How to Deglaze a Pan

Deglazing a pan
Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

Deglazing a pan involves adding liquid, such as stock or wine, to a pan to loosen and dissolve food particles that are stuck to the bottom after cooking or searing. The cooked food particles, known as fondare the source of immense flavor. The flavorful mixture produced by deglazing can be used to make a sauce. 

Why Should You Deglaze?

Deglazing allows you to loosen the flavorful fond from the bottom of the pan and then use those bits to add flavor to your sauce. This simple technique is one professional chefs use frequently and can easily be incorporated into your home cooking routine. You do not need any complicated tools to deglaze, just a pan, some liquid, and a flat wooden spoon. 

How to Deglaze a Pan

Deglazing works best if you have just roasted a piece of meat in a pan in the oven, or maybe sautéed it in a skillet. Here's how:

  • Remove any burnt, blackened bits from the bottom of the pan prior to deglazing, and pour out most of the fat left in the pan.
  • Pour about a cup of cold liquid into the hot pan. As the liquid sizzles, use a wooden spoon to scrape along the entire bottom of the pan to loosen the fond. 
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until it's reduced by about half. 

What Liquids to Use

You'll get excellent results using wine, stock, juice, vinegar, or even beer. Likewise any leftover cooking liquid from other ingredients, like the water you simmered beans in. But don't use plain water as it won't add any flavor. 

Creating a Pan Sauce

Once you've deglazed and reduced, simply season with salt and pepper and serve it as a simple pan sauce.