Flambeing is certainly a flashy way of cooking, and is one of the best way to incorporate alcoholic products into your food. It’s great for fresh fruit and deserts, but it can be dangerous. You are not just working with an open flame, you are working with a potentially HUGE open flame!
There are a few things you must remember when you want to start flambeing.
- Do not allow for distractions (conversations, videos playing, etc.)
- Make sure your working area is uncluttered
- Make sure you don’t have long loose fitting shirt sleeves
- If you have long hair, tie it back
The following video will go over how to flambe in detail.
The way that flambeing works is that alcohol is not flammable, but alcohol vapour is very flammable. When you pool the alcohol in one area, the vapour gets more condensed and closer to the heat. When the vapour hits it’s flash point, the temperature at which is combusts, the vapour will light on fire.
The liquid alcohol does not burn, but the flaming vapour will heat it up. As the liquid alcohol heats up, it starts to turn into vapour faster.
Keep in mind that not all the alcohol will be burned off by flambeing. Here is a chart that shows how much alcohol remains, and gives suggestions for alcohol substitutions.