Sear proteins for two simple reasons: rich flavor and juicy meat. Searing provides a juice-preserving shield that holds in moisture during subsequent cooking. More important to your taste buds, when meat touches a scorching hot pan, the surface instantly begins to brown through a process called the Maillard reaction. That golden brown coating then seeps its savory, nutty flavor into your fish, stew, braise or roast.

Learn how to achieve the perfect sear here.