Quicky here today. I’m addressing a fairly common idea, that searing meat, such as beef, prior to slow cooking or other long-term cooking method, seals in it’s juices and makes it moist and flavorful.
Myth: Searing meat seals in it’s juices
Verdict: False. Honestly, the premise makes sense. Your meat gets that crusty outer coating, thereby sealing in the juice.
What’s interesting, actually, is that seared meat loses more moisture while cooking than meat cooked the same amount of time that hasn’t been seared.
So, why sear?
For the flavor. Seared meat has a lot more flavor than meat that hasn’t been seared. The caramelization of the meat offers depth and complexity that isn’t achievable otherwise.
And for the texture. Searing your meat creates a nice crust on the meat, especially if you dredge the meat with flour and seasonings beforehand. This gets you a nice leg up on flavors mingling in your dish. Plus, the color is more appetizing.
Strictly speaking, searing your meat isn’t wholly necessary. You don’t have to dirty another dish if you do not want to, but the flavor boost is absolutely worth it, in my opinion. Meat that isn’t seared will cook as well as seared meat, though it may suffer from a flat or boring flavor.
Do you sear your meats? Or do you skip this step? Let me know in the comments!