What is the difference between saute and caramelize?

When it comes to onions?

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    saute usually means cooking until the onions are translucent, caramelize means cooking until they are a deep brown. some people add a little sugar at the translucent stage and turn down the heat a bit to get caramelization.

    more technically, all vegetables contain an amount of naturally occurring sugars. caramelize refers to cooking the vegetables to the point of the sugars coming to the surface (along with evaporating h2o) and browning. That brown glaze that begins to form on the bottom of a pan during cooking is actually very small granules of sugar turning in to caramel, the common name for sugar cooked to the point of browning or blackening.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Saute' uses very little fat and high heat. It is the western version of a wok stir-fry.

    To caramelize something is to brown the sugars in it. Believe it or not onions have both sugar ans starch. These both can be browned by continuing the saute' much past the cooked phase until they are brown.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramelization

    You can caramelize with high or low heat. But with high heat you must watch the onions and keep them moving in the pan.

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  • Dave C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Basically, caramelize is a "doneness" level while saute is a cooking method.

    Saute is to cook in a skillet, with onions you cook until translucent while when you caramelize is to saute the onions until they're brown or to even chocolate brown color.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Saute is a process by which food is cooked, usually with a small amount of oil in a shallow pan with a handle. The food is either agitated over high heat by shaking the pan, or stirring the ingredients. Sauteing is a way of cooking that is quick and efficient.

    Carmelize is a word that refers to the browning of food by bringing the sugar in the item to the surface through high heat, and searing it. You may caramelize food by sauteing it, toasting it under an open flame, roasting it over an open flame. or putting it on any hot surface long enough for it to brown.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You Saute the onions to get them to Caramelize

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  • Sheila
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Saute is just frying to cook and brown the food item. Caramelize is actually cooking the item, usually with sugar or sugar based item, til the "water" is cooked out, leaving caramelized sugar.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Saute requires constant movement (stirring), until the onions are translucent. Carmelizing (YUMMY!) is frying the onion until it turns brown. Onions contain sugar, so when you fry long enough the sugar comes out and turns the onions brown.

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  • mamad
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    when you saute say onions, you are just softening them up and getting some of the moisture out. To caramalize you want to get a nice good brown color on them. You are browning the natural sugars and developing flavor.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sauteeing is cooking something to a crisp tender consistency.

    Caramelizing is cooking long enugh to draw out the natural sugars and then let them start to brown and caramelize.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Caramelized onions have a distinct light brown color and rich flavor it's all in how long you cook the onions

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