This Is The Best Kind Of Pan To Reduce A Sauce In

Reducing marinades and liquids to beautiful, sweet, or savory sauces can really add to a dish and pull all of its elements together. However, the technique of creating these reductions isn't simple or easy to say the least; they take a lot of time and attention. Per Bon Appétit, reductions are the result of a method that involves a slow simmer where water evaporates and leaves behind a thick, dense sauce. The publication goes on to share that the mark of a well-done reduction involves measuring how thick your newly-made sauce is. To do this, you place a little line of the reduction on the back of a spoon, and if it doesn't drip all over the place, then voilà, you've achieved reduction nirvana. The French call this "nappant" which translates "to cover or coat."

So, how do you reach that level of culinary paradise for your taste buds? There are several factors, one of the most important being the type of sauce pan you use to make your reduction. What type of sauce pan is best? We wish we could provide you a straightforward answer, but there are two schools of thought when it comes reductions and sauce pan size, and it is probably fair to say that the use of one requires a little more thoughtful and deliberate TLC than the other.

Wide pans vs. Tall and narrow pots

The Spruce Eats recommends a tall, narrow sauce pan for making your reductions, explaining that when compared to a wide pot, a tall, narrow pot makes it easier to judge how much of your liquid has evaporated. The site also says it lessens the likelihood that you will burn your sauce, and releases you from having to have your eyeballs glued to the simmering liquid. This is appealing if you are multi-tasking. Not to mention, when it comes time for pouring from this type of pot, it is easier to maneuver than a big wide pot. 

However, Bon Appétit has a different and contrary vantage point when it comes to pans and reduction. They share that a wide pot, specifically a Dutch oven or a sauté pan, is the ideal type of pan to use for your sauces. According to the publication this type of pot is the real time saver, noting that it allows for more surface area to heat up which decreases the amount of time needed to make your reduction. They also say that while you can use a small pot, the deeper the pot, the longer it will take to reduce. The magazine also cautions that you need to stick to the low and slow philosophy or your reduction could end up being bitter if you opt for boiling over simmering. But whichever type of sauce pot you choose, just remember not to cover it with a lid.