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Reduction In Cooking | Reduce Definition | How To Reduce Sauce

Reduction Definition

Reduce or reduction in cooking means to thicken and intensify the flavour of a liquid by simmering until the liquid reduces in volume, so the flavour is concentrated.

This process is used generally on soups and sauces and is similar to deglazing.
To Deglaze involves less reduction and a slower cooking of the contents. (see Deglaze).

Reduction is performed by simmering or boiling a liquid such as stock, fruit or vegetable juices, wine, vinegar, or a sauce until the desired concentration is reached by the evaporation of the lighter liquid contents.
This is done without a lid, enabling the vapor to escape from the mixture.

While reduction in cooking does concentrate the flavours left in the pan, reducing too much will remove all the liquid in the sauce.
This will leave you with a burnt, sticky mess on your pan.

How To Reduce Sauce

This method works well with most sauces, because as a sauce heats up, the water will evaporate, leaving a thicker and more concentrated sauce behind.

Reducing a sauce will particularly concentrate sweet, sour, and salty flavours, but it may also reduce some of the herb and spice flavours, so taste the sauce as it reduces and be prepared to adjust the seasonings when it has fully reduced.

  1. Bring your sauce to a Simmer. Don’t let it boil.
  2. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
    As the water evaporates and the sauce reduces in quantity, it will continue thickening.
  3. Reduce until you achieve the desired consistency.
    If you aren’t working from a recipe, the rule of thumb is that a sauce is ready when it reaches a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon without running off.

How To Reduce A Sauce

How to reduce liquid in a pan to concentrate its flavours for making a sauce or gravy.

How to make a simple reduction with Curtis Stone

What’s a reduction? Chef Curtis Stone explains, and shows how to prepare your own using balsamic vinegar.
You can also make an easy, thick reduction using port, red wine or even orange juice.

How To Reduce Balsamic Vinegar

Here KitchenLingo demonstrates what it means to “reduce” in cooking terms anyone can use.
Who knew learning could be so tasty?

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Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry is the author of Good Food To Eat, a website that provides recipes and cooking help.He is a home cook who enjoys sharing his passion for food with others. Lowry’s mother is a chef, and she taught him the basics of cooking and baking when he was young.He also has experience running a catering business with his wife, specializing in finger foods and full meals for people with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb.Through his various cooking experiences, Lowry has learned what makes a great recipe: simple to follow, yet delicious and satisfying. That’s why he focuses on creating step-by-step recipes that are easy for anyone to make, regardless of their cooking skills.