How do you quickly reduce sauce?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you quickly reduce sauce?  We will explain the process of reducing a sauce step-by-step and explain the difference between thickening and reducing a sauce.

If you want to give your recipes a new twist, keep reading our tips and put them into practice!

How do you quickly reduce sauce?

To quickly reduce the sauce, you have to simmer it on high heat for a few minutes until some of the liquid is evaporated. Be careful not to burn the sauce, though! 

When reducing a sauce, the first thing you should know is the process. This consists of making the excess water and the alcohol evaporate to the minimum in a certain way. This will quickly thicken the liquids.

  1. Defrosting –  When you finish cooking some type of meat, poultry, or vegetables, you will see that there are caramelized remains adhered to the bottom of the trays or cauldrons. With the help of a wooden spoon, begin to peel them off while raising the burner’s temperature.
  1. Wine and spices – The next step in reducing a sauce is to add liquid, whether it be white or red wine, beer, sherry, or something spiced. Many gastronomy experts point to this as the key step to unite all the flavors and aromas of the preparation. Let everything boil for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Creaminess -Another gourmet trick you can follow when reducing a sauce is to make a “roux”. You will only need a teaspoon of butter or oil and a little flour. Mix well and dissolve until smooth. French chefs make use of this resource to make it more substantial and with a touch of shine.
  1. Season and strain – After everything is integrated, season and strain turn off the heat and rectify sugar, salt, and acids. Finally, you just have to strain to remove any solid residue. Ready!

Additional tip: You’ll know the sauce is done when you run a finger over the spoon, and the line stays intact.

What does it mean to thicken and reduce a sauce? We explain it to you

Next, we are going to talk more about sauces, although rather about their preparation. Specifically, we will stop at two prevalent terms, thicken and reduce, which curiously, many people have told us that they confuse them.

First of all, we are going to talk about the term thicken. Binding a sauce, or even another liquid, basically consists of thickening. For this, we use elements such as flour, starch, or egg yolks. Although there are other types of thickeners nowadays, for example, avoid the use of gluten that, as we have told you before, celiacs cannot take.

The most common is to use flour, although I go to corn flour because it works very well with little. The usual thing is to previously dilute a tablespoon of flour before incorporating it into the sauce, for example in a little broth that we have reserved or in milk (if the sauce has it). 

This is done to avoid lumps, as it is better-diluted cold than hot. However, you can also make a mixture of flour and butter and add small balls to the sauce, with a very manageable texture; with this we are not forced to increase the sauce by adding more liquid, and the butter will always provide a touch of flavor that will enrich the sauce. 

Generally, it will be enough to make gentle turns with the same pan in which we are preparing the sauce, although the trick of using a small sieve making circles is perfect for light and fine sauces but with the body.

On the other hand, we have the term reduce, which is about concentrating and thickening a liquid through evaporation and boiling. As the sauce also thickens, they are often confused, but in this case, we did not use any thickener to achieve this. 

The use of the reduction of a sauce is to make it more concentrated. Therefore it is not only the texture but the flavor that makes us choose this technique. To reduce a sauce, leave it over high heat for a few minutes, we will notice how little by little it evaporates and obtain a sauce with more body, sometimes even caramelized.

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

What can I use instead of bechamel sauce?

How much sauce do I need for 1 pound of spaghetti?

How do you make a sauce less spicy?

Final thoughts

Reducing a sauce is one of the fastest culinary techniques students and foodies alike learn. It is very simple and ideal to intensify the flavors of broths, baked dishes, and even syrups for desserts.

Thickening and reducing a sauce are very common techniques in the kitchen so it is not surprising that they are used in multiple recipes. Now that we have explained it, I hope you have no doubts about the sauce recipes, and if so, do not hesitate to ask us or tell us about your experiences below.


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