How to Make Gravy From Drip Pan Drippings

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Drip Pans

  2. The Best Drip Pans on the Market

  3. Now That You Have A Great Pan, What’s Next?

  4. Liquid, Liquid, and More Liquid

  5. Pick A Flavorful High Fat Meat

  6. The A, B, C’S of Making Your Dripping Gravy

  7. Drip Pans Are An Overlooked Key To Great Grilling


Summary: Drip pans are an essential yet often overlooked accessory for great barbecues. These stainless steel containers help keep your grill clean-up easy; but more importantly, they collect flavorful fat drippings for kick ash gravy.


All the barbecue lovers out there, like us at Kick Ash Basket, spend hours researching what grills to buy and what accessories to add to their barbecue rotation. All the while, one crucial accessory does not get as much attention as it deserves: the drip pan. Below, we’ll talk about what drip pans are and how they can add a kick to anyone’s barbecue cooking.

What Are Drip Pans?

The answer to this question is relatively straightforward. Drip pans are small plastic or metal containers that are placed between a grill's grate and the grill's heat source or coals. The goal of a drip pan is to collect the fat and drippings from the meat that is being cooked and stop this liquid from dropping into the hot coals and causing flare-ups; thereby creating an even, intentional cook.


Done correctly, as we see below, drip pans help us keep our grills clean and our cooks correct. They are also an interesting tool to add more flavor to our cooking, either via indirect grilling or by giving us some of the key ingredients for insanely delicious dripping gravy.


The Best Drip Pans on the Market

Many people think drip pans are something that they can skimp on. To do this, they often buy flimsy disposable pans at the grocery store or plastic pans that quite literally melt under the fire. Not surprisingly, these pans do not last, and people end up having to open up their wallets again… and again… and again.


The best way to avoid this is to buy high-quality stainless steel drip pans. There are many stainless steel options on the market, but we believe that the best of the best are the three Kick Ash Basket drip pans. We understand that not everyone barbecues in the same way or uses the same grills, so we created three different products that are designed to be compatible with most charcoal grills.


The 1/2 Drip Pan is a great option if you are looking for a space-saving option. The only caveat to remember if you are interested in this option is that you need to have 2 inches of clearance between your grate and your heat deflector. We also love our other two drip pans, the standard Kick Ash Drip Pan and the Kick Ash Drip Pan, 14¨ that is made for slightly larger grills.

Now that You Have a Great Pan, What’s Next?

Buying a great Kick Ash Drip Pan is only the first step, though. We know that a lot of people love drip pans because they make clean-up a snap. Instead of having to scrub fat and other drippings off of your grill where high heat has seared them on, you can just throw your drip pan in the dishwasher and go.


Ultimately, it is not just about ease of clean-up, though. Drip pans are also a key to making delicious, kick ash gravy.

#1 Liquid, Liquid, and More Liquid

The first step before you start grilling is to make sure to fill your drip pan with lots of liquid. This can be anything ranging from water and juice to a hearty stout or a citrusy IPA beer. Without liquid, your drippings will be too dry and crunchy to use in any gravy. The amount of liquid that you need depends on the size of your grill and drip pan, but a liter of liquid is a good standard.

#2 Pick a Flavorful High Fat Meat

Once you have your drip pan in place, it is time to fire up your grill and pick your meat of choice. Technically, you can use any meat for your drippings, but you will be much happier with the results if you use a high-fat meat like steak or beef. Also, we would suggest that if you are a barbecue novice, you steer clear of some of the leaner meats, like chicken or turkey. They just do not produce enough drippings to add to your gravy.

The A, B, Cs of Making Your Dripping Gravy

Now that you have collected all of your flavorful drippings in your Kick Ash Drip Pan, it is time to work on making your delicious gravy. We always vote for simplicity when given a choice.


Take all of your solid bits and pieces of drippings and add two tablespoons of fat to a pan on your stove. When you move your drippings from the drip pan to the stovetop, make sure to get all the drippings, even the ones that look particularly charred can add a flavorful punch to your gravy.


Start warming up your drippings and fat in the pan over medium heat. Once the drippings have started to form more of a loose liquid consistency, add in some flour and begin to stir it into the mixture. This should only take about 30 seconds to a minute. Once that’s done, the next step is to add liquid into the mix. Here you have a choice — some people like to use water or milk for the liquid, and others like chicken broth. Personally, we think any choice is delicious, but we have had a lot of success using broth to add in even more flavor.


After dumping in your broth, you need to make sure to continue to whisk it so that your gravy does not get lumpy and everything ends up well-mixed. This may take you anywhere from five minutes to eight minutes.


Once you have a gravy that is the exact texture that you are looking for, remove your pan from the heat and stir in a few additional pats of butter. You can also add in your favorite herbs and spices for an extra dash of flavoring.


The great thing about drip pan gravy is that even if you don't love your results one night, you can always experiment and try again the next night when you head out to your grill!


Photo by Kick Ash Basket

Drip Pans Are an Overlooked Key to Great Grilling

Drip pans are definitely not the sexiest barbecue accessory. In fact, not every griller even knows that they should add a drip pan to their grill. But, they are important on two very different counts. First, drip pans, like the stainless steel Kick Ash Drip Pan, keep grease and drippings off of your grill and make cleaning up a breeze. But, even more importantly, drip pans allow you to infuse your meat with a healthy dash of flavor. Most importantly, as discussed above, they also let you make delicious gravy from the collected meat drippings!


Once you’ve got your Kick Ash Drip Pan set up, let us know how your first cook goes over at the Kick Ash Crew, our members-only community on Facebook. There, you’ll enjoy a community of BBQ lovers just like you. Plus, the Kick Ash Crew is the only place you can get exclusive giveaways, deals, recipes, and more. There’s always room for one more in the Kick Ash Crew, so join today!