Searing Meat Myths and Facts
As a backyard pitmaster, you can expect to hear plenty of advice on how to prepare masterpieces. One of the biggest is that you have to resort to searing to lock in juices when grilling meat from beef to pork to chicken. But is searing meat more myth than fact? Find out how to differentiate the hype from the truth with a little help from Grilla Grills.
What Is Searing, Anyway?
New to the concept of searing? No need to break a sweat. Searing means grilling the outside of the piece of meat at a very high temperature. For instance, you can throw that big T-bone on a super-hot Silverbac for a few minutes, then flip it for another couple minutes or more. Sear the outside first to lock in juices; add salt after cooking (if needed). Not only would you get great grill marks, but the outside would take on a charred, crispy texture.
So what does searing meat do? Legend has it that searing meat on the grill will lock in all those beautiful meaty juices so they can continue to tenderize the meat and keep it from getting dry. A seared piece of meat is supposedly going to hold onto its moisture and burst with flavor.
Does Searing Meat Lock in Juices?
Searing meat brings out amazing flavors. Our world-class pitmasters tend to sear meat whenever possible because it does change the taste of the meat. However, whether searing locks in juices is up for debate.
Actual scientists have studied the phenomenon of searing meat by weighing a same-size non-seared and seared piece of meat before and after cooking. They discovered that both pieces of meat weighed about the same each time. This debunks the myth that searing meat somehow keeps liquid from evaporating and escaping.
Why Do You Sear Meat Then?
Before you swear off searing, remember it does amazing things to any piece of meat. The caramelizing alone elicits an earthy sweetness and boosts the overall flavor of the finished product. In addition, some people love the look of a seared chicken breast or pork chop. You can even sear meat before tossing it into slow-cooked recipes to get a little crispier texture and brown the exterior of the meat.
At the end of the day, sear away. Just don’t rely on searing to somehow keep those juices from escaping.