Deglazing: What it Is and Why Do It

September 14, 2012 13 Comments

What is deglazing and how to do it

The Secret to Great Pan Sauces

Deglazing is a fancy and intimidating word that means to pour some cold liquid into a very hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those brown bits are where all the flavors are, and it is called “fond.”

Fond is French for “bottom,” so let’s stick to calling it fond!

How To Deglaze a Pan

You probably deglaze all the time without even realizing it:

  • When you pour water into the roasting pan to make gravy
  • When you add some chicken stock to a pan of sautéed onions
  • When you pour some wine into the pan that you roasted the pork in

Now that you know what it is, let’s make sure you are doing all the steps correctly.

  • Make sure that there is nothing burnt onto the pan you are going to deglaze—you are looking for deep brown bits, not blackened bits
  • Pour off most of the fat in the pan.
  • Turn the heat up to high.
  • Add cold liquid to the hot pan—the liquid will come up to boiling very quickly, bringing up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan
  • Using a spoon or spatula, scrape up the fond as the liquid boils
  • Once the fond is dispersed throughout the liquid, turn down the heat

Important Tip:

It is important you remove the pan from the heat when adding any liquids with alcohol so you don’t end up with singed eyebrows. You can now use this mixture to create a wonderful sauce to accompany your meal.

Deglazing Liquids

Almost any liquid can be used for deglazing, although you should stay away from dairy. There is a good chance that dairy products can curdle when boiling, so stick with clear liquids.

Here’s a good list to start:

  • Red or white wine
  • Beer
  • Stock—fish, chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.
  • Broth
  • Cooking liquid (water that you cooked beans in, for example)
  • Cognac/brandy
  • Fruit juice
  • Vinegar

Of course, you can also use water to deglaze, but why would you when there are so many other flavorful liquids that you can use instead?

Pan Sauces

The technique of deglazing is especially useful when it comes to making pan sauces after you saute a piece of meat, chicken or fish. You can read all about pan sauces and how to prepare them at home on my pan sauce page.

Last modified on Fri 4 April 2014 12:18 pm

Comments (13)

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  1. Marina Parmigiani says:

    Very very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sowmya says:

    Thanks for this lovely information…….highly appreciated:)))))

  3. Mary says:

    Beautifully simple explanation; thanks! (For all the cooking competitions I watch, I still wasn’t clear on why deglazing should be done, or when.)

  4. Michele says:

    Thanks for a simple explanation that I can understand!

  5. mary says:

    O wow!I am a 62 year old great grandma fr the south and have been “deglazing” for 50 yrs!!!! Thanks for the simple explanation and giving it a “hoity toity” name :))

  6. Brent says:

    Fantastic! Much appreciated

  7. Bippy says:

    One of the reasons to deglaze a pan with wine/booze is that alcohol will molecularly bind with fats and oils, in ways that makes sure that the flavors of whatever you’re trying to deglaze come out better, and it’s easier.

    That’s why if you try to deglaze a pan with mushroom broth, it is so much freaking harder to get all the fond up and out than if you use white wine. The alcohol in the wine actually makes everything work just a little better- when I need to deglaze and don’t want the wine flavor as much, I just deglaze with a small amount of that first, then mix in my stock. Works wonders.

  8. Cam says:

    I write my own blog and I’m preparing a quick post about deglazing. In my experience you can use heavy-cream to deglaze as it can handle higher heats than other dairy. Let me know if you agree!

  9. Melanie says:

    I googled “how to deglaze” and your site popped up. Thank you so much for your explanantion! After dinner I plan on perusing your site!

  10. Jackie Boy says:

    Thank you for giving us such an easy and understandable explanation of what “De glazing” means and the proper way to do it.
    The little “nugget” you threw in about “Fond” was also something I never knew before.

    Jackie Boy

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