Your preferred pan to sear steaks in and then deglaze for a wine reduction sauce afterwards ?

I wonder what type of pan you prefer for searing steaks at high heat then follow up with a deglaze to make a reduction pan wine-sauce in the same pan.

I’ve tried doing it in my carbon steel pans (and love the sear it gives on my steaks) - and if the seasoning is burnt well in to the pan, the seasoning will not come off, maybe get a bit lighter in some areas in the pan, but the seasoning can for the most part take it. If the seasoning is not burnt in well, the seasoning might flake off in some places in the pan or totally come off.

However - my problem with deglazing a carbon steel pan in wine is, that I too often get a bit of an off flavour in the wine reduction sauce. I think this off flavour comes from tiny bits of the seasoning bond, that comes off in very small pieces and gives the sauce a bit of an off taste (according to my tastebuds)
I don’t get the same off flavour, when I make the same reduction wine pan sauce in my PLY and copper pans, si it has something to do with the seasoning layer in the carbon steel pans in my opinion.

This off flavour - I think - could be a combination of old burnt in oil, that now is considered the seasoning of the pan and perhaps also micro parts of rust particles that - no matter what I do - from time to time will come in my carbon steel pans, even though I heat my pans up empty for 8-10 minutes on my gas stovetop after washing them.

I really dislike this flavour I get from pan sauces made in my carbon steel pans.

Based on that my preferred pan to sear steaks in, then deglazing the pan to make the wine reduction sauce, is a choice between my 7-PLY pans and my copper bimetal pans.

Let me hear what pan you prefer to use for this.

Cast iron. No equal.

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Stainless steel ply. If I need to sear, and deglaze/baste with any acids it’s a no brainer.


If it is that metallic off taste you want to avoid, then stainless steel is the way to go. You can sear and heat up high and not have any additional taste. Cast iron and carbon steel can leech metal taste, especially with acidic liquid


SS hybrid or thick disc frying pans. I find thinner SS clad pans don’t hold enough heat to sear thick steaks properly or spread the heat evenly. My two favorites for this task are the Paderno GG 28 cm and the Lagostina Accademia Lagofusion 28 cm. Both need some decent cooling time before deglazing, unless you want the liquid to splatter all over your cooktop. If I’m not making a sauce I’ll use a cast iron skillet I’ve preheated in the oven. And ultimately I hope to use a grill for this task almost exclusively!

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De Buyer carbone plus (carbon steel), and Mauviel 2.3mm stainless steel lined copper. They are equally good for this purpose so I’ll pick the pan that best fits the size of the steak (or fish).

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Raw cast iron or ECI ?

To me raw cast iron gives me the exact same off flavour when delagzing in wine, that I get from carbon steel - and I’m 100% sure it’s coming from the seasoning in the pan.

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I get this off flavour when deglazing in wine in my carbon steel pans.
I can simply not get over it - I detest the flavour from wine reduction pan sauces made in my carbon steel pans now.


De Buyer - as seen here, from around 10 min in. He is using lemon juice to make a pan sauce, which is acidic just like wine.


Yes, you told us before. Why not just use another pan then?

We should use whatever is working for us, and that may be different for different people (as this thread already suggests).

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a well seasoned cast iron or “black steel” pan will not have the least metal contact with an acid deglaze - and absolutely impart no ‘metallic taste’

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Enameled cast iron allows excellent sear and non-reactive deglazing. A reach-for in my kitchen.


On HungryOnion ?
I think that was on Chowhound, I could be wrong though…

Well, he’s not really deglazing the pan is he, but I get the point.

Btw a very nice informative video - the chef takes us through each step of his cooking process and takes his time explaining exactly what he does.

But it may contain small tiny parts of the seasoning, which is old polymerised burnt in oil - and that can also have an off flavour.

Use Cast Iron.

If you are getting a “tinny” or metallic taste deglazing a CI pan, the culprit is probably one of two issues (or both).

  1. Improper seasoning/curing. The CI pan is not well-seasoned and/or cured with a good fat. And by good fat I mean lard, not even bacon fat or schmaltz, as both have too much salt. And certainly not an oil of any kind.

  2. Time. Deglazing for too long may create an undertone of the pan’s underlining quiddity. I would deglaze no more than necessary to release the fond and try to avoid re-boiling the sauce after the fond has released. (And if you want to further reduce/thicken the sauce, do it in a copper pan that you do not find offensive)

These two all too commonly encountered issues suggest that enameled cast iron may well be the solution. Acquiring and maintaining sufficient resilient seasoning is not everyone’s forte. And having to minutely time reductions in order to avoid off-flavors would be a deal-breaker for me.


I totally agree with you.

Having to almost time for how long you deglaze a raw cast iron pan or a carbon steel pan in order to not ‘over deglaze the pan’ sounds like less of an ídeal solution and implies, that neither raw cast iron nor carbon steel pans are well suited for deglazed red wine sauces (most of us know this), yet still it’s tempting and useful to be able to deglaze an expensive piece of steak you just seared in your pan to make a nice red wine reduction sauce in the same pan.

I have been experimenting in rotation now with carbon steel, 5-ply stainless, and hard-anodized aluminum, because I love sirloin steak and picanha and my grocer keeps sticking whole top sirloins in the cryovac into the case ever 3 weeks, so I’ve been snapping them up. What i mean is, I’ve been eating steak a lot more than usual.

The hard-anodized aluminum I’ve only been using a month or so now since the generous folks here explained where I was going wrong with it. Now it has a nice seasoning that rivals my CS Matfer’s seasoning, which readily cooks eggs even at lower temps over-easy with no stick.

I can’t tell any difference between the 3, taste-wise, so I suspect my palate or my nose isn’t as refined as yours (or my nose may not be quite as recovered from Covid as I think it is).

Also, I’m generally using Madeira for reduction because it’s a favorite and I have it on hand at the moment. I don’t keep much wine here, usually only buying for specific purposes. So I rarely reduce e.g. a cab sauv unless I’m making a roast for a larger family gathering - and then I’m doing it in a separate saucepan in any event.

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No one said cooking was easy.

If it was, everyone would be fat.

Oh wait, nevermind.

Carry on.