1st Cook: All About Searing Stuff

Alright, folks - let’s talk about searing things.

If you’re into a nice golden crust after sous vide, searing will help you make that dream come true. :wink:

General Rule of Thumb

Searing is super useful - it adds flavor and a nice golden crust, but it’s not totally necessary for everything. Foods cooked sous vide like chicken breast and salmon are great, even without the sear. I personally love to sous vide chicken breast and just chop it up into a salad (without searing it).

###What is searing?

It’s a cooking technique done with high temperatures to get that drool-worthy golden crust over the surface of your meat.

Some Popular Searing Methods:

  • Pan frying
  • Grilling
  • Roasting
  • Torch

Searing Tips

  1. Pat your meat dry with paper towels, prior to searing.

  2. Turn up the heat real hot!

  3. Use an oil with a high smoke point. Suggestions:

  • Avocado oil
  • Peanut oil

Suggestion from the community:
ghee, peanut, avocado, sunflower, safflower, pomace, extra light olive, grapeseed, rice bran. from @acs

ghee, animal fat. from @Ember

  1. For thinner cuts of meat, be careful on searing time. A long sear can raise desired internal temperatures.

  2. Flip meat on all sides to get an even sear.

From The Community:
Steaks: Reverse Sear vs Sous Vide, from @fischersd

Video: The Secret To The Perfect Sear, from @HunterC

What’s Everyone Favorite Searing Method

From Everywhere Else:

Comprehensive Searing Guide: Part One – Indoor

Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Searing

The Food Lab’s Complete Guide to Pan-Seared Steaks

Other First Cook Essentials to Check Out:

First Cook Essentials: Time + Temperature

First Cook Essentials: Setting Timer + Switching

##A useless GIF to ruin everyone’s day:

If you have more tips, add on to the topic below. :slight_smile:

Rice bran oil is another high smoke point oil with a neutral taste which is great for searing. No idea of the price there, but here it is cheaper than either peanut or canola oil.

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Canola oil smoke point is only at 400F. It’s a terrible choice. Plus, it imparts flavors, and not good ones. The omega oils breaking down is why it smells like bad fish.

Peanut is about 450F, avocado is 520F. These are both good.

You would be much better with Sunflower (450F), Safflower (510F), Pomace (460F), Extra Light Olive (465F) or Grapeseed (485F). Rice Bran oil is also good, but I don’t know the smoke point for it offhand, IIRC it’s around the same as grapeseed, it’s just hard to find in the US.

Some Grapeseed oils can be a bit sketchy on how they are extracted. Best to research the brand you are considering to find out if they use hexane to extract the oils. Personally, I would avoid these brands.

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Thanks for your input! @acs

Oh, can’t believe I forgot this one, another good oil for searing is ghee. It has a really high smoke point (480) and has a slightly nutty flavor and silky “texture”.

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Oh yeah, I’ve been hearing a lot about ghee. Didn’t know about it until I entered the world of sous vide. @acs

Ghee is magical stuff. All the good high temp oil with the bonus flavour echoes of the butter it was made from.

I also use animal fats, often left in the pan from the use before. Scottish heritage and trained by an old fashioned country cook. :wink:

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YES to animal fats! Especially when it’s from bacon. :heart_eyes: Nothing goes wasted! @Ember