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May 11, 2012 06:52 PM

Pre searing meats worth it?

From an entertaining perspective, I am wondering if there is a downside to pre-searing meats in advance. I know that restaurants do this.

I am specifically talking about beef or pork tenderloin.

I would sear the meat the morning of the meal and then refrigerate it and bring it to room temp before cooking in the oven.

I see the benefits of saving time and mess (at least while guests are there). I am wondering if it will affect the end product though.

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  1. I wouldn't think it would hurt the end product. In fact, on a fairly thin steak, it would be easier to maintain a medium rare if that is what you are after. There would be no residual cooking from the searing. You could then concentrate on getting it to the temperature you want.

    I have heard of caterers searing a hundred filet mignons and finishing them in a sous vide set up. They say it is the only way to serve 100 medium rare filets at the same time.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Hank Hanover

      caterers, event chefs and restaurants running large functions pre-sear meat all the time. as long as it is truly just seared, it will be fine.

      how many pieces are we talking?

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        I should have said, I like beef medium rare and pork tenderloin a little less than medium.

        I am not talking that many. For example, I am doing 4 loins next week for guests. They won't fit in one pan to sear, so I would need to use multiple pans or do them in batches. It is really more the mess and time away from guests where I see the benefit.

        It is one less step to do when you are working on side dishes, making people cocktails, etc.

        Since I hate overcooked meat, I don't think a high heat oven would get a sufficient sear before overcooking the meat, otherwise I would skip the stove top sear.

        1. re: michaeljc70

          Use multiple pans......
          Invite your guests to join in....(They'll love it)
          Let 'em make their on cocktails.......
          Keep things casual & relaxed.....


      2. re: Hank Hanover

        Gramercy Tavern in NYC does it just the other way around. The meat is cooked in a sous vide and then seared to order.

        1. re: kurtt

          They just keep it in the sous vide tank all day and when people order it, they sear it off? I suppose that would work too.