So you're scorching your pan?

Updated: Oct 30, 2019

I keep seeing things about people burning/scorching their pans and can't quite figure out what's wrong. I'm going to do my best to cover the biggies and give you at least one idea you've likely never thought of.


First I'm going to ask a favor. When you're done reading this make sure to comment at the bottom. If you think I don't know what I'm talking about say so, heck share it with your friends and say "look at this guy calling himself a Chef, he has no idea what he's talking about." If you agree let me know, share it with your friends, you know how we like to see that other Chefs see the world similar to ourselves, get a good laugh out of it.


So the first rule I want you to put in your mind: nothing browns in the presence of liquid. That means exactly what that says. That being said, if say a roast has direct contact with the bottom of the pot or pan and the heat is too high it will certainly still burn all the same.

That brings us to the next point: controlling the heat which is actually one of the key points in becoming a Chef I will be covering in the near future. If you often find yourself burning things turn down the heat. Now, as an amateur you have no doubt noticed it's very difficult to gauge the heat on electric stove tops; this is precisely why we Chefs prefer gas. Keep in mind the more ingredients you have in a pot the more likely you are to have ingredients sinking and sticking to the bottom of the pot so be sure to stir often.

Now about that trick. Par-cook (cook most of the way but not completely) the solids in the pot then dump them into a pan on the side (its real hard to burn something that's not in the pot). This works best for soups (like some good ol' gumbo for instance). The best part is that light brown goodness you see at the bottom of the pot is flavor begging to be released. How do you do that? Pick your liquid. If you're making chicken noodle soup pour in just a bit of chicken stock (just enough to coat the bottom and in or less) and start scraping with a metal spoon. Once it stops boiling add the rest of your stock, let it reduce to the thickness you're looking for, season it appropriately. Once it tastes right add in the contents in that pan on the side to heat it back up then BOOM great soup, no burns.


No, this isn't exactly easy, but that's why Personal Chefs exist isn't it?


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