Sausage Gravy starts by smoking the sausage, and then adding layers of flavor into the gravy for a savory jam-packed bite. This recipe provides an easy way to add a ton of flavor to your favorite breakfast biscuits.
We love breakfast on the grill, and there is nothing more delicious than a thick and savory scratch gravy recipe. This gravy can be a topping for biscuits, or even as an alternative to Hollandaise for any Benedict recipe. Or you can just eat it as is, because it’s that delicious.
Making gravy is really about mixing up a roux (thickening agent), some liquid (we use milk), and any other flavors you want to add (in this case smoked sausage). We are also cooking this on on our MAK Pellet Grill which is a great way to fire up wood fire flavor on one of the best pellet grills on the market.
We are paid ambassadors for MAK Grills, and love every cook we have done on it.
Smoked sausage gravy can be made the day you want to eat it, or it can be made in advance. If you can’t manage it all the same day:
- Consider smoking the sausage the day before you make the gravy. It will hold well, just be sure you keep the fat (as it will add more flavor to the gravy).
- If you make the entire gravy in advance, simply reheat it in a pan. Add two tablespoons of milk or broth to thin it out a little as it reheats.
Making smoked sausage gravy the day before is a nice option because then you can bake biscuits the morning of and simply reheat the gravy to add over the top.
Which Meat is Best
We lean toward the classic flavor of pork sausage for gravy. Buy bulk hot breakfast or Italian style sausage (bulk referring to sausage that is not in casings). The goal is to cook the sausage in a cast iron pan, keeping all the fats and liquid that comes out, and then make the gravy with both the liquids and the smoked sausage. Just add the bulk sausage into the pan, and then break up the sausage into smaller chunks.
If all you can find is sausage in casings, then just cut open the casings with a sharp knife, remove all of the sausage meat (discarding the casing), and place the meat into a cast iron pan.
Prepare your smoker targeting 225 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower heat will add more smoke flavor. You can also smoke this on a pellet grill, like our MAK Two-Star General, at the smoke setting, which hovers around 160 degrees F for even more smokiness to the sausage.
We like fruit woods, like apple or cherry, for this dish. Smoke for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the larger chunks reads at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit using an instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks MK4 Thermapen.
Cooking in the Oven: If you don’t have a smoker, this recipe is just as good. Simply start this recipe by cooking the bulk sausage in the cast iron pan on your stove top.
How to Make Sausage Gravy
Once the sausage is smoked and cooked thoroughly, it’s time to make the gravy. The general principle to a gravy is to thicken milk and add your seasonings. To do this we use a classic roux (flour and butter) and then finish with liquid and spices. While some recipes don’t call for the butter (sausage does have natural fat already rendered), we find it adds additional flavor and richness.
- Add Seasonings: On a stove top over medium heat, break up the sausage with a spoon and add the salt, pepper, red chili pepper, and seasoning. Stir to incorporate. We use our ultimate dry rub which is sweet and savory. We do this for about 2 minutes.
- Make Roux (with Sausage): Add the butter and flour. Stir to incorporate the butter and flour with the sausage. Stir for about 2 minutes or until the butter is melted and the flour coats the sausage.
- Add Milk: Pour the milk into the pan and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly. The simmering will help the roux activate and thicken the milk. Stir for 10 minutes or until the gravy is a thick and bubbly consistency. If you don’t stir often, the milk can scorch on the base of the pan giving an unpleasant flavor and texture.
- Serve: Turn off the heat and serve on top of breakfast biscuits (or other items).
Chef’s Note – We have tried this with heavy cream and also with lower fat milks and find whole milk gives the best consistency. We have not tried this with non-dairy milks but imagine the consistency would be the similar.
Favorite Biscuit Recipes
- Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
- Easy Butter Milk Drop Biscuits – Just 5-Ingredients
- Our Gluten Free Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
Other Great Breakfast Recipes
- Ultimate Mimosa Bar
- Smoked Salmon Benedict
- Steak and Egg Burrito on the Grill
- Smoked Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
- Ham Hash
- Roasted Potatoes – Makes great side dish for any breakfast recipe
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