Not Sure If Your Sausage Has Enough Fat For Gravy? Add Butter Just In Case

A pan of homemade sausage gravy served with freshly-baked biscuits is a satisfying way to start your morning — even when you're the cook who takes the time to make it from scratch. The recipe typically starts with browning crumbled sausage in a pan so that the rendered fat can function as the base of the gravy. But sometimes the sausage won't provide enough fat to make a flavorful roux, meaning the batch will require the help of an additional fat. When this happens, butter is the best solution to get the gravy started.

Different types of sausage contain varying amounts of fat, which is one reason why it's important to know the best fat percentages for sausage when making your own at home. For sausage gravy, breakfast sausage is the common ingredient because it easily crumbles in the pan to get the essence of flavors from the spices and herbs into the mixture. Breakfast sausages tend to be high in fat, but when using some varieties like lean turkey sausage, you'll definitely need that butter. The reason butter works so well is that it provides the right amount of fat and creates a velvety base along with flour and milk. Oil works too, but it won't have the same rich and creamy flavor.

Use unsalted butter for sausage gravy to have control over sodium levels

Real butter is one of the best ingredients to seriously upgrade homemade sausage gravy, so don't use margarine for this. When it comes to salted or unsalted butter, the best choice is unsalted because it allows for you to have control over the sodium levels in the dish. Salted butter won't necessarily ruin your gravy, but it means you must be mindful of how much extra salt is added later. Also, the sausage will already contain some spices, so it is best to taste as you cook in order to not overpower the gravy.

Depending on the recipe, you'll need 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter. After the sausage is cooked, some recipes call to remove it from the pan before starting the roux with the rendered fat, while others keep the sausage in place. Combine the butter with whatever rendered fats remain, and then incorporate flour which acts as a thickener. Finally, pour in a dairy product like milk to smooth it out. Try this with Tasting Table's simple sausage gravy recipe and replace the oil with butter, or use butter in our biscuits and herbed sausage gravy recipe if there's not enough fat provided by your preferred sausage.