What Does Pan Seared Mean

Pan searing is a cooking technique that involves browning the food in either butter, oil, or bacon grease before placing it in an oven to cook.  Pan-seared foods are typically browned on one side and then finished off by roasting them with some additional fat for flavor. The idea behind pan searing is to seal in as much of the juices as possible while creating a crispy exterior crust. It’s not uncommon for people to use this technique on their favorite cuts of beef or pork roast, as well as some other types of meat like chicken breasts and fish fillets.  There are also plenty of vegetable dishes that can be prepared using this method if desired. Most vegetables will do best when cooked first on high heat in the pan to lock in their juices.

What Does Pan Seared Mean

Pan Searing 101

Common foods that are pan-seared include but are not limited to bacon, beef cutlets, pork chops, salmon, chicken breasts, and seafood fillets.

Pan-searing is typically done in a skillet, but it can also be done on an outdoor grill or in a wok. When pan-seared properly, the food will develop a crispy outside layer while the inside remains tender and juicy. It’s important to use high heat when cooking with this method. The best way to determine if your pan is hot enough is by adding a small amount of oil and seeing how quickly it sizzles. If the oil starts to smoke, this means that the pan has reached its highest temperature and you can start cooking.

The two most common ways to finish off a seared food are by baking or broiling it. Letting the food finish cooking in an oven will give you a nice and even browning on all sides while finishing in the oven with the broiler lets you achieve any color contrast that may be desired. You can also add other ingredients at different times when pan searing; for example, if vegetables are pan-seared first, then they can be topped with some meat or sauce before finishing.

The most important part of pan searing is not to burn the food. It’s best to use high heat and the least amount of oil possible for this cooking technique. Pan searing is ideal for food that you wish not to overcook, but instead, have a nice browned exterior and a properly cooked interior. Vegetables can be seared first on high heat before roasting them or cooking them in boiling water, while meats are typically finished off by being roasted or placed into an oven.

Pan searing is one of the most common ways to prepare meat for this reason. The goal is to have a flavorful and crispy exterior while still being able to enjoy a tender, semi-raw inside. Using this method can also prevent tougher cuts of meat from tasting overly dry when they are cooked all the way through.

In general, the best time to use this cooking technique is whenever you want to add some flavor or texture to your food before finishing it off in the oven. Pan searing is also a good way to add some color contrast and crispy texture to vegetables before serving them.

Some Pan Searing Recipes and Instructions

Pan Seared Salmon: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 12-15 minutes Total Time: 22-27 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as grape seed 1 teaspoon salt, divided 4 (4 ounce) skin-on salmon fillets 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Instructions: Fill a large skillet with cooking oil and heat over medium-high heat until the surface is shimmering. Meanwhile, season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Place the salmon skin-side down in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes without moving. Once the salmon has developed a golden brown crust, flip it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. If you would like your salmon less done than medium rare (pink), continue to cook for an additional minute or two per side. Reduce heat to low and add the butter to melt. Drizzle pan sauce over cooked salmon fillets and top with parsley before serving.

Pan Seared chicken: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 12-15 minutes Total Time: 25-30 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as grape seed 1 teaspoon salt, divided 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided 4 teaspoons butter 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano Instructions: Fill a saucepan with cooking oil and heat over medium-high heat until the surface is shimmering. Meanwhile, season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes without moving. Once the chicken has developed a golden brown crust, flip it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, or until cooked through. Reduce heat to low and add each tablespoon of butter, one at a time; swirl constantly until melted. If you would like your chicken less done than medium rare (pink), continue to cook for an additional minute or two per side. Reduce heat to low and add the minced garlic, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add fresh oregano before serving.

Pan Seared Steak: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 6-10 minutes Total Time: 16-20 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as grape seed 1 teaspoon salt, divided 4 (6 ounce) strip steaks or other high quality beef cut 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided Instructions: Fill a sauté pan with cooking oil and heat over medium-high heat until the surface is shimmering. Meanwhile, season both sides of the strip steaks with salt and pepper. Place the beef in the sauté pan and cook for 2-5 minutes without moving. Once the steak has developed a golden-brown crust, flip it over and cook for another 3-6 minutes on the other side or until cooked to your desired level of doneness.

Pan Seared Pork Chops: 4 servings Prep Time: 5-10 minutes Cook Time: 10-12 minutes Total Time: 15-25 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as grape seed 1 teaspoon salt, divided 4 (6 ounce) boneless pork chops 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided Instructions: Fill a sauté pan with cooking oil and heat over medium-high heat until the surface is shimmering. Meanwhile, season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. Place the pork chops in the sauté pan and cook for 2 minutes without moving. Once the pork has developed a golden-brown crust, flip each chop over and cook for another 3-6 minutes on the other side or until cooked to your desired level of doneness.

Pan Seared Scallops: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 3-5 minutes Total Time: 13-15 minutes Ingredients: 1 tablespoon cooking oil, such as grape seed 2 teaspoons salt, divided 16 large sea scallops 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided Instructions : Fill a saucepan with cooking oil and heat over medium-high heat until the surface is shimmering. Meanwhile, season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. Place the scallops in the saucepan and cook for 2 minutes without moving or until deep golden brown on the bottom. Flip the scallops over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through.

Pan Seared Asparagus: 4 servings Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5-8 minutes Total Time: 10-15 minutes Ingredients: 1 bunch asparagus spears 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil salt & pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the asparagus in a bowl with oil and salt & pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer and cook in the center of the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Pan Seared Peaches: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5-7 minutes Total Time: 15-20 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons melted butter 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 large peaches, pitted and halved Instructions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the cinnamon and brush over the peach halves. Place cut side up in a baking dish and cook in the center of the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until peaches are soft and lightly browned.

Once you master pan searing, you will love the flexibility it presents in your recipes and the flavor it produces in your dishes. Let us know in the comments what your favorite foods are to pan sear!

 

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