Searing Meat In A Cast Iron Skillet: How Do You Do It?

Cast iron skillet
Updated on 26 Jul 2023
Table of Contents

A cast iron skillet has many advantages. I have been using it for making my dishes for a very long time and I really like it. It is a durable pan and you get to experience a whole new taste sensation! Today I will discuss with you searing meat. This term is used a lot in the kitchen. But can it actually be done?

What is searing meat?

So let’s start with the theoretical part. Searing meat means searing meat on high heat. That means preserving the meat juices. So you sear it that way. That way you preserve maximum flavor and juiciness, then the meat does not become tough.

But does it work?

There are two ways to answer this question. I’ll go over these with you briefly:

  1. Can you sear meat?

The short answer, unfortunately, is no. However, this is not the full picture; we will come back to this in a moment. Searing meat at a high temperature creates a crust, but this is not the effective way to actually prevent moisture from leaving the meat. It is very easy to demonstrate that the crust just keeps leaking. If you keep frying it you will see that the moisture does not stay in.

You can hear meat sizzling when you leave it in a hot pan. This is the sound of the fat coming into contact with the hot pan. You can cook steak completely black, you will continue to hear that sizzle.

  1. Searing as an effective way to cook meat?

So the literal theory of searing is not particularly effective. At least, the promised effect, that is, the moisture that absolutely does not leave the meat is not achieved. Yet it is a common kitchen term and you hear a lot about it, so there must be something to it, right? Fortunately, there is.

In fact, this technique using a cast iron skillet does ensure that meat is crispy on the outside and nice and tender and juicy on the inside.This is, for example, the ideal combination for a steak. The reason is quite simple. The inside of the meat hardly needs to be cooked. Due to the short frying it does not get this either. In addition, the short duration of searing ensures that juices hardly leak out.

However, the high temperature does create a delicious crust. If you bake at a lower temperature, the inside will become tough, overcooked and dry before that beautiful crust has formed on the outside.

Why exactly with a cast iron skillet?

A cast iron skillet is the ideal pan for this technique. You apply the technique exactly as I just explained to you. But why is it that a cast iron skillet is just right for this kind of thing?

Well, a cast iron skillet is tremendously resistant to heat. In addition, you can use a cast iron skillet in conjunction with any heat source. Gas, induction, oven open flame, barbecue, you name it. The fact that you can use it with any heat source and that the pan resists heat well makes this pan emerge as the best option for this technique.

In addition, the natural non-stick coating allows you to experience a whole new taste sensation!

To conclude

So searing meat is cooking it at a high temperature for a fairly short time. Real searing of meat, even with a cast iron skillet, is therefore not entirely possible. By this we mean that cooking meat in this way without the juices leaving the meat is not possible.

But that is not the whole picture. This is, however, the best way to fry meat when you want a crispy crust on your meat on the outside, and nice juicy meat on the inside that is not “overcooked”.

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