Browning beef with a torch?

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Joined Mar 11, 2011
I love to make slow-cooker stews and I was wondering if I could buy a cooking torch and use that to brown beef instead of the standard routine of browning every little piece on all sides in a little pan? Thanks for any help!
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Hi Pkulak,

The only way I can think of although I haven't tried it, is putting the chopped meat in a single layer on a baking tray and browning them off with the torch.  Then you'd need to turn them over and do the other side.  Personally, I'd just get a bigger pan and do them the standard way.
 
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Joined Jun 13, 2010
I have tried to cook things with the torch vs the pan and it doesnt seem to have the same flavor.. it is not as good
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
I can't see any positive reason for this . You still must stand there and watch or apply it. Stick to torch for desserts.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
You should definitely get a torch, it's great for creme brulees and adding a bit of color to meats after they've cooked.

But for the purpose you're describing?  No way.  A good stew depends on good fond.  That's the little dark bits stuck to the bottom of the pot after you've browned the meat.  That's the stuff that gives a stew its rich deep flavor.  Without it you'll have a watery stew - something will be missing and you won't know what.  So save the torch for finishing a dish, not for replacing the most important first step in a stew.
 
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Joined Dec 9, 2010
If you dont want to cook one side of your meat at a time, then heat a oven safe skillet until you're just about ready to flash your oil, add your meat and throw it under the broiler of your oven.  this will cook two sides at a time. but... come on...
 
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Joined Mar 19, 2009
Not for beef, but I bought a torch to finish individual cottage pies with a Panko-cheese crust.

Have to be careful with the flame; this thing is hot.
 
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Joined Oct 18, 2007
You should definitely get a torch, it's great for creme brulees and adding a bit of color to meats after they've cooked.

But for the purpose you're describing?  No way.  A good stew depends on good fond.  That's the little dark bits stuck to the bottom of the pot after you've browned the meat.  That's the stuff that gives a stew its rich deep flavor.  Without it you'll have a watery stew - something will be missing and you won't know what.  So save the torch for finishing a dish, not for replacing the most important first step in a stew.
Agreed.

I've used a torch for turkeys cooked in an alto shaam, where the ones on the lower rack never browned because of the drippage from the ones on top.

But Kouk is spot on, you want that fond.
 

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