Deglazing a pan
Deglazing is a fundamental technique used in all styles of cooking because it is our primary means of preserving an ingredient’s flavor. Dry cooking techniques, like sautéing and roasting, rely on the evaporation of moisture from an ingredient to create a flavorful and browned exterior. As the ingredient makes contact with the pan and releases…

CIA FOODIES


Recipes Between the Lines: Deglaze

Deglazing is a fundamental technique used in all styles of cooking because it is our primary means of preserving an ingredient’s flavor. Dry cooking techniques, like sautéing and roasting, rely on the evaporation of moisture from an ingredient to create a flavorful and browned exterior. As the ingredient makes contact with the pan and releases its natural moisture, any available water evaporates, leaving concentrated areas of flavor on the bottom of the pan.
These brown bits, known as fond, should never be discarded. It’s filled with flavor, and to capture that flavor, we deglaze the pan to release the fond. When you deglaze a pan, you are adding a liquid to rehydrate the fond and release it from the bottom of the pan. We often use wine or stock to deglaze a pan, but you can also use vinegar, fruit juice, or even just water. The ultimate goal is to prevent the fond from burning, since burned pan drippings will impart a bitter, harsh flavor to your finished item. While cooking, if you see your fond beginning to darken from deep brown to black, you can save the fond by deglazing the pan early with a splash of water. This is most likely while browning meat, like for a stew or braise. If you’ve deglazed the pan already and suspect your pan is continuing to burn, you have two options. First, you can continue on with the recipe as if all of the meat has been browned, even if some is still raw. Add the raw meat alongside your browned meat and carry on with the recipe.
You can also continue with the recipe while simultaneously searing the remaining meat in a separate skillet. Once the meat is seared, you can deglaze that pan and add the drippings to the original pot alongside the other meat. If your fond burns beyond saving, you should deglaze the pan and discard the drippings and any remaining water. This will not ruin your dish, but it will be slightly lacking in flavor.
For more, check out this video to see deglazing in action.

Copyright © 2022 The Culinary Institute of America

Leave a Comment