The Ultimate Quest: Discovering the Best Store-Bought Beef Gravy

For many home cooks, gravy is the crowning glory that brings a meal together. A flavorful gravy can inject even the most basic dish with savory richness. But who has time to whisk up gravy from scratch every time the craving strikes? That’s where store-bought gravy comes to the rescue.

With so many options lining grocery shelves though how do you know which brand of premade gravy truly delivers on beefy flavor? To solve this tasty mystery I embarked on a mission to discover the best store-bought beef gravy through an epic taste test bonanza.

After evaluating 12 top contenders, clear winners emerged in categories like best beef gravy mix and best ready-made beef gravy Read on for the mouthwatering results and recommendations for gravy greatness!

Gravy Taste Test Criteria

To identify the best beef gravy buys, I assessed each product in key areas:

Color – Gravy should have an appetizing, beefy brown hue. Dingy or grey tones are unappealing.

Aroma – The scent should evoke savory roasted meat. Off-putting odors indicate stale or artificial flavors.

Flavor – Above all, the gravy must deliver rich, bold beef flavor with balanced seasoning.

Texture – Ideal gravy has a silky, luxurious mouthfeel not overly thick or gloppy.

Versatility – A quality beef gravy works well on everything from mashed potatoes to pot roast.

Value – Higher priced gravies should deliver premium flavor and quality to justify the cost.

With my evaluation criteria firmly in place, it was time to get tasting! Keep reading for the mouthwatering results.

Breakdown of Beef Gravy Options Tested

I sampled an array of top beef gravy products available, including:

  • Gravy mixes – Packets where you add water or broth and cook on the stovetop.

  • Canned gravy – Premade in cans, just heat and serve.

  • Jarred gravy – Ready-made gravy in glass jars, also just heat up.

  • Boxed gravy – Shelf-stable gravy in cartons that you pour out and warm.

In all, I tasted 6 beef gravy mixes and 6 premade beef gravies to uncover the very best choices.

Test Results: Best Beef Gravy Mixes

For homemade flavor without the effort, beef gravy mixes offer great convenience. Here are my beef gravy mix rankings:

1. McCormick Brown Gravy Mix – Rich, savory gravy with bold beefiness. Thick, lush texture.

2. Pioneer Beef Flavored Gravy Mix – Nice flavor complexity with a hint of Worcestershire. Smooth and robust.

3. Knorr Homestyle Gravy Mix with Beef Flavor – Well-rounded gravy though slightly thin. Hearty beef taste.

4. Lawry’s Beef Gravy Mix – Reliable standard but could use more oomph. Decent flavor and texture.

5. au Jus by Signature Select Beef Flavored Gravy Mix – Very thin and mild gravy but simple beef essence.

6. Great Value Beef Flavored Gravy Mix – Both bland and overly starchy. No complexity or depth.

McCormick unseated the previous winner, Pioneer, to take the top beef gravy mix title. Its exceptionally rich, nuanced flavor edged out the competition.

And the Best Ready-Made Beef Gravy Is…

Premade beef gravy offers incredible convenience – just open, heat, and serve! Here are my tastiest store-bought ready-made discoveries:

1. Campbell’s Homestyle Beef Gravy – Rich, complex flavor reminiscent of pot roast. Thick, hearty texture.

2. Market Pantry Beef Gravy – Surprisingly robust, meaty flavor for the price. Smooth, velvety consistency.

3. Hormel Beef Gravy – Nice savory flavor but overly thick, pasty texture.

4. Heinz Home Style Beef Gravy – Decent beefiness but thin, somewhat greasy-tasting.

5. Great Value Beef Gravy – Very mild with odd chemical aftertaste. Watery and off-putting.

6. 365 Everyday Value Beef Gravy – Weak meatiness, odd flavor taints like stale spices.

Among ready-made beef gravy, Campbell’s reigned supreme with luscious, nuanced flavor and ideal gravy texture.

Tips for Gravy Greatness

To get the most from store-bought beef gravy:

  • For mixes, use broth not water for fuller flavor.

  • If too thin, slowly simmer to reduce and thicken.

  • Sprinkle in a bit of extra beef base or bullion for punch.

  • Splash in Worcestershire sauce, red wine, or kitchen bouquet.

  • Strain lumpy gravy through a fine mesh sieve if needed.

  • Add pats of butter or cream for even more richness.

The Takeaway: Elevate Meals with Quality Gravy

For everyday dinners or holiday feasts, flavorful beef gravy deserves a place at the table. With so many options available, my taste test uncovered which beef gravy mixes and ready-made versions offer the most savory satisfaction.

Products from trusted brands like McCormick and Campbell’s impressed with complexity and heartiness. But even value brands like Market Pantry can deliver surprisingly robust flavor.

So next time your pot roast or meatloaf cries out for gravy greatness, reach for one of these winning beef gravy products. Just add your own special touches to suit your taste, and prepare for rave reviews! The quest for the perfect store-bought beef gravy is complete.

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Is jar or packet gravy better?

Here’s what we learned after tasting 22 different gravy mixes and premade gravies: If you’re going with store bought gravy rather than making gravy from scratch, a gravy packet is probably your best bet. Cans ain’t it. Jars ain’t it. (Although we did find one exception to the rule during our most recent taste test.)

How to make jar beef gravy taste better?

Soft, fragrant, sautéed vegetables lend a sweet, earthy, warm flavor to your store-bought gravy. Use any combination of onions, leeks, shallots, celery, carrots, and mushrooms cooked in butter, olive oil, or pan drippings. When the veggies are sufficiently sautéed, stir in your jarred gravy and simmer on low.

What is the best store-bought gravy?

The best store-bought gravy you can get is Kinder’s roasted turkey bone broth gravy mix, it comes with four separate packs of dry mix. The box you can pick up at Sam’s Club for around $5.98 makes 16 total servings. The ingredients list looks close to homemade gravy and says that it’s essentially dehydrated gravy.

What is the best store bought gravy?

The best store bought gravy is savory, it actually tastes like meat—and it probably comes from a packet of gravy mix. Over the course of two taste tests, we tried some of the biggest brands of gravy mixes and premade gravy in a variety of flavors to find the best store bought gravy to buy for all of your gravy needs. We’re so lucky to have gravy.

What is the most expensive gravy mix?

The organic Better Than Gravy brown gravy was the most expensive mix I bought. Better Than Gravy brown gravy. Erin McDowell/Insider A 1-ounce packet cost $2.39 at my local Big Y grocery store in Connecticut. It was the thickest gravy I made. Better Than Gravy brown gravy. Erin McDowell/Insider The instructions, like the other packets, were simple.

Is great value’s turkey gravy mix a good brand?

We chose to sample the Turkey Gravy Mix to see how the most humble generic would fare against heavy-hitting name brands in the poultry arena. Cracking on with preparation, it became evident that Great Value’s mix was among the palest and least aromatic.

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