Deglazing: What it Is and Why Do It

September 14, 2012 32 Comments

What is deglazing and how to do it

How to Deglaze a Pan for Making Restaurant Quality Pan Sauces

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:

arrow When you pour water into the roasting pan to make gravy

arrow When you add some chicken stock to a pan of sautéed onions

arrow 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.

arrow 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

arrow Pour off most of the fat in the pan.

arrow Turn the heat up to high.

arrow 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

arrow Using a spoon or spatula, scrape up the fond as the liquid boils

arrow 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:

arrow Red or white wine

arrow Beer

arrow Stock—fish, chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.

arrow Broth

arrow Cooking liquid (water that you cooked beans in, for example)

arrow Cognac/brandy

arrow Fruit juice

arrow 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 24 February 2017 11:45 am

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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!

    • Me says:

      Heavy Cream definitely works well, but I usually would add it after deglazing with some kind of alcohol…sherry or Marsala in particular

  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

  11. jilly bean says:

    so awesome! just tried it…yay successful. very cool. thanks so much.

  12. Joe says:

    I just did it using beer. Worked great & tasted great, and as a bonus, the pan was much easier to clean. Thanks!

  13. Major_de_Coverly says:

    Thanks for an explanation in plain English.

  14. Valerie says:

    Ok, so for lasagne, after I deglaze the pan after browning the ground beef, what do I do with what’s left in the pan? Do I mix it back in with the beef, or add it to the sauce?

    • The Reluctant Gourmet says:

      Valerie, I’m not sure what lasagne recipe you are referring too, but I would most likely add it to the sauce.

  15. Michael says:

    Thanks for the tips.

    But you might want to amend this ..

    Once the fond is dispersed throughout the liquid, turn down the heat

  16. Terry says:

    No one I ever asked could clearly explain “deglazing”. Thank you for getting me to the bottom of it. Fond regards, Terry

  17. Ariana says:

    In some website I’ve read, the ‘brown bits’ are called ‘sucs'(?). Is it really called ‘sucs’ or ‘fond’? I’m confused. Thanks!

    • No worries Ariana, both terms in the United States are used interchangeably. According to Rouxbe Cooking School, the word sucs, which derives from “sucre” (French for sugar) was invented specifically to describe those caramelized bits that stick to the bottom of a pot or pan. Although the term “fond” has several meanings in cooking, one of them is described as “a classic French culinary term meaning the browned caramelized and concentrated bits or residue that remains in the pan after cooking meat.” Use either.

  18. Earl says:

    Fat is a flavor transmitter — it help to better translate the flavor to your tastebuds.

  19. Terri says:

    I am browning Italian sausage before I put it into tomato sauce finish cooking. I was wondering what I should use to deglaze the browning pan? I have red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to choose from. Which would be my best choice? Thank you in advance for your reply!I only wish I would get that reply before I was finished browning my sausages ! LOL

    • Hi Terri, I’m sure you are done cooking by now but it really depends on you personal tastes. The balsamic will give you a sweeter result than the red wine vinegar but both are perfectly acceptable.

  20. Sheri says:

    I am new to your website. I googled how to Deglaze. And yours showed up. You explained much easier then the other ones. Thank-you!!!!
    My question is, What about the fruit flavor wines? can you use them? and with what? chicken or what?

    • You can use fruit flavored wines if you like and yes, chicken would be good as well as pork or fish if you are trying to make a sweet pan sauce. How about making a pan sauce with orange marmalade made with a sweet wine for chicken breasts?

      • Sheri says:

        Hi Stephen,
        Wow, Thank-you so much!! I will try it. I get that you deglaze the pan with wine, But how do I use the Orange marmalade with the chicken breast? I am a very new gourmet cook, and I want to try the degazing. Sounds so yummy!

  21. Sheri says:

    I don’t think anyone saw my question. (above.)

    Hi Stephen,
    You mention “How about making a pan sauce with orange marmalade made with a sweet wine for chicken breasts?”

    How would I incorporate the “orange marmalade” with the sweet wine? Do I deglaze first and then put the marmalade in?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Sheri, yes, I would deglaze with the sweet wine, let it reduce in half and then add the orange marmalade. If you need some more cooking liquid to make the sauce, you could try chicken stock or even some orange juice.

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