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How to Deglaze a Pan: Step-by-Step and Pan Sauce Recipes

Jacky Chou

Every dish will become more delicious and richer with a little sauce. However, do you know a sauce that is both simple and easy to make – pan sauce? Let’s learn how to deglaze a pan and make pan sauce with KITCHENBAR in this article!

What is Deglazing?

To loosen food particles that cling to the bottom as they cook or wilt, we deglaze. A cooking technique which involves adding liquid (such as stock or wine) to a pan is called deglazing. Cooked food elements are known as fond, French for “base”, referring to the brown food flakes and caramel drippings of meat and vegetables. The mixture created by deglazing is simmered and reduced to form a flavorful pan sauce.

Why should you deglaze a pan?

Why Should You Deglaze a Pan?

The degreasing process allows you to loosen flavored sauces from the bottom of the pan and then use those portions to add flavor to your sauces. This simple technique is one that professional chefs use frequently and can be easily incorporated into your home cooking routine. You don’t need any complicated tools to degrease, just a pan, some liquid, and a flat wooden spoon.

How to Deglaze a Pan: Step-by-Step

How to deglaze a pan

Cook meat or vegetables on a hot pan

Heat a large skillet, add the fat and continue to heat until the oil changes color or the butter turns light brown. Add ingredients and cook with minimal stirring. Improperly sautéed meat or vegetables will leave a sticky, brown residue in the bottom of the pan. This is a “like” and it contains flavors that will join your deglazing liquid.

  • Stainless steel or enameled cast iron encourage good workpieces, and their bright color makes it easy to monitor progress and avoid burnout. Non-stick pans are less effective and reactive metal pans can corrode if glazed with acid.
  • Leave ¼ — ½ inch (6–13mm) space between the cuts of meat. If overcooking or cooking at too low a temperature, the meat will be steamed and not taste good.

Remove ingredients and skim off excess fat

Transfer meat or vegetables after they’re done cooking, leaving the sauce on. If the pan is still heavily greased, spoon or pour through a strainer, returning the scaly brown solid to the pan. Too much fat makes the sauce greasy and increases foam as you degrease.

Choose a de-fermenting liquid

Wine, homemade stock, or a mix of both are popular choices. If that suits your dish, you can use almost any flavored liquid. For example, beer works well with strong meat and vegetable dishes, while fruit juices can create a sweet sauce to pair with pork. You can even deglaze with water if supplies are short, but this loses the opportunity to add more flavor.

  • Just avoid milk, which can freeze due to heat.
  • Cognac or spirits make a particularly strong sauce, but the vapors can ignite. Keep the pan away from the heat while pouring, use a pan with a long handle and do not face the liquid. Flambéing usually has little effect on flavor, so you can continue to deglaze if this happens – just keep it safe. Alcohols over 120 proof are too dangerous for this purpose.

Pour in the liquid

As a general rule, use 1 cup (240 mL) of liquid for a serving of four. Keep in mind that the liquid will drop to about half its original volume and have a strong flavor. If you don’t have time to reduce the sauce, cut the liquid in half.

Add liquid slowly or in stages. This will keep the pan hot to help the cream melt faster.

Shave until it melts

Heat on medium-high heat while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden or rubber tool. Continue until the liquid boils and most of the fresh water has dissolved.

Pour onto a plate or make a pan sauce

Defatting is a versatile technique. If you are in a hurry, you can use the degreasing liquid as soon as the cream has melted. To turn the defatted liquid into a richer pan sauce, continue to the next section.

How to Deglaze a Pan: Making Pan Sauce

Making pan sauce after deglazing the pan
Making pan sauce after deglazing the pan

Add aromatic ingredients

A handful of minced garlic or chives will add a lot of flavor to the dish. You can also add herbs, combine them with main dish ingredients or – if you have more time – cook mushrooms, carrots, celery or onions in a disinfecting liquid. Add a pinch of salt and pepper now, then taste at the end to decide if you need more. The stock sauce could have been quite salty once toned down.

Cook until the heat reduce

Bring to a boil until about half of the liquid is gone and the rest is almost syrup. This concentrates the flavor and evaporates some of the alcohol, if any. If your deglazing liquid is a marinade that has been in contact with raw meat, make sure it reaches a rolling boil before serving.

Finish with fat (optional)

For a rich, creamy sauce, remove the pan from the heat and add a little cream or melted butter.

Strain the sauce (optional)

Pour the sauce through a strainer before serving for an even texture. This step isn’t necessary unless you’re going to give a restaurant-style presentation.

Some Pan Sauce Recipe Ideas

  • Stir-fry purple onions and red wine sauce: Saute a thinly sliced ​​shallot with 1 tablespoon of cooking fat until tender, then add a few sprigs of thyme. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add ½ cup braised chicken or beef and ½ cup red wine. Halve the cooking liquid and then finish with 1 tablespoon butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Passion fruit sauce: Add 2 tablespoons drained capers to the cooking fat, cook for 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with a little dry white wine. Cook until the alcohol is almost evaporated, then add 1 cup of braised chicken and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Reduce the degreasing liquid and finish with chopped fresh parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Creamy mushroom sauce: Saute 1 cup sliced ​​mushrooms with 1 tablespoon cooking fat. Cook until tender, then add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 2 sprigs of thyme. Cook until garlic begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes, and add ½ cup of chicken stock and ½ cup of heavy cream. Reduce sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Peanut ginger sauce: Saute 1 tablespoon fresh ginger with 2 tablespoons peanut butter in cooking fat until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of five spice powder and then add 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half. Finish with a splash of toasted sesame oil.
  • Chicken suprême with pan sauce: Place the pan back over medium heat on the stove. Add the shallots and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Transfer the garlic and thyme back to the pan. Stirring frequently, continue cooking until shallots turn caramel color, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat and carefully pour the brandy or apple juice into the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan. Add demi-glace, season with salt and pepper and stir. Let the sauce cook for a few minutes, then pass through a sieve into a small sauce pot. Push the shallot and garlic into the sieve. About 5 minutes, place back on heat and cook until reduced.

Final Words

Make your dishes delicious and full of flavor with these hot and tempting pan sauces recipes. KITCHENBAR hopes that you already know how to deglaze a pan properly. We look forward to seeing your beautiful pan sauce, don’t forget to share with us!

Jacky Chou