Gravy separators aren’t mysterious, and they should by no means frustrate you as you use them. Making use of simple scientific principles, well-constructed gravy separators can help you strain the fat out of more than just gravy. If you cook often, chances are excellent that you might find one to be your constant kitchen companion.

Things You'll Need

Strain any large chunks out of your pan gravy. You can do this using a strainer or a slotted spoon if you like, but some gravy separators have strainers built into their tops (see reference 2). If your gravy separator is one of them, Steps 1 and 2 become combined.

Pour your pan gravy into the gravy separator. Use a ladle if the pan or container in which your pan gravy is in is too big to pour neatly into your gravy separator.

Rest the gravy for a few minutes, or until you see a layer of fat form at the top. Gravy separators are essentially pitchers with long spouts that start at their bottoms rather than on the top. Fat and water don’t get along, so the fat will separate from the gravy and float on top of it. The spout on your gravy separator works by drawing the gravy from the bottom.

Pour your gravy carefully into your bowl or gravy boat. Stop pouring when you get to the layer of fat that was floating on top of your gravy.

Discard the fat, wash gravy separator, and repeat if your batch of gravy was too large for one pass through the gravy separator.


  • Plastic gravy separators are usually a safer option than glass ones. If you get grease or other slippery kitchen substances on your hands (yes, even gravy), glass can slip right out of your hands and shatter on your counter or floor. Modern plastic gravy separators are more likely to survive such falls unscathed (see reference 1).

  • Gravy separators come in a variety of sizes. Usually a larger gravy separator (4 cups or above) is more useful than a smaller one. While it’s possible to separate your gravy in batches, it’s often less frustrating to be able to do it all at once. Larger-capacity gravy separators also usually have wider mouths, making it easier for you to get the gravy into them without making a mess.

References and Resources

Fat Separators
The Tool: Fat Separator