A Southern cook’s secret to a perfect boat of gravy.
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CROP Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy
Credit: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Like the cherry on top of an ice-cream sundae, gravy is the finishing touch that brings many a Southern meal together, and we're not just talking about Thanksgiving. We've got sausage gravy, tomato gravy, and even chocolate gravy—but no Southern gravy is quite so depended on and versatile as classic brown gravy. 

And when we think back to our grandmother's kitchen, she wasn't making it from scratch every single time, and we don't blame her. Why make things harder when hosting a gaggle of family every Sunday afternoon when you can just rip open a packet of Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix? Exactly. Grandma's a savvy one. 

Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix
Credit: Amazon

A Southern family-owned business since 1851, Pioneer has some of the most authentic-tasting baking mixes out there, which is exactly why the brand is a Southern cook's staple. Boasting biscuit mixes, pancake mixes, and their most popular product, the brown gravy mix (all of which can also be found in gluten-free varieties), Pioneer continues to mill all of its flour in-house after over 165 years to ensure that each time someone decides to use one of the mixes in lieu of homemade, you are still guaranteed that "made from scratch" taste. 

So if you ever wondered where all of that savory brown goodness came from before it hit the gravy boat, now you know. Whether you're using it for hamburger steaks, pot roast, hearty beef stew, or just old-fashioned mashed potatoes, Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix turns out two cups of deliciousness in just minutes. You can still find it in grocery stores throughout the South, but we've been known to snag extra packets on Amazon, just in case there's ever a gravy emergency. Which, you know, does happen. 

WATCH: Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Grandmothers everywhere are singing praises, which is basically all the vetting we need. Off to find the gravy boat.