Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Article

Trick of the trade: Sear meat's best side first

Fine Cooking Issue 92
Photo: Scott Phillips
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

Whenever you sear meat or fish, always begin with the “presentation side,” the side that will face up when plated. Although it doesn’t make a huge flavor difference, the side that gets browned first usually ends up looking the best. As protein cooks, it stiffens, shrinks, and even changes its shape a bit. The first side to hit the pan is still completely raw and malleable, so much of its surface area will touch the pan directly. Flip it over, though, and the partially cooked second side won’t lie on the pan as evenly, plus it’ll develop a spotty look due to the brown bits left in the pan from searing the first side.

So how do you know which side should be up? Sometimes the presentation side is obvious: For chicken, it’s the side that has or had skin on it. For a fish fillet, it’s the side that was closest to the bone (bottom fillet, right), which is more evenly colored than the skin side. On other proteins, like pork chops or steaks, the presentation side is not as obvious. In that case, just start with whichever side is most attractive.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Video

View All

Season 4 Extras

Topping, VA (409)

Pete welcomes us to Virginia on this episode of Moveable Feast, where we meet skilled oystermen Ryan & Travis Croxton, as well as chef Dylan Fultineer. Dylan brings Pete to…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks