The Difference between Glaze and Reduction

Most people think that a glaze and a reduction are the same, and often use the terms interchangeably. If you are a perfectionist and prefer to know the finer details of the ingredients and recipes while cooking, you may want to know that there is a difference between a glaze and a reduction. Read on to learn more.

What is the Difference Between Reduction and Glaze?

  • The reduction is the process of intensifying the flavors by simmering or boiling the base stock to get a thick consistency. Aromatics such as vegetables, fruits, and wine are often added to the broth to enhance the taste of the reduction. After a while, the aromatics are removed, and the liquid is then simmered to form a thick syrup-like consistency.

  • The glaze is a slightly sweetened version of a reduction made from an unsalted stock. It is also made using basic icings and egg whites, often incorporating butter, sugar, milk, and specific oils. Granulated sugar, honey, and brown sugar are some of the sweeteners that are commonly used to make a glaze. It is applied to food typically by dipping or with a brush.

Now, that you know the difference between a glaze and a reduction, let’s discuss how balsamic reduction is different from the balsamic glaze.

Balsamic Reduction Vs. Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic vinegar is an intensely flavored vinegar made from grapes. It is often used to make balsamic glaze or reduction.

  • Balsamic reduction is made by allowing balsamic vinegar to simmer for around 15-20 minutes. It also requires some aromatics to make it more flavorful. Garlic cloves can also be added to make the balsamic reduction flavorful.
  • Balsamic glaze is also made from balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar, when cooked for a long time, turns sweet and has a syrup-like consistency. Commonly-used choice of sweeteners to make the glaze include honey, maple extract or syrup, and brown sugar.

Glaze Vs. Demi-Glace

If you frequently cook using a reduction or a glaze, you may have come across the term ‘demi-glace’ and wondered what exactly it is and how is it different from a glaze.

A demi-glace is slightly different from a glaze. In addition to using a brown stock, a basic demi-glace recipe also includes tomato puree. The remaining process of making it is similar to that of a glaze.

How to Use Balsamic Reduction and Glaze?

Both balsamic glaze and reduction can be used to enhance the taste of sweet and savory recipes. You can use them in the following dishes:

  • Salad dressing
  • Enhance the flavor of tomato-based sauces
  • To flavor fish, beef, or chicken
  • Drizzle over an appetizer