How to Deglaze

By knowing how to deglaze a pan, you can create delicious sauces that provide a savoury touch to your meal.

Deglazing 101

Deglazing is the process of adding liquid to a pan after cooking, scraping off the yummy meat morsels, and using the resulting mixture to make a sauce. After you’re done frying or sautéing meat, your pan is filled with bits of food that are rich in flavour and provide a flavourful base for gravies and sauces. 

Task Overview

Estimated time: 10 minutes
Estimated cost: $10
Skill level: Beginner
Number of people required: 1

Tools & Materials:

Deglazing Your Pan:

  1. Prepare and Examine Your Pan
To start, remove the cooked meat from the pan. Pans used for sautéing, frying or roasting offer the best opportunities for deglazing. Check your pan for the small bits of caramelized meats at the bottom. These bits, known as “fond”, are rich in flavour. Remove any burned bits of fond before getting underway.
  1. Remove Excess Fat from the Pan
Using a spoon, remove the excess fat that has floated to the top of the pan. Too much fat in your pan will make your sauce too rich or greasy. You should have as little of the cooking fat in the pan as possible when making your sauce.
  1. Heat the Pan and Add Liquid
Place the pan over high heat and add your chosen liquid. Water can be used, but it will not enhance your sauce. Beef, chicken or vegetable stock can be used to match or contrast the meat in the pan. Fruit juice will bring sweetness, while beer, wine or Cognac will reduce and add a rich complexity to your sauce. Make sure the liquid is cold when adding it to the pan. Add enough to cover the bottom quarter inch of the pan.
  1. Stir Liquid and Scrape Fond
Using a spoon or spatula, scrape the fond from the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir vigorously, ensuring all of the fond is moved through the liquid. The constant movement is important when deglazing sauces to ensure they do not burn and make your sauce bitter.
  1. Bring to a Boil, Simmer and Season
Continuing to stir, bring the liquid to a boil for a few seconds. The liquid should have a uniform appearance. Turn down the heat to simmer. Add salt, pepper, or any other herbs and spices to further enhance the flavor. Simmer until the liquid is half its original quantity.
  1. Strain the Liquid
Pour the liquid through a strainer into a bowl to remove all the bits of meat — they’ve done their work and can now be thrown away. Your liquid is now ready to be used immediately as a sauce or au jus, or to form the base of flavourful gravy.
  1. Making Gravy
To make gravy from your liquid, continue to simmer, gradually adding a half flour-half water mixture one tablespoon at a time. Continue to add and stir until your gravy has reached the desired consistency

Deglazing Tips:

  • To avoid flare ups remove your pan from heat when adding alcohol
  • Refrain from using dairy-based liquids to deglaze the pan as there is a good chance they will curdle
  • Once you have finished deglazing the pan, you can stir in milk or cream to make an easy pan sauce that is creamy and flavourful
  • If you are deglazing a non-stick pan, use a non-metal spoon or spatula that will not scratch the pan’s surface
  • Add only small amounts of herbs and seasoning at the beginning because their flavours will intensify as your liquid reduces.
  • While simmering the liquid, you can add oils such as butter or olive oil to help smooth out the texture and make the sauce more velvety
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details