsuitable for those with gluten allergies or following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Additionally, it’s not always available in all grocery stores, especially in rural or remote areas.
Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Gravy Master that can achieve the same or similar results in your cooking. Whether you decide to make your own Gravy Master substitute or buy a store-bought item, it’s important to know the ingredients and properties of what you’re using to ensure the best flavor and texture for your dishes.
One popular substitute for Gravy Master is a mixture of soy sauce and cornstarch. This combination provides a similar umami flavor and thickening properties as Gravy Master. Another option is to use Worcestershire sauce, which has a tangy and savory taste that can enhance the flavor of your dishes. For those who prefer a plant-based option, nutritional yeast can be used to add a cheesy and nutty flavor to your gravies and sauces.
A guide to making your own Gravy Master substitute
If you prefer to make your own Gravy Master substitute, there are several key ingredients you’ll need. One of the primary ingredients is Worcestershire sauce, which contains many of the same savory flavors as Gravy Master. Other common ingredients include beef or chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, tomato paste, vinegar, and brown sugar.
To make your own Gravy Master substitute, you’ll first need to combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring them to a simmer. As the mixture heats up, it will begin to thicken, and you can adjust the thickness and flavor based on your desired results. You can experiment with different flavor combinations or tweak the recipe to match your specific dish.
One important thing to keep in mind when making your own Gravy Master substitute is to use high-quality ingredients. This will ensure that your substitute has a rich, savory flavor that can stand up to the other flavors in your dish. Additionally, you may want to consider using a combination of different ingredients to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
Another tip for making your own Gravy Master substitute is to make a large batch and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. This way, you’ll always have a flavorful and convenient substitute on hand whenever you need it.
Ingredients needed for a homemade Gravy Master substitute
To make a homemade Gravy Master substitute, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
You can adjust the amount of each ingredient based on your desired flavor and thickness.
It’s important to note that this homemade substitute may not have the exact same flavor as Gravy Master, but it can still be a great alternative for those who don’t have access to the store-bought product. Additionally, this substitute can be used in a variety of recipes, such as stews, gravies, and sauces. Give it a try and see how it works for you!
Top 5 store-bought alternatives to Gravy Master
If you prefer to buy a store-bought alternative to Gravy Master, there are several options available. Here are our top 5 picks:
- Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce: This sauce is similar in flavor and texture to Gravy Master and can be used in a 1:1 ratio.
- Gravy Master Liquid Seasoning: Although this is the same brand as the original, this liquid seasoning is made without wheat flour or soy protein and is gluten-free.
- Better than Bouillon Beef Base: This concentrated paste can be added to soups and stews to add a rich, beefy flavor.
- Herbox Beef Bouillon: This bouillon powder can be dissolved in water to create a savory broth that can be used for gravies and soups.
- Cook’s Delight Non-MSG Beef Base: This beef base has a similar flavor to Gravy Master and is made without MSG or other artificial ingredients.
It’s important to note that while these alternatives can provide a similar flavor to Gravy Master, they may not have the exact same consistency or texture. Additionally, some of these options may contain different ingredients or allergens, so be sure to check the labels before using them in your cooking. Experiment with different alternatives to find the one that works best for your recipe and taste preferences.
The best plant-based substitutes for Gravy Master
For those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, finding a Gravy Master substitute can be a challenge. However, several plant-based ingredients can add the same savory umami flavor to your dishes. Some popular options include:
- Miso paste: This fermented soy paste adds a depth of flavor and saltiness to dishes and can be used in small amounts to mimic the flavor of Gravy Master.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a great source of umami flavor and can be sautéed or pureed to add richness to gravies and sauces.
- Tamari: This wheat-free soy sauce is a great alternative to traditional soy sauce and can be used in place of Gravy Master in savory dishes.
- Nutritional yeast: This inactive yeast adds a cheesy, nutty flavor and can be used to create a vegan alternative to Gravy Master.
- Kelp powder: Kelp is rich in umami flavor and can be added to broths and gravies in small amounts to enhance the savory taste.
Another great plant-based substitute for Gravy Master is liquid smoke. This ingredient is made by burning wood chips and capturing the smoke, which is then condensed into a liquid form. Liquid smoke adds a smoky, savory flavor to dishes and can be used in small amounts to mimic the taste of Gravy Master. It is a great option for those who enjoy the taste of smoked meats but follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
How to use a Gravy Master substitute in recipes
When using a Gravy Master substitute in your cooking, it’s important to consider the amount and the flavor. For example, you may need to adjust the amount of salt or other seasonings to match the flavor of the substitute ingredient. Additionally, some substitutes may not have the same thickening properties as Gravy Master, and you may need to add cornstarch or another thickener to achieve the desired texture.
Experimentation is key when using a substitute, and it may take some trial and error to find the perfect combination of ingredients for your dish.
One popular substitute for Gravy Master is soy sauce, which can add a similar depth of flavor to your dish. However, be aware that soy sauce is much saltier than Gravy Master, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt you add to your recipe accordingly. Another option is Worcestershire sauce, which can also provide a similar savory flavor. Keep in mind that Worcestershire sauce is slightly sweeter than Gravy Master, so you may need to balance the sweetness with a touch of vinegar or lemon juice.
Tips for achieving the perfect gravy without Gravy Master
If you’re looking to make a perfect gravy without Gravy Master, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use high-quality broth for the base of your gravy.
- Experiment with different flavorings, such as herbs or spices, to enhance the savory flavor.
- Allow the gravy to simmer long enough to thicken and meld the flavors.
- Use a roux made of flour and fat to add thickness and richness to the gravy.
- Use cornstarch or arrowroot powder as a thickener as an alternative to roux.
- Adjust seasoning and thickness as necessary to suit your taste and desired texture.
Another tip to keep in mind is to use the pan drippings from the meat you’re serving as a base for your gravy. This will add a depth of flavor that can’t be achieved with just broth alone. Simply deglaze the pan with a liquid, such as wine or broth, and use that as the base for your gravy. Don’t forget to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, as they are packed with flavor.
The history of Gravy Master and its alternatives
Gravy Master has been a popular ingredient in American kitchens since the early 1900s. The ingredient was created as a way to add flavor and color to gravies and other dishes and has remained a staple ingredient for many home cooks and chefs.
As people’s dietary needs and preferences have changed over time, there’s been an increasing demand for Gravy Master alternatives. Many of these substitutes use natural ingredients and are free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Comparing the taste and texture of different Gravy Master substitutes
The taste and texture of Gravy Master substitutes can vary widely depending on the ingredients used and the recipe. In general, homemade substitutes tend to have more complex flavor profiles and a thicker texture than store-bought alternatives. Plant-based substitutes, such as miso paste and mushrooms, can add a unique umami flavor and earthiness to dishes.
When selecting a substitute, consider the flavor and texture you want to achieve and experiment with different options until you find the perfect match for your recipe.
How to store homemade or store-bought substitutes
Homemade Gravy Master substitutes should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Store-bought substitutes should be kept in a cool, dry place and used before the expiration date.
Common mistakes to avoid when using a Gravy Master substitute
When using a Gravy Master substitute, there are a few common mistakes to avoid:
- Adding too much of the substitute, which can overpower the other flavors in the dish.
- Using a substitute that’s too thin or runny, which can affect the texture of the dish.
- Not adjusting the seasoning or thickness of the substitute to match the recipe.
- Not experimenting with different substitutes to find the best match for your dish.
How to adjust the recipe when using a substitute ingredient
When adjusting a recipe to use a substitute ingredient, keep the following tips in mind:
- Adjust the amount of the substitute ingredient based on the original recipe.
- Consider the flavor and texture of the substitute and adjust other seasonings and ingredients as necessary to match the flavor profile.
- Experiment with different substitutes to find the best match for your recipe.
- Be open to slight variations in the final dish when using a substitute, as it may have a slightly different flavor or texture than the original ingredient.
Frequently asked questions about Gravy Master substitutes
Here are some common questions people have about Gravy Master substitutes:
Q: Can I use beef or chicken broth as a substitute for Gravy Master?
A: While broth can add flavor and richness to dishes, it may not provide the same color or texture as Gravy Master. Consider adding other ingredients, such as tomato paste or Worcestershire sauce, to mimic the flavor of Gravy Master.
Q: Can I use soy sauce instead of Gravy Master?
A: Soy sauce can add saltiness and umami flavor to dishes, but it may not have the same thickness or color as Gravy Master. Consider adding other ingredients, such as beef or chicken broth, to mimic the flavor and texture of Gravy Master.
Q: Are there any gluten-free substitutes for Gravy Master?
A: Yes! Many of the store-bought alternatives listed earlier in this article are gluten-free, such as the Gravy Master Liquid Seasoning and Better than Bouillon Beef Base. Additionally, you can make a homemade substitute using gluten-free ingredients, such as tamari or cornstarch.
Conclusion and final thoughts on replacing Gravy Master in your cooking
While Gravy Master has been a popular ingredient for over a century, many home cooks are looking for alternatives that are more accessible, healthy, and flavorful. Whether you decide to make your own Gravy Master substitute or buy a store-bought item, there are many options available that can add richness, color, and flavor to your dishes. Experimentation is key when using a substitute, and it may take some trial and error to find the perfect combination of ingredients for your dish. However, with these tips and alternatives in mind, you can achieve delicious and savory results without relying on Gravy Master.