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To sear or not to sear  

post #1 of 4
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I read your method of cooking steak, and it sounds good to me! It made me think of asking you your thoughts on searing ("Saisisement)
This is one of the arguments that apparently have waged on for years. My feeling was that searing did nothing more than to caramelize the surface increasing color and flavor , but doing absolutley nothing to seal the pores thereby retaining juices. I based this on the fact that when one burns themselves the burned ("sealed") skin will weep body fluids. Obviously then the pores may be melted to an extent but not actually sealed. I would think that proper resting of cooked meats before cutting and the letting of interior blood and juices would help to alleviate some of the what I believe to be misconceptions of searing. Or am I just delusional from the heat?
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My latest musical venture!
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post #2 of 4
No, I think you’re absolutely right about what searing does and doesn’t do. In my book The Curious Cook I devote a chapter to that, and also to the idea that it’s similar to surgical cautery. It’s also true that letting the meat rest does allow the cells to reabsorb some of the fluid they’ve released.
post #3 of 4
I read once in a Cook's Illustrated I think it was that a well seared piece of meat had less moisture than one not so seared. But the seared tasted better from the multitude of browning reactions and such.

Their method was to cut two steaks as similarly as possible and weigh them. Then on to the searing and cooking. They evaluated moisture loss by weight after cooking.

Phil
post #4 of 4
In 1990 I devoted a chapter of "The Curious Cook" to that and other kinds of experiments. And home economists did much the same thing back in the 1930s!
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