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Brown Ale Turkey and...where's my gravy??

I made the Brown Ale Turkey and Gravy recipe for Thanksgiving. I followed every step as written and still ended up with virtually no drippings for a gravy. I had a 14 lb farm fresh turkey, the exact amount of basting liquid, the oven was at 350 with the rack in the lower middle position (2nd rack from the bottom), and covered loosely with foil. When I took the foil off after 1.5 hours, there were no drippings. What liquid that was there originally had basically become a black mess along the edges of the roasting pan. I had to add about 1.5-2 cups of stock just to be sure nothing would start smoking.

Any thoughts on why this happened? It's a stainless steel roasting pan, large enough for the bird but not huge. Could the pan be getting too hot? I should note this recipe is not the first time this has been an issue. I never get the drippings that are expected.


  • Hi - Thanks for your question. I'm wondering if your oven might be too hot. Do you use an oven thermometer to confirm the actual temperature inside your oven? Aside from that, did you confirm that you had 2/3 cup of the beer reduction after straining out the solids and before whisking in the butter? It's possible that, if you only measured before straining, you lost some liquid that was left in the solids. Did you add the solids and celery to the pan as well? These will add some moisture to the pan as well and prevent burning. Since you say you have this problem with other recipes I wonder if it's the oven temperature though. I would be surprised that the liquid would evaporate that quickly in a foil-covered pan at 350 degrees even without drippings, If you don't have an oven thermometer I would grab one and check the actual temperature of your oven. If it's off you can have it professionally calibrated or adjust the temperature to account for the difference. Best, Lynn C.

  • Thanks for your reply. I can confirm I did all of the above. I removed the liquid from the pan to measure to ensure I had 2/3 cup and then returned it to add in the butter and fish sauce. All of the solids were added back in and I placed the turkey on top. I keep an oven thermometer placed in the oven at all times and it did say 350. However, maybe it's time to replace the thermometer. It is one of those common metal coil thermometers. Do you recommend any particular type? Also where do you recommend placing it in the oven to get the correct temperature? I keep it on the lower (unused) rack toward the front for ease of use.

  • Hi again - I don't think you need a specific brand of oven thermometer or one that costs much money. The one I have, I think, was around $10 and is a pretty simple dial-style design. What I will say is that I wouldn't leave it in the oven. Instead, I would put it in the oven in the middle of the center rack, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and then check it immediately after it is preheated. If it reads correctly, remove it and carry on! Do this every few months to ensure it's still maintaining the proper temperature. Best of luck! Lynn C.

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