Searing steak before cooking

Newbie Question: Is it a bad idea to sear a steak before cooking in the Precison Oven?
I guess why I ask this is one could hold the internal temperature until ready to eat right from the

Oldguy, your idea’s certainly not bad as long as you think convenience is a priority over optimum flavour and appearance.

Most cooks find the flavour gained in searing suffers some loss during cooking. Also, depending on your cooking temperature, the pre-searing may contribute to some overcooking just below the meat’s surface. Your result won’t have that edge to edge uniform colour some people enjoy.

And there’s always your option of cooking the steak in your oven, searing, plating it, and holding it warm in the oven before service. That’s the technique most banquet style foodservice operations use and having your meal served on a warm plate may be considered a bonus.

You may consider the differences to be slight. It’s your decision.

Chatnoir, I really like your suggestion!!
My oven has just shipped so will probably get it next week. Could you please give me a idea of the settings on the oven for holding the steak. Such as Temperature,Humidity,Sous Vide mode etc.
And should the steak be probed during the warm time?

Thank you again

Oldguy, thank you, i’m pleased to know you like my suggestion. I have a another brand of combi-oven so the settings are likely different. Holding temperatures vary with menu items being held. I typically use low steam, about 25%, and a suitably safe holding temperature. My guests appreciate freshly cooked food. In particular i would never hold a cooked steak in advance of service.

When you receive your new oven check the manual for food holding settings. In fact, you should read the entire manual at least once before using it. The burn-in process gives you the reading opportunity.

Other Community folks please advise Oldguy on your food holding method.

On the use of a probe, it’s your decision. It mostly depends on your level of confidence with the oven. If you’re an experienced cook you may not need to. If you really are a Newbie as you said, it can’t hurt. The probe will only annoy your steak a little.

Here is my experience after a month with the Anova Oven. First, I love it! I’ve cooked sourdough bread, pork ribs, beef short ribs, large and medium prawns, custards, veggies, cookies, banana breads, steaks and more. Re the searing before cooking question - I wouldn’t do if for a steak if it’s mainly for convenience (as per other comments) and there really isn’t any other good reason, in my opinion. Once you’ve reached your desired internal temperature (using the probe) for rare, medium rare etc., I believe you’d be fine to hold it there for up to a couple of hours if you wish (but I’m NOT an expert), though probably 20 to 60 minutes would serve your purposes fine. Then the final step of searing to caramelize is so quick it’s easy to do just before plating. Searing one to two minutes per side in a hot pan worked perfectly for me. Then rest your steak on your warmed dinner plate while you plate your starch and veggies or whatever (and pour the wine!). On the other hand, I’ve had great results from thoroughly pre-searing beef short ribs for about a 2 to 3 hour cook, starting off with a low temp and high steam and finishing with higher temp and low steam. I figured that since, with my previous method of using a dutch oven in the “big” oven, I would always sear ribs before putting them in with liquid for a slow cook, that I should try the same with the APO. That way the flavour from the searing has a chance to enhance the taste of the ribs throughout the cook. And that way the final caramelization can be done right in the APO at the higher temp (about 375 F). It seemed to work brilliantly - they were tender and delicious. So I think this “reverse sear” method has a place based on the type of meat - but perhaps not best for a good steak! Good luck when your oven arrives!

Chatnoir,Thanks for the help. I think I have enough information now to proceed with some confidence. I also think you are a great writer, I of course am not, but do recognize your communication skills as pretty awesome!

Happycook,I can see why you call yourself Happycook, to make all of those recipes in a month is amazing. I can not wait to try the APO. I really like how you do your ribs. This will be one of the first things I will try with your procedure. Thank you very much for your reply.

Thanks Oldguy, i appreciate your comments. I’m just an old cook who discovered early on that if i wanted everything done correctly i had to clearly communicate all the necessary details to my people.
Like most things in life, with practice you improve and it gets to be a habit.

Now it’s your turn to likewise support your people.
Please remember the most important thing a restaurant manager can say to his people is, “How can i help you?”
And really listen to their answers.

Do the work, and keep well.

I would do the opposite, keep in the oven 10F or so below the wanted temp with 100% steam in sous vide mode, sear & rest when you want to eat them. I guess you could sear by switching the oven to 480F 0% steam top burner only, but a heavy very hot cast iron would definitely work.