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Sawmill Gravy vs Sausage Gravy: What’s the Difference?

In the grand scheme of breakfast battles, the face-off between sawmill and sausage gravy isn’t just legendary—it’s epic. We’ve all been there; staring down at our biscuits, wondering which gravy reigns supreme.

Sawmill gravy, a beacon of simplicity, flourishes with just meat drippings, flour, and milk. Its cousin, sausage gravy, kicks it up a notch by adding, well, sausage.

We’ve tasted, we’ve tested, and oh, have we debated. Our family breakfasts turned into a spirited competition of gravies.

Now, we’re here to shed some light on this delicious dilemma.

What is Sawmill Gravy?

Sawmill Gravy, also known as Country Gravy, is a thick, creamy sauce that is commonly served with biscuits and breakfast meats in the Southern United States.

But what exactly is it? Contrary to its name, sawmill gravy doesn’t actually contain any sawdust or wood pulp.

Instead, it is made from a simple roux of flour and fat cooked together to form a creamy base, which is then combined with milk or cream to achieve the desired consistency.

The creamy mixture is then seasoned with salt, pepper, and possibly other herbs and spices, before serving hot over fluffy biscuits.

The origin of this popular gravy is somewhat of a mystery, but one thing is for sure: it is a classic comfort food that has stood the test of time.

So the next time you’re in the mood for some hearty Southern cuisine, give sawmill gravy a try and indulge in its rich, creamy goodness.

What is Sausage Gravy?

Sausage gravy is a classic Southern dish.

It’s made of seasoned milk-based gravy with crumbled breakfast sausage.

It’s perfect for hearty biscuits.

It’s served for breakfast or brunch, and is popular all over the US.

You make it by cooking breakfast sausage in a pan and adding flour.

Then, milk is added and seasoned with salt, pepper and other spices.

Once it thickens, the meaty gravy is poured over buttery biscuits.


In conclusion, Sausage gravy is a delicious comfort food.

Serve it fresh for breakfast or as a leftover snack for dinner.

Paired with warm biscuits, it’s an explosion of flavors.

Differences Between Sawmill Gravy and Sausage Gravy

Sawmill gravy and sausage gravy may look alike and have similar ingredients.

But they are different.

Origin and Regional Variations

Sawmill and sausage gravies are two staples of American food.

But, their beginnings and regional changes are varied.

Sawmill gravy has its roots in Southern Appalachia.

Sausage gravy is a classic of the South.

Sawmill gravy generally has flour, milk and butter.

It is served over biscuits or grits.

Sausage gravy contains crumbled breakfast sausage cooked in a roux of flour and milk.

Depending on where you are, recipes can differ.

Bacon or ham could be used instead of sausage.

Different seasonings may be added or milk could be switched out for cream.

In Texas, sawmill gravy can include hot sauce or jalapeños for a spicy kick.

Despite their differences, sawmill and sausage gravies are beloved comfort dishes all over the US.

Base Ingredients

Sawmill gravy and sausage gravy are two beloved Southern breakfast staples.

Both start with a roux of flour and grease – usually pork fat or butter.

This is then whisked with milk to make a creamy sauce.

It’s simmered until thick. But there are differences.

Sawmill gravy is usually made without meat, while sausage gravy includes pork sausage.

Plus, sausage gravy often has spices like black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Both gravies are delicious. Pour them over hot biscuits or fried chicken.

Sawmill gravy is classic and simple. Sausage gravy offers a spicy kick.

They’re essential for any true Southern breakfast.

Flavor and Seasonings

Sawmill gravy and sausage gravy are both popular Southern breakfasts.

But what sets them apart? It’s all about the flavor and seasonings.

Sawmill gravy is made with flour, milk, salt, and pepper.

It can also have butter and bacon grease – but no strong seasonings.

Sausage gravy has all the same ingredients, plus crumbled sage breakfast sausage for added flavor.

Let’s explore the distinct flavor and seasonings.

Sawmill gravy is creamy and unsalted.

The milk suppresses any strong flavors. Sausage gravy, though, is savory.

Spices like sage and thyme in the sausage make it richly seasoned.

Some people prefer sawmill gravy’s classic flavor.

It pairs well with biscuits and hash browns. Others want a spicier kick.

That’s when sausage gravy wins. So, which gravy will be your favorite?

Texture and Consistency

Sawmill and sausage gravy are both popular breakfast staples in the US.

They are alike, yet have different textures and consistencies.

Sawmill is thinner, with a smoother texture, made from flour, milk/cream, and black pepper – no meat.

Sausage gravy is thick and hearty, made with cooked breakfast sausage.

These gravies have different flavor profiles.

Sawmill is rich and creamy, with a hint of sharpness from the pepper.

Sausage gravy has a savory flavor due to the herbs like sage and thyme added to the pork sausage.

Both sawmill and sausage gravy are delicious with classic Southern breakfast dishes like biscuits or grits.

Sawmill offers smoothness, and sausage gravy provides heartier fare.

Both offer unique flavors that can’t be beat.

Similarities Between Sawmill Gravy and Sausage Gravy

Sawmill Gravy and Sausage Gravy are both popular breakfast gravies that originated in the southern U.S.

They are white gravies made with flour, milk, and meat drippings, plus spices like black pepper.

Sawmill Gravy got its name from workers at sawmills who used sausage drippings to make breakfast.

Sausage gravy, on the other hand, is made by cooking crumbled sausage in a cast-iron pan, then adding flour and milk.

Both gravies are normally served over biscuits.

A unique detail is that some Sawmill Gravies use bacon or ham drippings to add extra flavor.

Thicker Sawmill Gravies can be made by adding more flour.

Generally, Sawmill and Sausage Gravies have a creamy consistency that goes well with biscuits.

In the end, it’s up to personal preference.

Switching between them won’t change the breakfast experience too much.

How to Serve and Enjoy Sawmill Gravy and Sausage Gravy?

Sawmill Gravy and Sausage Gravy are two types of creamy gravies popular in the southern US.

Want to enjoy them the best way possible? Here’s a 6-step guide:

  • Prep fresh homemade biscuits.
  • Heat gravy on stove or microwave.
  • Pour desired amount over biscuit.
  • Top with cooked and crumbled sausage/bacon bits.
  • Serve warm with coffee/juice.
  • Store in airtight container in fridge – up to 4 days.

Sawmill Gravy is made from flour and milk.

For Sausage Gravy, add crumbled sausage.

Spice it up for added flavor.

Now you’re ready for a tasty Southern-style breakfast. Delicious.

Popular Dishes with Sawmill Gravy and Sausage Gravy

Southern cuisine is known for its popular dishes featuring sawmill and sausage gravy.

Sawmill gravy is usually served with biscuits, while sausage gravy is paired with breakfast items like eggs, potatoes, and toast.

Check out these five dishes with each type of gravy:

  • Sawmill Gravy: Biscuits & Gravy.
  • Sawmill Gravy: Country Fried Steak.
  • Sawmill Gravy: Fried Chicken.
  • Sausage Gravy: Breakfast Burritos.
  • Sausage Gravy: Scrambled Eggs & Hash Browns.

Though similar in texture and flavor, sawmill and sausage gravies have some differences.

Sawmill gravy is made with flour, butter or drippings, milk, salt, and pepper.

Sausage gravy contains all the ingredients of sawmill gravy but also includes breakfast sausage.

As it cooks, the sausage flavors the gravy, making it richer than sawmill gravy.


Sawmill gravy and sausage gravy are both from the Southern U.S.

They have meat, milk, and flour in common.

But, there are some differences in seasoning and preparation.

The two gravies are versatile in different ways.

Sawmill gravy is usually served on biscuits or chicken-fried steak.

Sausage gravy is mostly paired with biscuits.

This is because sausage’s flavor can be too strong for other dishes.

Sawmill Gravy vs Sausage Gravy: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Wondering about the difference between sawmill gravy and sausage gravy? Learn about the distinguishing features of these savory sauces.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Sawmill Gravy
  • Sausage Gravy


  • Choose between sawmill gravy and sausage gravy based on your preference and taste preferences.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen gravy, using the appropriate ingredients and techniques.
  • Prepare the gravy according to your desired recipe, ensuring the ingredients are well combined and cooked to the desired consistency.
  • Adjust the seasoning and flavorings as needed to achieve the desired taste.
  • Serve the gravy over biscuits, toast, or your preferred dish, savoring the unique flavors and textures of either sawmill gravy or sausage gravy.
  • Enjoy the comforting and delicious experience, exploring different dishes to accompany the chosen gravy.
  • Experiment with variations and personal touches to make the recipe your own.
Keyword Sawmill Gravy vs Sausage Gravy
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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