I only started making gravy a year or two ago, so I don't fully understand the process, although I appreciate the taste. As I was making gravy for Thanksgiving, I noticed that the color was significantly yellow and it wasn't clear, but milky-opaque. I know from this question that the yellow color is from using the fat I skimmed off of my stock to make the roux. (I made a combined chicken and turkey stock.)

But what makes the gravy appear opaque and almost milky? The color came almost as soon as I mixed my stock into my roux.

(Incidentally, my stock wasn't hot when I added it to the roux. Would that make a difference?)

  • Could you post the recipe/process you used for the stock and roux ? Nov 25, 2010 at 16:35
  • 1
    Gravy is opaque. If you want a clear gravy, use starch in your roux rather than flour. Nov 25, 2010 at 17:21
  • For the stock, I started with some turkey wings and chicken bones. I roasted them at 450 until they were light brown. Then (after skinning the turkey) I covered them in lots of water and cooked them at about 180 for a couple of hours. I roasted onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and parley root, and added them to the stock and cooked for another hour. I drained and chilled overnight, then skimmed the fat.
    – Martha F.
    Nov 25, 2010 at 18:12
  • For the roux, I measured the fat I got from the stock, and added enough olive oil to make 1/4 cup. I cooked that over high heat for a minute or two to cook off the liquid that I'm sure I got with the stock fat. Then I added 1/4 cup of flour (a bit at a time) and cooked over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until it was a darker golden brown -- starting to really turn brown in spots. I added about 4 cups of stock along with some fresh thyme and salt and pepper.
    – Martha F.
    Nov 25, 2010 at 18:15
  • 4
    You might want to back off on the heat a bit. A darker roux is fine, but it is usually approached much more slowly than 3-4 minutes. I would expect a very light roux in that amount of time, just enough to cook off the raw flour taste, but not add any real color. Nov 26, 2010 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


Gravy is supposed to be opaque and is a result of using flour as the thickener. If you want clear gravy, like what you would get in a Chinese restaurant, then you need to use corn starch or arrowroot as your thickener. But the opacity is considered to be a good thing. It's the canned stuff you buy in the store that is clear.

  • And to address the last part of the question, initial stock temperature won't affect opacity, but it could well adversely affect texture. Try to make sure your stock is not below room temperature at least, as might be more likely if you're using homemade stock and refrigerating it.
    – user57361
    Nov 1, 2018 at 23:25

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