How to Brown Meat Perfectly

Posted by on May 21, 2009

Thanks to my host Kristy, for reminding me of this resource…

Many of my customers complain about food sticking in their cookware. It’s usually not the cookware, especially if they’re using PC’s cookware…

Knowing how to brown meat well (the scientific term is the Maillard reaction where proteins become more complex under extended heat exposure) is often what they’re missing. No one ever taught me this, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t know it either.

The following is from an Oct. 2007 Bonappetit.com article:

Knowing how to brown well can add big, deep flavors and a restaurant-quality presentation to your repertoire.

1. GO HOT. Set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat (do not use a nonstick pan) for longer than you’d be inclined – say, a full three minutes. the meat needs some stable heat. Then add a bit of oil to start the sear off right.

2. STAY DRY. Moisture means steam, so blot the meat dry with paper towels before seasoning and searing.

3. SPACE OUT. Don’t crowd the pan. You’ve heard this before. Heed this warning, or pay with gray meat, which will be the result if you put too much food in the pan. Not only does crowding keep heat from circulating, too much food brings the temperature way down.

4. KEEP IN CONTACT. Once you’ve placed the meat in the pan, don’t move it until the bottom is well-browned. if it moves easily when you try to pick it up with tongs, it wants to. If it doesn’t move, don’t force it; it will release when ready. Then flip it over Brown the edges, even if it means holding the meat with tongs while it cooks. The technique will pay off immeasurably.

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