caramelize

To caramelize is to slowly cook a food until it turns sweet, nutty, and brown. You can also caramelize pure sugar, or cook it until it melts, becoming golden-brown, sweet, and thick.

When a cook caramelizes chopped onion, she gently cooks it in butter or oil, usually for a long time at a low temperature, until the sugars in the onion begin to brown and become very sweet. She caramelizes sugar by cooking it until it melts and reaches a certain temperature. The verb caramelize comes from caramel, or "burnt sugar" in French.

Definitions of caramelize
1

v convert to caramel

Synonyms:
caramelise
Type of:
convert
change the nature, purpose, or function of something

v be converted into caramel

“The sugar caramelized
Synonyms:
caramelise
Type of:
convert
change in nature, purpose, or function; undergo a chemical change

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.