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Cooking technique / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Searing (or pan searing) is a technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food (usually meat such as beef, poultry, pork, seafood) is cooked at high temperature until a browned crust forms. Similar techniques, browning and blackening, are typically used to sear all sides of a particular piece of meat, fish, poultry, etc. before finishing it in the oven. To obtain the desired brown or black crust, the meat surface must exceed 150 °C (300 °F), so searing requires the meat surface be free of water, which boils at around 100 °C (212 °F).[citation needed]

Seared tuna, one of few foods not cooked through after searing
Searing a steak after smoking for 2 hours

Although often said to "lock in the moisture" or "seal in the juices", in fact, searing results in a greater loss of moisture than cooking to the same internal temperature without searing.[1] Nonetheless, it remains an essential technique in cooking meat for several reasons:[citation needed]

  • The browning creates desirable flavors through the Maillard reaction.
  • The appearance of the food is usually improved with a well-browned crust.
  • The contrast in taste and texture between the crust and the interior makes the food more interesting.

Searing does not cause caramelization, which affects only sugars, or simple carbohydrates; the Maillard reaction involves reactions between amino acids and some sugars.[citation needed]

Typically in grilling, the food will be seared over very high heat and then moved to a lower-temperature area of the grill to finish cooking. In braising, the seared surface flavors and colors the cooking liquid.[citation needed]