How to Flambe Safely

At a dinner party, flambe offers a dramatic presentation. The term "flambe" means "flaming" or "flamed." Cooking foods flambe adds the rich, complex flavor of a liquor without adding any alcohol -- it is burned off in the cooking process. Though certain safety precautions are required, with a little practice, almost anyone can learn how to flambe. Remember to use extreme caution when cooking flambe due to the open flames. Do not use liquors that are higher than 80-proof to flambe. They can be volatile and dangerous.

Things You'll Need

  • Flambe pan with lid
  • Flame source, such as long, fireplace matches or a propane gas torch
  • Brandy or 80-proof liquor


    • 1

      Heat the brandy, liquor or liqueur in a saucepan until it is just boiling around the edges. You can also heat it in a microwave; 30-45 seconds in a microwave-safe dish at 100 percent power.

    • 2

      Heat the foods you want to flambe in a deep, round, long-handled pan. Cooking times vary depending on the recipe.

    • 3

      Remove the pan from heat and carefully add the liquor. Make sure it's not close to an open flame source as this can cause an explosion.

    • 4

      Place the pan back on the heat and light the fumes of the liquor at the edge of the pan with a long wooden match. Get flames going as soon as possible after adding the liquor, as prolonged exposure to alcohol can damage the flavor of your dish.

    • 5

      Shake the pan back and forth until all of the flames have died out. At this point you will have gained the delicious flavor of the brandy or liquor, but without the alcohol, which will have burned off. Serve the dish immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • Select a brandy, liquor or liqueur that has a flavor complementary to the food you are cooking.
  • If you don't want to use liquor in your cooking, place sugar cubes soaked in a flavored extract along the edges of the pan and ignite.
  • Before you light it, heat the food that you want to flambe. Cold foods can cool down the warm liquor and make it difficult to light.
  • Do not carry the flaming pan. Do not lean over the pan as you light it.
  • Do not pour the liquor directly into the pan from the bottle if it is near an open flame. The flame can travel up into the bottle and cause it to explode.
  • Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat or flame and should not be exposed to prolonged sunlight.
Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Rade Lukovic/iStock/Getty Images

You May Also Like

  • How to Flame Vodka

    Cooking with vodka has been a tradition in many kitchens for years. Adding a vodka flambé to a recipe can add an...

  • The Best Steak Restaurants in Fairfax County, VA

    Other items that are available include shrimp flambe, salmon steak, lobster, chicken liver, fried rice, seaweed salad, avocado salad, miso soup, ...

  • How to Cook With Cognac

    Flambé, which means 'flamed' in French, is a technique by which liquor is added to a hot pan, ... Cognac is brandy...

  • How to Make Teppanyaki

    Teppanyaki is a Japanese dish that consists of meat, often steak, that is prepared on a flattop griddle. Teppan means iron plate...

  • How to Cook Japanese Teppanyaki

    Steak is a favorite food of many people, and comes in many different cuts, thicknesses and textures. Some chefs like to score......

  • How to Flame a Christmas Pudding

    The term "flambé" (flahm-BAY) is a French word meaning "flaming" or "flamed." Cooking... How to Reheat Bread Pudding. Bread pudding rescues stale...

  • How to Caramelize Apples

    If you are using apple brandy instead of juice, add just 3 tbsp. of brandy and carefully flambe. Once the flames subside,...

  • Desserts With Liquors

    Flambe is a French culinary term that means flaming or flamed. ... Bananas Foster is an American dessert that features bananas served...

  • Non-Alcoholic Substitute for Grand Marnier

    Grand Marnier is a distilled orange-flavored liqueur made by macerating orange peels in brandy or grain alcohol. ... or to flambe oranges...

  • How to Distill Isopropyl Alcohol

    At a dinner party, flambé offers a dramatic presentation. The term "flambé" (flahm-BAY) is a French word meaning "flaming" or "flamed." Cooking...

  • How to Make Greek Flaming Cheese

    Pour warm brandy over cheese. Ignite with candle lighter. 7. Squeeze lemon halves over cheese to extinguish flames. Enjoy with fried or...

Related Ads

Related Searches
View Photos

Deviled Eggs Almost Too Cute to Eat

Recent Blog Posts
15 Ways to Enjoy the “Clean Fifteen”
by Mary Dacuma

The Environmental Working Group released it’s annual Clean Fifteen, a list of 15 fruits and vegetables that are perfectly safe even when they aren’t organic. This year’s list includes: Asparagus Avocado Cabbage Cantaloupe Cauliflower Eggplant Grapefruit Kiwi Mangoes Onions Papayas … Read more

Chocolate Mousse Cakes for the New Year
by Ashlae Warner

New Years Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not only does it serve as the perfect excuse to buy a new dress and let someone else paint your nails for once, but it also provides great reason … Read more

See all posts