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Mauviel Flambe Burner

Mauviel Flambe Burner
A copper flambe burner from Mauviel

The term flambé is a French word meaning "flaming" or "flamed." Flambé means to ignite foods that have liquor or liqueur added.

Please remember to use extreme caution here, you will be dealing with a liquid that is on fire; do not carry the dish while flaming. Keep a large metal lid to hand, to cover the dish in case your flambé gets out of hand.

Use a brandy or 80-proof liquor or liqueur. Liquors that are higher proof are too volatile when lit. Choose liquors or liqueurs that are complimentary to the food being cooked, such as fruit flavored brandies for fruits and desserts and whiskey or cognac for meats.

Heat the brandy or liquor in a saucepan, with high sides, just until bubbles begin to form around the edges. The boiling point of alcohol is 175 degrees F. (much lower than water). The liquor can also be heated in a microwave oven by heating 30 to 45 seconds in a microwave-proof dish at 100 percent power.

Use a flambé pan with rounded, deep sides and a long handle. Never pour liquor from a bottle into a pan that is near an open flame (the flame can follow the stream of alcohol into the bottle and cause it to explode). NOTE: If the dish doesn't light, it's probably not hot enough. The food to be flambéed must also be warm. Cold foods may cool down the warm liquor where it will not light.

Once you add the liquor to the pan, do not delay lighting. You don't want the food to absorb the raw alcohol and retain a harsh flavor. Ignite with a long match (such as fireplace matches or a long barbecue lighter). Always ignite the fumes at the edge of the pan and not the liquid itself. Never lean over the dish or pan as you light the fumes.

The burner itself uses parafin or meths.


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