Deglazing 101

As you work toward your online culinary certificate, you might come across unfamiliar terms for cooking techniques. Al dente? Blanch? Dredge? Julienne? What’s in a name? In fact, these terms  are more than mere names. They  are used worldwide among chefs trying to create the perfect dish. One common cooking technique you should know is deglazing.

By definition, deglaze means to pour a cold liquid into a boiling pan in order to get any brown pieces of ingredients stuck to the bottom and sides. The chunks of food glued to the pan are called the “fond” and usually store most of the flavor for the dish. If everything smells favorable, those particles are not actually burnt and can still be used to cook. In the French language, fond means “bottom.”

Deglazing might occur when you are trying to make gravy. As bits get stuck to the side, you add water to incorporate them into the stew. Adding chicken or vegetable stock to a pan of sauteed onions or mushrooms is also a form of deglazing.

The deglaze procedure boosts flavor to any dish if the proper steps are followed. A recipe does not necessarily have to call for the action. It is up to you whether you want to create an added taste in your food or soup.

The best part of the process? Deglazing makes the cleanup a bit easier as the fond stuck to the pan is scraped up and included in the meal.

How to deglaze:
The ritual of deglazing is not time-consuming and can be done with different liquids. Once you have ingredients cooking on the stove, ensure that bits and chunks on the bottom are not actually burnt. Then, turn the heat all the way up and quickly add a cold liquid into the pan. Soon the liquid and fond will rise up. You can then use a spatula to scrape off any remaining fond.

After you are satisfied with the inclusion of the flavorful fond in your dish, you can turn off the heat and continue cooking normally.

Wine, water, beer, fish stock, vegetable stock, fruit juice and vinegar can all be used to deglaze fond.

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