Searing Scallops

Jin

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At our restaurant , we get pretty nice dry scallops, about $22/1 lb.

Of course before searing them , we dry them properly, and it comes out beautifully.

However I've noticed that older scallops that has been sitting in the walk-in that's even dryer doesn't get the dark brown golden color I desire, and I can notice some small bubbles in the surface. It always takes much longer to get color and the color isnt the dark brown, its just kind of golden yellow.

why is this? how can I possibly prevent this?
Is it the PH level? Is it because its TOO dry?

Thanks in advance!

Ps: We always put our scallops in a 20(water) : 1(salt) brine for 15~ minutes.
 

Jin

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Joined Jan 6, 2018
Here's a pictorial example of what i am talking about:)
ptU646r
ptU646r.jpg
vs
OiSGAae
OiSGAae.jpg


I want the first result ofc!


And I am 100% sure it't not that I didnt sear the scallops long enough.
 
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If it makes you feel better I am pretty certain that the top picture is edited, enhanced, and over saturated.
 
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Hi Jin

Assuming that you cook the older scallops the same way you cook the scallops that have a good sere, there are only a limited number of possibilities as to why you are not getting a good sere on the "older" scallops.

Ph could be one of those reasons, but, very unlikely. I'm thinking that depending on how the older scallops are stored, some of the amino acids in the older scallops may have broken down which could hinder the Maillard process. Whether or not this is a factor I suppose would depend upon how the scallops are stored and for how long.

You can remedy the problem by giving the older scallops a very light dusting with flour. If that is not feasible for whatever reason, try using an oil with a higher smoke point and fewer scallops in the pan. Make sure the scallops are room temperature. Increase the heat as @Pat_Pat suggested and see if that corrects the problem.

I hope this helps.

Cheers!
 
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Also, put a scallop dish on special and move out those old scallops as quickly as possible. And it’s good advice from the previous poster to do a light coating of flour. Cornmeal is also a good coating.
 

pete

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KK, I agree, that one photo looks like it has had the saturation bumped a bit, but using dry pack scallops you can achieve a nice, dark brown "crust" close to that in the pic. We would use a mix of vegetable oil with just a small knob of whole butter tossed in the pan. I found that added bit of butter really helped with the browning. This, of course, was after you made sure that your scallops were completely dry.
 
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Jin

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Joined Jan 6, 2018
Hi Jin

Assuming that you cook the older scallops the same way you cook the scallops that have a good sere, there are only a limited number of possibilities as to why you are not getting a good sere on the "older" scallops.

Ph could be one of those reasons, but, very unlikely. I'm thinking that depending on how the older scallops are stored, some of the amino acids in the older scallops may have broken down which could hinder the Maillard process. Whether or not this is a factor I suppose would depend upon how the scallops are stored and for how long.

You can remedy the problem by giving the older scallops a very light dusting with flour. If that is not feasible for whatever reason, try using an oil with a higher smoke point and fewer scallops in the pan. Make sure the scallops are room temperature. Increase the heat as @Pat_Pat suggested and see if that corrects the problem.

I hope this helps.

Cheers!

The scallops are stored on a sheet tray with sports towels underneath to absorb the moisture, and for a week!
 

Jin

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Joined Jan 6, 2018
Also, put a scallop dish on special and move out those old scallops as quickly as possible. And it’s good advice from the previous poster to do a light coating of flour. Cornmeal is also a good coating.
Thanks for the tip, I will give it a try:)
 

Jin

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Joined Jan 6, 2018
KK, I agree, that one photo looks like it has had the saturation bumped a bit, but using dry pack scallops you can achieve a nice, dark brown "crust" close to that in the pic. We would use a mix of vegetable oil with just a small knob of whole butter tossed in the pan. I found that added bit of butter really helped with the browning. This, of course, was after you made sure that your scallops were completely dry.

It's completely dry, It's almost TOO dry. I do imagine butter will help the browning process. Thanks for the reply.
 

Jin

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Joined Jan 6, 2018
Here is what I thought, please correct me if I am wrong.

The scallops are TOO dry, it formed a barrier on the outside of the scallop, preventing the "protein juice" from hitting the pan and forming the crust.

I think the crust is formed not only from the meat of the scallop but also the juices, it's a combination of both!

Thoughts?
 
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Here is what I thought, please correct me if I am wrong.

The scallops are TOO dry, it formed a barrier on the outside of the scallop, preventing the "protein juice" from hitting the pan and forming the crust.

I think the crust is formed not only from the meat of the scallop but also the juices, it's a combination of both!

Thoughts?

I think you are correct. There are some very good source materials out there that talk about the caramelization and Maillard processes and how they work. :)

Your scallops are stored in the cooler for a week? Why? Scallops and seafood in general must be moved fast and by "fast," I mean within 2 days, 3 at absolute most. What isn't sold the first day goes on special the 2nd and 3rd day, just like someone said in this thread. What isn't sold should be frozen immediately. A week in the cooler may be a bit much, IMO.
 
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Jin

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I think you are correct. There are some very good source materials out there that talk about the caramelization and Maillard processes and how they work. :)

Your scallops are stored in the cooler for a week? Why? Scallops and seafood in general must be moved fast and by "fast," I mean within 2 days, 3 at absolute most. What isn't sold the first day goes on special the 2nd and 3rd day, just like someone said in this thread. What isn't sold should be frozen immediately. A week in the cooler may be a bit much, IMO.

Heard!
 
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If it's any consolation, I know exactly what you are talking about. I buy the BEST scallops you can get, and it seems like they sear beautifully for 1-3 days, then when then something happens and they noticeably lose the deep, dark brown crust (exactly like your picture, lol).

I can't explain it either. I am 100% sure it's not a technique problem, just as you are.
 
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Jin

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Joined Jan 6, 2018
If it's any consolation, I know exactly what you are talking about. I buy the BEST scallops you can get, and it seems like they sear beautifully for 1-3 days, then when then something happens and they noticeably lose the deep, dark brown crust (exactly like your picture, lol).

I can't explain it either. I am 100% sure it's not a technique problem, just as you are.

Thanks! good to know others have had the same experience:)
 
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