Flambéing – an impressive cooking technique
What does flambé mean in cooking?
Flambé is a cooking method that entails igniting a liquor, such as brandy or rum, to create a burst of flame in a hot pan. This is often done to finish dishes like steak, crepes, or bananas foster and is usually done to add a little taste and spectacle to cooking.
How do I flambé a food?
To flambé food, you will need a hot pan, a flambe torch or long-handled lighter, liquor with high alcohol content such as brandy, rum, or whisky, and the dish you wish to flambé. The major general procedure to follow when flambéing your dish is as follows:
- A skillet or pan should be preheated to medium-high heat. The pan needs to be hot enough to immediately sear the food.
- The liquor should be added to the pan and given a little while to warm up.
- Keep your hands and face away from the flame as you slowly light up the contents of the pan.
- The alcohol should catch fire and burst into flames. The alcohol soon burns off, leaving behind a strong flavour and scent. If the flame does not instantly ignite, tilt the pan gently or bring it closer to the flame to allow the fumes to contact the flame.
- Add any other ingredients you wish to the pan such as butter, herbs, or spices when the flames have subsided, then continue cooking the dish as desired.
It's important to remember that flambéing can be risky if done incorrectly, therefore while using this technique, it's crucial to be careful. Wear an apron and oven gloves. Having a lid handy to put out the flames in case they go out of control is also advised.