car·​a·​mel·​ize | \ ˈkär-mə-ˌlīz How to pronounce caramelize (audio) ; ˈker-ə-mə-, ˈka-rə-mə-\
caramelized; caramelizing

Definition of caramelize

1 transitive to subject (sugar or the sugar content of a food) to caramelization : to change into caramel (see caramel sense 1) by heating at high temperature … flan bathed in caramelized sugar and topped with whipped cream …— Penelope Casas At a restaurant, some unlucky prep cook gets to peel, slice, and caramelize bags of onions in the morning.— Stephanie Alleyne
2 intransitive : to change to caramel Fructose begins to rapidly caramelize at around 200 degrees …— Matthew Card : to undergo caramelization These sweet potatoes caramelize slightly in the oven, which gives them a sweet crunch as their flesh remains creamy.— Lesley Porcelli

Examples of caramelize in a Sentence

The onions will take five minutes to caramelize. Caramelize two cups of sugar. Continue stirring until the sugar caramelizes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Use the broiler or a blowtorch to caramelize the meringue. Tara Duggan,, "Recipe: Outerlands’ Toasted Coconut Tres Leches Cake," 13 Sep. 2019 Return the pan to the oven, reduce heat to 325°F and bake until the custard puffs and is golden brown and the jam is beginning to caramelize, about 45 minutes more. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Anya Fernald shares her signature recipes," 24 Aug. 2019 The sugar in the marinade — fragrant with fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, chiles and garlic — caramelizes on the outside of the meat, while the meat inside those crackly charred edges stays juicy. Los Angeles Times, "Up your summer grilling game with lemongrass-marinated Vietnamese pork chops," 20 Aug. 2019 When the vegetables are nicely caramelized, remove from the oven. Claire Perez,, "Cooper’s Hawk roasted veggies have the power to convert," 2 Aug. 2019 Cook, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through cooking, until the scallions in the butter are caramelized, the fillet edges are lightly charred and the fillets are all cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, depending on their thickness. Ben Mims,, "Redfish blackened with Korean chile flake butter is the perfect summer dish," 13 June 2019 The ricotta was insanely creamy but not too rich; the squash was caramelized yet tender and could be cut with a fork; and the hazelnuts added a little crunch and salt to round things out. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "This Marinated Zucchini Recipe Is Changing the Way I Make All Vegetables," 12 June 2018 Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, until the glaze is slightly caramelized. Joseph Hernandez,, "Celebrating black heritage cuisine that helps honor the past," 12 Feb. 2018 The fruit caramelizes slightly while the topping puffs up and turns golden with a texture somewhere between a scone and a biscuit. Marcy Goldman, Washington Post, "Peaches and apricots let the natural sweetness of this cobbler come through," 6 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caramelize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caramelize

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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The first known use of caramelize was in 1837

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English Language Learners Definition of caramelize

: to cook (something, such as a fruit or vegetable) slowly until it becomes brown and sweet
: to change (sugar) into caramel by cooking it

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caramelize

Comments on caramelize

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a topic to which one constantly reverts

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