Knowing how to sear meat is a must for every foodie like us! Check out these tips and learn how to sear meat beautifully!
Tips On How To Sear Meat Like A Pro
One way to build flavor in meat is to sear it. By exposing meat to very high temperature, you get a nice, crisp, golden brown or caramelized exterior without overcooking its center (hence, a beautiful steak). The deep and complex flavor brought out from searing meat can greatly improve the taste of a simple braise, stew, or soup. If you’re a foodie like us, knowing how to sear meat is a must. Check out these simple steps on how to sear meat and start cooking!
1. Use the right kind of pan.
Use a cast iron skillet or a heavy stainless steel pan with a thick bottom when searing meat. You essentially need a pan which can retain very high heat and be able to distribute heat quickly and evenly. A pan made from thin material simply won’t do and might even be unsafe to use.
2. Prepare the meat properly.
You can sear different types and cuts of meat. So, prepare the meat as you see fit for the dish you have in mind. If you’re planning to sear steak, make sure it has a beautiful marbling.
Remember you can’t just take out the meat from your fridge and sear it immediately on the pan. For best results, take it out of the fridge thirty minutes to an hour before cooking and get it to room temperature. Make sure to pat the meat with paper towels as well. This removes the extra moisture and helps its surface to caramelize swiftly and evenly. When meat is watery, it gets ‘steamed’ instead of being seared.
3. Season the meat.
Season meat with salt and pepper and other spices of your choosing. You want the seasoning to spread out evenly, just like what the Humble Beginnings Food did. Make sure you do this just when you’re about to put it on the pan. If salt stays on the meat for too long, it draws out moisture, which is not exactly beneficial to the process.
If you’re using marinated meat, make sure you dry it well with paper towels before searing. Other people sprinkle a bit of sugar on the meat to boost caramelization. Try this if you want; just remember not to go crazy with the sugar because it burns very quickly.
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4. Heat the skillet and add some oil.
You need to set the skillet on high heat, anywhere between 400 to 450°F, to get a good sear. Then add a little oil to the pan, just enough to thinly coat the surface. When the oil ripples or runs very smoothly, the pan is hot enough.
5. Sear the meat.
Gently and carefully lay the meat on the pan with a non-plastic tongs. Expect an aggressive sizzling sound when you do this. The sound actually tells you the oil is hot enough and the meat is getting a good initial sear.
If the meat has more fat on one side, lay the fattiest side on the pan first (e.g. chicken skin-side down). Remember to lay the meat away from you to avoid the oil from splashing on you.
6. Make sure the meat has caramelized well.
Do not move the meat for about two to three minutes—the length of time varies depending on the level of heat and the thickness of the meat. What’s important is you don’t move it immediately after hitting the pan.
Quickly check the meat after a few minutes. The seared side should be crusty and have a lovely caramel color. If it’s ready, flip it over to sear the other side. Again, let it enjoy a good sizzle before disturbing it.
When all sides of the meat finally get seared, you can continue cooking it as you wish—perhaps roasting the meat or braising it. Or, like the case for pan-seared steaks, you take it off the pan and let it rest before serving with delicious gravy.
7. Remember these basic tips.
Before you try searing meat, here are a few more tips:
- Use high and direct heat.
- Do not put a lot of meat on the pan. There should be ample space between each piece.
- Again, just to emphasize it further, do not to fuss with the meat. Leave it alone while it’s searing.
- Deglaze the pan with wine or broth and make a delicious sauce or gravy from it.
Learn more about how to sear meat in this video by Saveur Magazine:
Knowing how to sear meat brings your cooking skills up a notch! If you don’t know how to do this yet, don’t miss this chance and start learning ASAP. Follow a simple recipe and start with basic cuts of meat. Enjoy trying out this technique!
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