I'm making my first Thanksgiving dinner and feel like I have enough on my hands — turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes — without making gravy. Besides, I'm worried it will turn out greasy or lumpy or both. Which gravy mix would you recommend?
— Judy C., via email
Seasoned gravy makers wouldn't recommend any powdered mix. But if you've made up your mind, the Chicago Tribune test kitchen did try to determine the best in a blind taste test. They rated five brands on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest) and noted that most pack a lot of sodium and contain monosodium glutamate. Each packet makes about 1 cup gravy, about 4 servings.
- Knorr Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix — (6.6 points); comments: "Good golden brown." "Nice meaty smell, pleasant turkey." "Good thick, but creamy." "Some turkey but overwhelmed by sugar." "Deep, full turkey flavor." "A bit artificial, not offensive.
- Jewel Turkey Gravy Mix — (5.8 points); comments: "A bit lumpy." "Artificial celery, herbs aroma." "Good smell, meaty." "Thin turkey flavor; celery overtones." "Slight turkey flavor and salty but nothing tastes chemically."
- Safeway Turkey Gravy Mix — (5 points); comments: "Tawny brown gold." "Faint scent of canned broth." "Medium thickness; turkey flavor good, not salty." "Not much flavor, but not awful."
- Simply Organic Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix — (3.8 points); comments: "Golden brown; could see bits of spice." "Smells like giblets." "Gelatinous, too thick." "Like the roasted taste and spice." "Dried something — onion?" "A bit acrid."
- McCormick Turkey Gravy Mix — (2.8 points); comments: "Golden brown, glossy." "Pepper and dried herb scent — reminds of frozen pizza." "Medium, dried herb taste, salty, slight sage flavor."
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