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Help - Culinary definition for "searing" or "pan seared" The Great Hall: Help - Culinary definition for "searing" or "pan seared"
By Marc Brazeau on Thursday, July 22, 1999 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Can anyone give me a culinary definition for "searing" as a technique? - I keep seeing "pan seared" and "pan fried" and "sauteed" all used interchangeably. thanks

By cheffrederick on Friday, July 23, 1999 - 12:38 am: Edit

Hi Marc,
Searing seals in the food juices and provides a crisp tasty exterior by browning meat or fish over very hot heat, either in a fry pan or under broiler. The fry pan with some oil must be hot, season your meat or fish first before adding to your fry pan. Seared food can then be eaten rare or roasted or braised to desired degree of doneness. You mention "sauteed" remember saute is to cook food quickly in small amount of fat, until brown in a saute pan over direct heat. the saute pan and fat must be hot before the meats or vegetables are added. This is important because otherwise the foods will become soggy if oil is not hot, the foods will just absorb the oil. "Pan fried" is basically to fry or to cook food in a hot fat or oil over moderate heat{non-submerged}for example fried pork chops.

By Marc Brazeau on Friday, July 23, 1999 - 08:29 pm: Edit

That's what I thought.


By Cheffalk (Cheffalk) on Tuesday, February 01, 2000 - 08:03 pm: Edit

One problem, Searing dosen't seal in the juices.

By Bryan Stotmeister on Friday, March 03, 2000 - 11:19 am: Edit

To elaborate a bit about searing not sealing in the juices: Harold McGee dispels this notion in his classic reference "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen".
Searing will provide a crisp exterior by carmelizing the proteins, but will NOT seal in any juices.

By brycewhit on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 05:55 am: Edit

I also read that in "On Food and Cooking". "In 1930, a study done at the University of Missouri found that meat roasted at a constant temperature actually lost less fluid than initially seared samples". Great Book!

By Junior (Junior) on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 10:13 am: Edit

brycewhit, yeah, i have mcgees also. very useful text. my question is why does everyone still do it? maybe chefmanny could elaborate? or anyone else?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 12:02 pm: Edit

Jr., I think it is still done because it does bring out a good flavor in certain products by caramelizing the protein and, it looks good for presentation.
We did some yield tests on prime ribs (ribeye, boned, cap off) )a long time ago and the premise of the study was that water boils at 212F, so why don't we cook the prime rib overnight in a roast and hold at 210F since blood is mostly water anyway. The point was that if the blood boiled at a temp. above 212F it would seep from the beef. The results were unbelieveable, we had less then 1% shrinkage in some cases, mostly 1.5% shrinkage.
The product was delicious, you could get a rare end cut!!! It cooked evenly throughout and it had a nice coat, not dry or crispy at all.
Sometimes we do things because they work for us, if you do not have a slow roast and hold, this could not be done so you make do with what you have to work with; which is the story in many kitchens over the world. My 2 cents.

By Junior (Junior) on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 04:53 pm: Edit

chefmanny,thanks for your input.

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