This Smoked Turkey Gravy is truly the most delicious gravy to serve alongside your turkey for Thanksgiving or holiday dinner.
And did you know you can make Smoked Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving without a smoker? Whaaaat? Yes! And you don’t even need to catch any turkey drippings. We have the greatest shortcuts for your gravy this year!
The first time we cooked Thanksgiving dinner outdoors we assumed our gravy would be made in a traditional method, indoors – by using turkey drippings.
Only we quickly realized that smoking it on the outdoor grill doesn’t yield the same amount of drippings, leaving us gravy-less and sad. What a Thanksgiving tragedy for smoked food lovers!
Throughout the years we’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving outdoors we’ve learned several tips and tricks making sure no soul would be left gravy-less ever again. And the best part? You don’t even need a smoker to make authentic smoked gravy.
Say it ain’t so.
How could this be?
I know I know. It sounds downright ridiculous to think you can make smoked turkey gravy and not even need to smoke your own bird. It almost sounds like cheating. But it’s true.
3 Ways to Make the BEST Smoked Turkey Gravy
- Purchasing a store-bought smoked turkey drum (they sell them this time of year near the whole turkeys or in the deli section). Just ask your butcher and they will find them for you. This is a great option of you don’t have a smoker. Just use the store-bought smoked turkey drum and simmer it in your chicken stock to infuse it. This will infuse the stock with that lovely smoked flavor (basically creating your own smoked chicken stock). Then use a slurry to thicken the stock and create your gravy.
- Making your own smoked chicken stock as a base for a traditional gravy (no turkey drippings needed). Smoked chicken stock is so full of delicious flavor that I could drink it whole (er did I actually just admit that?). Buuuut, making homemade chicken stock takes time. Knowing this is one extra thing most people don’t want to commit to when they’re already making tons of other things, you can try method 3.
- Smoking your turkey and using the neck, or other part of the turkey (once the bird is finished), as a base to cook your gravy.
- OR simply purchase an uncooked thigh or drum (no whole turkey needed), and smoke it. Then use the smoked turkey piece to infuse into your gravy liquid. We recommend using a turkey drum or thigh.
These are all great ways for making the very BEST Smoked Turkey Gravy! The idea is to use a piece of smoked meat and infuse it into your gravy liquid. No meat drippings required!
How to make this without a Smoker
You can easily make smoked turkey gravy without a smoker. Buying smoked turkey legs from your supermarket and infusing your stock is the quickest and easiest way to get smoked flavor into your gravy (I’m not talking about adding smoked paprika, which I’ve seen some recipes floating out there using and then calling it “smoked gravy.” I see your bluff and raise you ten notches of authentic smoke flavor!).
We have a smoker, so instead of purchasing a smoked turkey leg we buy an uncooked turkey drum or thigh, and then smoke it ourselves.
Then use that smoked turkey piece to make the ultimate smoked turkey gravy!
- Smoke Turkey Drum or Thigh: Start by smoking your turkey pieces.
- Infuse Stock with Smoked Turkey Piece: use the smoked turkey drum or thigh to infuse into your broth.
- Make Gravy: Once the stock is infused, remove the turkey, then thicken your gravy using the instructions below.
Turkey Recipes for your Gravy
More Holiday Side Dishes
- Smoked Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Cornbread Stuffing
- Maple Glazed Carrots on the Grill
- Grilled Green Beans
- Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Leg
- Grilled Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Smoked Turkey Gravy Recipe
Bourbon Gravy Recipe with Smoked Turkey
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 store bought smoked turkey drum
- 2 lg shallots, or 1 small red onion, chopped (about 1 cup) cup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 10 sprigs of thyme
- 4-5 cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup flour (all purpose or gluten free 1:1 flour, both work)
- In a large pot pan set to medium-high heat add olive oil and your smoked turkey drum and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir and rotate the drum until it’s browned on all sides and you start to see some drippings in the pan, and your shallots have softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute and then reduce heat.
- Add bourbon and let simmer for two minutes (if the pan is still really hot it’ll boil, so be sure to avoid too much heat causing it to nearly evaporate).
- Add the thyme and 4 cups of stock and bring back to a boil (reserving the 5th cup for later). Cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make your slurry: take the remaining 1 cup of stock and place it in a sealed jar with the flour. Shake vigorously until all of the flour has been fully absorbed.
- After 25 – 30 minutes remove the smoked turkey drum from the pan and set aside. The stock will have reduced and absorbed a smoky flavor.
- Add the slurry to the pan, and begin whisking. Continue whisking while the gravy begins to thicken (about 10 minutes). If it gets too thick add more stock. If it’s too thin, let it simmer a few more minutes. It will thicken up after you remove it from the heat. Salt and pepper to taste again.
- Strain before serving.
If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.