Why The Size Of Your Pan Matters For A Reduction

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According to Better Homes & Gardens, using the pot or pan that the recipe calls for when reducing liquids is a huge must, as the surface area of the pan affects how much liquid is exposed to oxygen, yielding a quicker rate of evaporation for larger pots or pans, and a slower rate of evaporation for smaller pots or pans. Most recipes will say the size of pot or pan they recommend, the temperature the burner should be on, and how long it should simmer. This information is essential for those attempting a specific recipe for the first time.

The Spruce Eats states that, in general, a taller, narrower pan is better than a wide, shallow one because a taller pan allows you to judge better how much of your liquid has reduced, especially when a recipe calls for you to cook it until it’s an inch deep. If you cannot correctly assess the change in volume of the reduction, you will not see how quickly evaporation is occurring, and the chances that you will scorch your reduction are higher. Also, a taller, narrower pot is much easier to handle when transporting your liquid into another dish because many having easy-pour spouts built into the rim. 

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