BBC navigation


Gravy browning recipes

Made from caramel, molasses and spices, gravy browning is used for giving gravies in England an appetising brown colour. It comes as a dark-brown liquid or powder. It was popular in the first half of the twentieth century, but is not widely used nowadays. Do not confuse gravy browning with gravy powder.

Buyer's guide

Gravy browning is not widely available – many supermarkets have stopped stocking it. However, some still sell it labelled simply as ‘browning’; it is also available online.


Store in a dry cupboard.


In addition to browning gravies, it can also be used to add colour to stews, soups, microwave-cooked meats, cakes, icing and home-brewed beers. Use gravy browning judiciously, otherwise the dish will become unattractively brown. If you cannot obtain it, substitute with caramel food colouring, Worcestershire sauce, instant coffee granules, dry-roasted plain flour or browned onions, depending on the dish you are colouring.

Article by Sejal Sukhadwala

Quick recipe finder

Type the ingredients you want to use, then click Go. For better results you can use quotation marks around phrases (e.g. "chicken breast"). Alternatively you can search by chef, programme, cuisine, diet, or dish (e.g. Lasagne).

Advanced search options

See more gravy recipes

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.