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Why You Should Sear Meat Before Braising

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To sear or not to sear, that is the question. When it comes to braising, searing is a step that is contested by some experts yet is also supported by a lot of seasoned cooks. For some, it’s the gospel that should always be followed. For others, it’s an unnecessary step in the cooking process.

What is searing?

There are certain foods that we like to eat tostado like charred, crusty pieces of tocino bursting with savory sweetness. That flavorful crusty exterior is achieved through searing. Searing is a technique where you cook the surface of the meat at a high temperature in order for it to develop a crust. This is achieved through a chemical process called the Maillard reaction, where the food’s flavors are deepened.

What happens when you sear meat before braising?

The brown crust that forms around the meat and the pan will add tremendous amounts of flavor to the braising liquid thanks to the Maillard reaction. Contrary to popular belief, searing does not seal in the juices of the meat.

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