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Old 03-27-2018, 08:25 AM
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searing/braising



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I see so many recipes for searing before simmering in a slow cooker or whatnot and wonder why bother other than a bit of eye appeal. Surely it can't lock in any flavors when its cooked in a liquid for a long time.

My cooking experience is pretty much limited to frying, grilling, occasional deep frying, adding more stuff to a frozen pizza and absorbing the wife's cooking shows' tips by osmosis.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:47 AM
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By searing you are only cooking the outer surface. Quickly at a higher temp, sealing in the juices, and getting that dark caramelized surface. You are helping keep the flavor in, and there is also flavor in the caramelized surface. You follow that by braising low and slow to cook the inside of the meat. When braising you only want liquid covering 1/2- 3/4 of the meat, with a lid / covered at a lower temp, for a longer period of time.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:07 AM
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If you sear before putting in a slow cooker you get a much more flavorful gravy, and darker too if it's red meat. Without searing the gravy is a lot lighter and has significantly less flavor. It serves a purpose, that's why so many do it. But like a lot of things, it's really up to the user to determine what's "best" for them. Dang, now I'm hungry.
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al the Infidel View Post
I see so many recipes for searing before simmering in a slow cooker or whatnot and wonder why bother other than a bit of eye appeal. Surely it can't lock in any flavors when its cooked in a liquid for a long time.

My cooking experience is pretty much limited to frying, grilling, occasional deep frying, adding more stuff to a frozen pizza and absorbing the wife's cooking shows' tips by osmosis.
Al, I love my cast iron Dutch oven for just about everything. When I get too weak to lift it, I'll let someone else cook for me. I sear/braise meat in it and then add the other stuff like stock. I really like gravy and searing provides such good flavor. A Dutch oven allows stove top, to oven, to grill. If you want fancy. the new coated Dutch ovens are nice and come in your favorite color. https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-EC6D43-.../dp/B000N501BK

I prefer the seasoned plain cast iron one by Lodge. More manly.
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:45 PM
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WOW... AL, you are reading my mind! I used to pre-sear... now I am looking at the new Camp Chef Woodwind WITH the Sear Box... very cool in MANY ways including the patented ash clean out.. no vac. needed... and I hear the reverse sear is the way to go... after ya get it done throw it on the sear box! And yes, my mouth is watering.

Check the new Woodwind... https://www.bbqguys.com/camp-chef/wo...180327224002:s

And the Video...Entertaining ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fulJLYgsfSw
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:34 PM
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Thanks all. I didn't know caramelization provided significant flavoring. I should eat in better truck stops.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:32 AM
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I recently stumbled onto the discovery that the new ceramic coated non-stick cookware seem to do a rather uniquely efficient job of searing meats. The ceramic non-stick coating allows any added flavorings like teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc. to migrate to the meat's outer surface rather than just forming a burned on crust in the pan. I also use a bit of relatively high temperature oil like canola in the pan to get the surface searing process started and allow the sauces to migrate to the meat. And then when the meat is nicely crusted the remaining cooking process can be continued in the ceramic cookware or transferred out to other cookware processes. I still love general cooking in cast iron cookware, but I like to sear meats in the ceramic non-stick pans.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Al the Infidel View Post
I see so many recipes for searing before simmering in a slow cooker or whatnot and wonder why bother other than a bit of eye appeal. Surely it can't lock in any flavors when its cooked in a liquid for a long time.

My cooking experience is pretty much limited to frying, grilling, occasional deep frying, adding more stuff to a frozen pizza and absorbing the wife's cooking shows' tips by osmosis.
Google Maillard Reaction, and you will gain insight into flavor. Forget the hype about locking in flavor. The sear creates it.

Best,
Gary
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:45 AM
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Check out ‘sous vide’ online. The meat is slow-low temp bath cooked w/o any sear for x time to the doneness you want then quick seared to your pref when out. High end restaurants are said to do this.
I tried it late last fall in our slightly modified big slow cooker and finished it in a very hot fry pan on the stove top, though you could finish on the grill too.
Wife and I agreed it was one of the very best steak we had ever made.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:20 AM
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Sear your meat and veggies in the same pot you’re slow cooking it in. You want the bcb(burnt crunchy bits)on the bottom to add flavour to the pot liquor.
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