How to Deglaze a 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.

Steak with Pan Sauce

A delicious pan sauce adds the finishing touch to this steak dinner for two.

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 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 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.

3. Stir in 1 tablespoon whipping cream (no substitutions). Add 4 tablespoons 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.

Poultry Works Just as Well

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

Use a homemade pan sauce to dress up sautéed steaks, chicken breasts, and fish fillets. We’ll show you how to brown the meat, what to look for when the pan sauce is done cooking, and the secrets to deglazing.


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