Can You Buy Ham Gravy in a Jar? Everything You Need to Know

Ham gravy is a delicious addition to any holiday meal. Its rich smoky flavor pairs perfectly with baked ham mashed potatoes, biscuits, and more. But is it possible to get this tasty gravy in a convenient jar? Let’s take a look at whether you can buy ham gravy in a jar, the pros and cons, and how to make great homemade ham gravy if needed.

Can Ham Gravy Be Purchased in a Jar?

The short answer is yes, you can absolutely buy ham gravy in a jar! Several brands offer pre-made ham gravy that just needs to be warmed up before serving Some popular options include

  • Pioneer Gravy Mixes – Pioneer offers a traditional Country Ham Gravy Mix that can be prepared with water or ham drippings for full flavor.

  • McCormick – The popular spice brand sells Ham Gravy Mix packets that make rich, savory gravy in just 5 minutes.

  • Hormel – Known for their ham products, Hormel sells Real Ham Gravy that comes shelf-stable in a jar. Just heat and serve!

  • Stonewall Kitchen – Their Smoky Ham Gravy comes in a glass jar ready to heat and pour over biscuits or meat.

So the good news is yes, ham gravy in a jar is readily available at most major grocery stores and online. The convenience factor makes jarred gravy understandably appealing for busy cooks. However, there are some downsides to weigh as well when choosing between jarred and homemade.

Pros of Jarred Ham Gravy

There are certainly some advantages to choosing store-bought ham gravy in a jar:

Convenience – This is the biggest draw of jarred gravy. No simmering on the stovetop needed. Just quickly heat and serve for instant gravy.

Consistency – You can expect uniform texture and flavor every time from major commercial brands. No worrying about curdling or improper thickening.

Shelf stability – Sealed gravy jars allow for longer storage. Homemade gravy should be refrigerated and used within 3-4 days. Unopened jars last for months.

Time savings – No prep or cleanup needed other than dirtying one small pan to heat it up. Great for busy holidays when time is precious.

Less waste – Jarred gravy means no drippings leftovers or half-used starch. Just use what you need and store the rest.

So if you need an easy, foolproof gravy in minutes, jarred mixes certainly deliver on that promise. But homemade has some perks too that make it worth the modest extra effort for many cooks.

Benefits of Homemade Ham Gravy

Making your own ham gravy only takes about 15-20 minutes of active cooking time. And it offers several advantages over the commercial jarred varieties:

Richer flavor – Real ham drippings or quality ham broth offer superior smoky, savory depth versus mystery powders. Homemade tastes like it came right out of your Mom’s or Grandma’s kitchen!

Control over ingredients – With homemade you control the flavors. Use real butter, quality broths, customized seasoning to taste, thickness to preference, etc.

Versatility – Homemade gravy can be tweaked for various dietary needs – low-sodium, gluten-free, etc. Difficult to find in the commercial jars.

More economical – If you already have a ham, making your own gravy puts all that flavor to good use for pennies per serving!

Uses real drippings – For full authentic ham essence, homemade allows you to incorporate the flavorful pan drippings.

Freshness – Freshly made gravy just tastes better! And it’s easy to whip up right when you need it.

Now that we’ve weighed the options, let’s look at how to actually make delicious homemade ham gravy if you choose to go that route. It’s really so simple.

How to Make Your Own Ham Gravy

Making your own homemade ham gravy from scratch gives you the most flavor and customization options. Here are tips for foolproof ham gravy every time:


  • Ham drippings – The flavor foundation. Roast or bake a whole ham and save the drippings.

  • Ham broth – For more liquid if needed. Use ham bouillon or even chicken broth.

  • Butter – Adds richness. Use 2-3 tablespoons.

  • Flour – The classic thickener. 2-3 tablespoons should suffice.

  • Milk or cream – For extra richness and thinning, if desired. Opt for whole milk or heavy cream.

  • Seasonings – Customize flavors with salt, pepper, herbs, soy sauce, Worcestershire, etc.


Follow these easy steps for rich and smoky homemade ham gravy:

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix in flour and cook 2 minutes to form a light roux.

  • Slowly whisk in ham drippings and any extra broth needed until smooth. Bring to a simmer.

  • For a creamier gravy, stir in up to 1 cup milk or cream. Simmer until thickened.

  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, herbs or other seasonings as desired.

  • If the gravy seems too thick, add more milk, broth or water to adjust consistency before serving.

  • Ladle gravy into a boat or bowl and serve hot with your ham entrée.

And that’s truly all there is to it! For the best from-scratch flavor, it’s worth the 20 minutes of easy stovetop simmering.

Expert Tips for Foolproof Homemade Ham Gravy

Follow these handy tips from experienced gravy makers for perfect homemade ham gravy every time:

  • Use the good drippings – For maximum flavor, use the fatty drippings rather than the slick, thin juices. Skim any surface fat before making gravy if needed.

  • Watch the heat – Cook over medium-low once flour is added to avoid scorching. Slow and gentle is key.

  • Whisk out lumps – Continuously whisk as you add drippings and milk to prevent any starch clumps.

  • Make a slurry – For cornstarch-thickened gravy, first dissolve it in cold water before mixing in to avoid clumps.

  • Season thoughtfully – Taste and gradually season. Ham can be salty so be conservative with extra salt.

  • Simmer it – Gentle simmering allows full flavor development so don’t rush it. But don’t let it boil either.

  • Stir occasionally – Give the occasional stir as it simmers to prevent any sticking or scalding on the pan bottom.

  • Remove any film – As gravy cools, a skin can form on top. Simply stir back in or skim off if desired before reheating to serve.

  • Make ahead – Gravy can be made 1-2 days in advance. Just gently reheat on the stovetop or microwave to serve.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Ham Gravy

Got delicious gravy leftover after your holiday dinner? Here are some storage and reheating tips:

  • Allow gravy to cool completely before transferring to airtight storage containers.

  • Refrigerate leftover gravy for 3-4 days or freeze for 1-2 months.

  • Reheat gently in a saucepan over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring frequently.

  • Microwave leftovers in 30 second bursts, stirring between, just until heated through.

  • Add water or broth if the gravy seems overly thick upon reheating until it reaches desired consistency.

  • Boil briefly if reheating previously frozen gravy to ensure food safety.

With proper storage, leftovers can deliver quick and easy gravy when you need it again later in the week!

Amazing Uses for Leftover Ham and Gravy

Leftover holiday ham and gravy are an amazing opportunity for creativity. Try these tasty ways to use them up:

  • Toss cubed ham and gravy with pasta or rice for a hearty, savory casserole. Top with cheese or breadcrumbs.

  • Fill crepes, omelets or quiche with diced ham, onions, cheese and gravy for a decadent brunch dish.

  • Simmer shredded ham in gravy and use as a sauce for chicken, pork or shrimp. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

  • Mix gravy with hash browns or home fries along with ham, peppers and onions for an easy skillet meal.

  • Make pot pies or hand pies with leftover ham, veggies and gravy for portable mini-meals.

  • Add cubed or shredded ham and gravy to canned biscuit dough. Then bake into easy ham biscuits.

  • Toss ham and gravy with cooked egg noodles or pasta for a quick pasta salad. Chill before serving.

  • Stir chopped ham and gravy into macaroni and cheese or scalloped potatoes for more flavor.

With a little creativity, leftover holiday ham and gravy can enjoy an amazing second act!

Ham Gravy Recipe (3 Ways)


How do you make jarred gravy taste like homemade?

Enliven store-bought gravy with a splash of your favorite cooking wine or spirits like cognac, brandy, or sherry. As you reheat the gravy, add a few tablespoons of wine or liquor and simmer until the alcohol has fully evaporated. The result is a creamy, full-bodied gravy that rivals any homemade version.

What are the ingredients in jar gravy?

Turkey Broth, Modified Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Contains Less Than 2% Of Bleached Wheat Flour, Salt, Cooked White Turkey Meat, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Spices, Nonfat Dry Milk, Fruit Juice (Color), Turkey Meat Powder, Onion Powder, Torula Yeast, Black Pepper, Paprika Extract (Color), Soy …

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