Here's What A Sauce Reduction Really Means

There are many ways to make incredible sauces, and when you're in a pinch, you can even make marinara sauce in just 15 minutes. But what about when you want to get fancy for a dinner party or just for fun? Often, sauce recipes call for a liquid reduction, and if you have the time, this can make your sauce shine. 

Before you go ahead and start the reduction process, it's important to understand what exactly a reduction is and why you might want to consider making one. The Spruce Eats writes that reductions are a cooking technique for "concentrating flavors, adding new flavors, and manipulating the texture and consistency of the liquid," and according to the website, a reduction is what's leftover when you simmer down a liquid to make it thicker. If you want your sauce to really pack a punch, a reduction is absolutely the way to go.

How to reduce a liquid

Reducing a liquid for a sauce is simple, and all you need to do is be patient since it does take some time. According to Food Republic, you can make a reduction with just one ingredient, for example, red wine. Regardless of whether your reduction is one liquid or the goal is to create a thicker sauce, the process is the same. Just slowly heat your liquid or sauce on the stove and let the water evaporate.

Bon Appétit provides more tips and tricks to make the best reduction possible, like using a wider pot so the sauce reduces more quickly because there's more surface area. However, The Spruce Eats warns that using a pan that's too shallow might make it more difficult to determine if the liquid has reduced enough. According to Bon Appétit, you should also leave your pot uncovered, and the liquid should be simmering, so don't let it come to a boil.

To figure out if your liquid is done reducing Food Republic says it should have a similar thickness to a sauce. The whole process shouldn't prove too difficult, and it's a handy skill to have for making your sauces go the extra mile.