How to Deglaze a Pan

Pack your meal with flavorful pan drippings using this easy technique.

Deglaze the pan

After sauteing or roasting meat, make a simple gravy or pan sauce by incorporating the browned bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. Deglazing provides a yummy sauce to serve with your meat and makes cleanup easier as well. Follow this recipe for guidelines on how to deglaze your pan.

1. Trim fat from two beef steaks, such as top loin, ribeye, or tenderloin, cut about 3/4 inch thick. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. If possible, do not use a nonstick skillet. Add 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter; reduce heat to medium. Cook steaks for about 3 minutes per side or until medium rare (145 degrees F). Cover steaks with foil; let stand for 5 minutes while preparing the sauce.

2. Drain fat from skillet. Add 1/3 cup dry red wine or apple juice, 1/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or 1 clove of minced garlic to the hot skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat. Deglaze the pan by scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Serve sauce over steak

3. Stir in 1 tablespoon whipping cream (no substitutions). Add 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until butter melts and sauce thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Serve sauce over steak

Serve sauce over steak.

Poultry Works Just as Well

Deglaze the pan

Beef isn't the only meat that works for deglazing. Those flavorful bits that remain after roasting poultry are also fair game to make a delicious pan sauce or chicken stock.

Deglazing Tip

Regular pans -- not nonstick -- work best for deglazing.

Chicken with Pan Sauce

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