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Dec 9, 2012 03:24 PM

Question about Searing a Roast

Recently started to slow cook various roasts, however I'm running into an issue during preparation. So I read that you are supposed to sear the roast beforehand, which I try to do in a cast iron skillet since I usually have good results when cooking chicken or steak . However, when searing a roast, the meat sticks really bad to the pan. Should I not use a cast iron pan for this? Is there a method to avoid this sticking? Or could it just be my skillet isn't seasoned enough?

My method: Heat coconut oil in pan on high for several minutes, then add the roast, usually pork or beef, varying from 3 to 4 lbs.

I ask because it usually is a pain to scrub the meat off the pan afterwards and I feel that I'm ruining the seasoning every time I do it.

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  1. I love my cast iron skillet - so I don't think it's your skillet. Perhaps it needs to be hotter if the roast is sticking: Medium High heat with enough oil to shimmer works for me. Do not prod, nudge or poke the roast. Place in skillet and leave it be for a few minutes before turning it to sear the other sides. Are you turning it too soon, before the browned crust forms?
    I see that you are heating the skillet on High for several minutes, the coconut oil should not smoke - that's too hot. Try adjusting the pan temperature and don't nudge the roast while it's searing.
    Those bits that you are scrubbing off the bottom are flavor nuggets to be savored. A splash of red wine or sherry or water will loose the bits when you remove the roast. Add chopped chives and a pat of butter - voila! sauce!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cynsa

      I agree.

      Olive oil has a higher smoke point so it might be a better choice for searing the meat. That's what I use and it doesn't stick,

      Like Cynsa said, it's important to leave the meat alone. It will generally release itself,

      Also, Cynsa is very right that the brown stuff is Magic Flavor. Don't waste it! If you are using a slow cooker, deglaze your pan with whatever liquid you are using in it or wine or water and add it in in the beginning of cooking.

      And good on you for searing. Browning meat is what creates its meaty flavor!

    2. I always use my cast iron for searing roasts-beef and pork alike with little to no sticking. But I don't use coconut oil, usually just a spray of pam since my pan is really well seasoned. I then leave it alone for a good 3-5 minutes per side. I find with beef once it has a good sear it releases on its own.

      Is it possible you are getting your pan too hot? Is your oil smoking? Maybe try lowering the temp?

      1. all Cynsa said plus at the two or three minute mark,the meat will release like magic if your pan is the correct temperature.
        So pick a side and do it undisturbed per side, or hold the roast with tongs and turn,turn,turn
        shape of roast will often choose which way you go

        1. The meat should be room-temp and patted very dry with paper towels.