Chronically impatient in the kitchen, searing meat used to seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming step to me. On the contrary, searing is critically important to your dish’s depth of flavor. And, frankly, it requires nothing more than patience. The process is simple:
- Hot pan, Dry meat – Skip the non-stick surface, and use a stainless steel or a cast iron skillet. Add a tablespoon of oil, swirl it around to get an even coating on the pan, and set the pan set over high heat. As the pan heats, pat the meat dry so moisture in the pan doesn’t steam instead of sear. Just as the oil starts smoke, you’re ready to add the meat.
- Don’t crowd the pan – If you’re cooking smaller pieces of meat, like for a stew, leave an inch of space between the pieces of meat to ensure even cooking and to keep the pan temperature smoking hot.
- Leave it then shake it – Once the meat is in the pan, don’t touch it. If left on its own, meat will initially stick to the bottom of the pan and then miraculously release itself when seared. After a few minutes, shake the pan. If the meat releases and moves around freely, it’s ready to be flipped.
Test out your searing abilities with our Creamy Lime Pasta Salad with Seared Salmon.