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Dec 24, 2012 09:06 AM

Reducing gravy recipe by 2/3; do I reduce simmering time by 2/3 too?

Hi, I'm making gravy. The recipe calls for 6 cups of chicken broth (plus other ingredients) and says to simmer for an hour and a half. I'm making 1/3 of the recipe, which means I am simmering 2 cups of broth. Do I simmer for 30 minutes only? Thanks!

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  1. What kind of gravy are you making? Hard to answer this without more info!

    1. Generally speaking, you don't reduce simmering time in proportion to the reduction in volume. Simmering time should be about the same as the original recipe. The only tricky part is that you don't want to over-reduce the broth, which can be a bit easier to do if you're cutting the volume. But you can always add a little water back or just cover the pot for some or all of the cooking.

      1. The consistency depends on your preference. Simmer until you feel it's thick enough.

        1. I agree with the above - simmer as long as you have to to as you. reduce it to what you want. Won't be an exact ratio but will be less time than for 3 times as much.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FrankJBN

            "Won't be an exact ratio but will be less time than for 3 times as much."
            It's impossible to say without looking at the recipe in question, but usually the point of a long simmering time for gravy isn't to reduce the broth - that can be done relatively quickly. The point is normally to enrich the broth. This is typical of a recipe that calls for using necks, backbones, wing-tips, etc. Even vegetables (though you don't typically need to infuse as long). If the point is to enrich/infuse rather than reduce, the simmering time should remain pretty constant.

            That said, there are no absolutes. If the broth tastes good and strong and flavorful after 30 minutes, the finished gravy will probably be pretty good. Is it fully infused? As long as it tastes good, who cares.

          2. a well-written recipe will say "simmer ___ minutes, or until ____", giving you a clue what to look for. since cooking vessels, burner BTUs and other factors vary considerably, the time is at best, a guideline. if there is no indicator of what the recipe writer is looking to happen, use your best judgement, and don't rely on other recipes from this source...