Deglazing a pan

/ Category: Tricks of the trade / Author:

Deglazing a pan

Deglazing requires the addition of a cold liquid to a hot pan in which meat or vegetables have been browned or cooked.

Deglazing requires the addition of a cold liquid to a hot pan in which meat or vegetables have been browned or cooked (and usually removed from). This liquid, generally water, but sometimes alcohol or vinegar, is brought to the boil, which lifts the sediment from the pan that was created during the browning or cooking process.

Scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon helps to lift off the sediment. This sediment is generally well flavoured and, once captured in the deglazing liquid, can then be used to impart flavour to a sauce.

Deglazing can also be useful to clean a pan if the browning process has been done over too high a heat, causing scorching, or burning, of the sediment. Using this sediment in a sauce may cause bitterness, so if, after browning or cooking a piece of meat or fish, the bottom of the pan looks burnt, deglaze with water, bring to the boil, then pour the liquid (called deglacage) into a bowl.

Allow it to cool then taste it. If there is no bitterness it can be used in the sauce, otherwise discard it. This deglazing technique is particularly important when browning a large amount of meat in batches for stews.

Author: Lizzy Jones

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