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A friend of mine described a recipe to me, and she said she deglazed the pan (I think I understood correctly). What does that mean?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Deglazing removes caramelized bits (the "browned" bits) from the bottom of your pan or skillet after cooking meats or vegetables.

It is usually accomplished by putting stock, sauce, wine, or even water (or really any liquid) in the pan over heat after the pan has been emptied of whatever was cooked into it and any rendered fat and scraping the browned bits into that sauce with a spatula. The browned bits dissolve into your liquid to create an excellent sauce for whatever you just cooked in the pan.

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7  
I would add: it is also useful for easily cleaning the pan. –  Sobachatina Aug 27 '10 at 14:39
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Deglazing with something alcoholic is more fun because you can light it on fire (careful--the flames can get very large). Brandy is my favorite. –  Adam Shiemke Aug 27 '10 at 15:53
    
@Adam - you know, the only thing I've ever managed to (intentionally) set on fire was Bacardi 151. It comes with a label "warning, do not set on fire" because it is so flammable. I fail at flambes. –  justkt Aug 27 '10 at 16:09
    
It is easier to set moderate proof alcohols on fire before you add them to the pot. High proof stuff like the 151 is more tolerant. –  dmckee Aug 27 '10 at 20:24
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+1. I would add that the pan needs to be quite hot before you add the liquid and you generally add a fairly small amount of liquid so that the pan heats the liquid rather than the liquid cooling the pan. –  yossarian Aug 28 '10 at 16:17

Deglazing is a technique for making sauces and gravies. It occurs after you've accumulated cooked on meats and other deposits. First remove your meat and any excess liquid fat. Second crank the heat up high and get your pan nice and hot. Next add a cool liquid (water/wine/stock). The liquid will boil rapidly and lift the browned deposits to create a flavorful sauce.

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