Deglazing a pan means to loosen and then scrape up the browned bits of food that stick to the bottom. Those brown bits are where all the flavours are, and this is called the “fond.” By deglazing the pan, you can use the fond as the basis for a delicious sauce.

Deglazing liquids 

Almost any cold liquid can be used for deglazing, although you should avoid dairy products as they may curdle. You can also use water, although this will not add any extra flavour.

  • Red or white wine
  • Beer
  • Stock (chicken, beef, vegetable or fish)
  • Whiskey or brandy
  • Vermouth
  • Fruit juice
  • Vinegar (apple cider, balsamic etc.)
  • Cooking liquid left from cooking from pasta or dried beans


How to deglaze a pan

  • Brown the meat and/or vegetables for your meal.
  • Remove the browned meat and/or vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  • Make sure that there is nothing burnt onto the pan; the fond should be deep brown, not blackened.
  • Pour off most of the fat from the pan.
  • Turn the heat up to high.
  • Add enough of your deglazing liquid to coat the bottom of the hot pan by about ½cm. The liquid will come up to a boil very quickly.
  • Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the fond as the liquid boils.
  • Once the fond is dispersed throughout the liquid, turn down the heat. Use the flavoursome liquid in the pan as the basis for your sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat for a moment when adding alcoholic liquids to avoid singed eyebrows! Boozy liquids such as wine or brandy work very well in deglazing, but remember to simmer them for 3-4 minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off.