Starting vs finishing in the oven?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by latemp, May 3, 2012.

  1. latemp

    latemp

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    Why is it good to finish a meat in the oven? To me it seems as if you loose that outer crust texture you get from cooking on the stove once you do that. ( or maybe I'm just doing it wrong)
     
  2. michaelga

    michaelga

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    There are several different schools of thought on this subject.

    You have to remember that a lot of food is prepared in a certain manner in order to meet a certain goal.

    That goal could be a time-line, a level of food quality, a level of food quantity or a myriad of other things.

    The finishing of meat in an oven allows a restaurant to achieve a few important things (goals).

    Most of these goals are based upon 4 burners, 1 near empty oven, and way too many orders.

    Add in the benefit of of a 'pan-sauce' and voila!!!

    Solution found...

    ---------

    For the record, I prefer my steaks started in the oven and finished on the hottest thing I can find!
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Depending on cut or thickness. But to be basic  to insure that inside of meat is cooked. Meat at a certain thicknesses  will cook on outside far faster then inside . To insure that inside is cooked you would have to leave on hthe high top of stove flame therefore burning outside while inside is still raw.
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It depends on what cut of meat you're talking about.  If it's a steak I prefer to start and finish on the stove top unless it's too thick in which case I finish in the oven.  I have never had a problem losing the crust as you say.  Obviously thick roasts have to be finished in the oven to ensure cooking the inside of it.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    You should look into reverse searing as well. Start the steak in a low oven, 250ish. When it hits 120 internal temp after about 20 minutes, put it in a very hot skillet to finish both sides, about 2 minutes per. This gives you a steak with an even medium rare from center to close to the edge while a starting in the pan gives you a larger gray border around the medium rare middle.
     
  6. latemp

    latemp

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    What I'm trying to understand is, is there some benefit from finishing in the oven vs starting in the oven? Couldn't you start in the oven to get the internal temp up enough that it could be finished on the stove?
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    That's what I was saying with the reverse sear process.
     
  8. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I've bever seen any benefit or to reverse searing.  If you do your part with either method the end result is exactly the same.. If you loose a crust by finishing in the oven then there wasn't a true "crust" there to begin with. A crust will not melt away. Either way the benefit of finishing in the oven is exactly as Chefedb stated. This is not just relevent for larger pieces of meat but with proteins that have a different density or fat content.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I find it easier to hit my "doneness" and surface appearance goals more exactly with the regular, "sear and blast" method than with "sear and slow" or "reverse sear." For the record, I use an oven temp of either 375F (admittedly a marginal "blast") or 400F.

    I don't consider browning a large piece of meat in a pan or on the grill and then roasting to be anything other brown and roast; and distinguish it -- in my head anyway -- as different from any sort of steak cooking. But that's me.

    As often as possible, I cook "California Barbecue" style (aka "open pit") over a large, oak fire which combines the direct heat for searing with the radiant heat for tenderness and controlled doneness.

    BDL
     
  10. latemp

    latemp

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    Maybe it's just my technique then (still learning)...what has been happening to me is the bottom side of the meat turns soggy. For example, my last dish I seared chicken breasts, then moved them to a baking pan @ 400 degrees so I could make a pan sauce.
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Sauce should be made in saute or sauce pan.

    Commercially whole Filets or Butt Tenders are seared then finished for service in the oven.  This is the tried and accepted way throughout the trade.

    Reverse searing cannot be done correctly on a line when your busy.
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If you used breast fillets, you probably should have cooked them entirely on the stove top.

    It really doesn't take long for a breast fillet to cook all the way through. There are a few tricks to this. One is controlling the heat to (depending on the stove) a scant medium-high. That is, just a jot and tittle less than you'd use for a straight sear, or the same as you'd use to saute. Another is butterflying the breast at its thickest part, so it is (a) thinner and (b) of a more even thickness. Remember also, that the chicken will continue to cook as it rests on the plate while you prepare the sauce.

    If you have to finish meat in the oven, your best off doing it in the same pan you used to sear it. FWIW, your chicken softened when it came in contact with the cold baking pan and never had a chance to crisp back up. Considering a pan will be very hot when removed from the oven, the meat will only have time to rest, but not get cold while you make the pan sauce -- presuming you're making an appropriate sauce and you're working from a well prepared mise en place.

    When you need to work quickly there's no substitute for being organized. If I could only teach one lesson to people who want to cook better, it's the importance of mise.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If when sauteing you cover the pan , you are keeping in the moisture and heat therefore breast will cook quicker and be more tender in most cases. and going on what BDL says if you butterfly breast in particular large ones, the whole thing will cook more evenly and better.
     
  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If you cover the pan, you neither saute nor sear.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  15. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Just because you use a lid doesn't mean that you eliminate the technique of saute or sear. It's entirely possible to sear or saute with a lid or even just finish with a lid. You may be crossing over to other techniques but there's no reason not to utilize multiple techniques when cooking.

    Ed is 100% correct. If you cover the Chicken breast with a lid it will not only cook quicker but it will most likely be more tender. It might be harder to sear and get a crust on many consumer ranges/cook tops with a lid, however any one that's cooked over charcoal on a ceramic cooker has probably seared and produced a nice crust..... even with a lid.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Thanks Dave, but I don't thing BGE cooking is at issue. Although, maybe a BGE was the hidden heart of the OP's secret problem. If one cooks in a covered pan, the food may develop a "crust," but it's a different technique than searing or sauteing. Words have meanings.

    Sorry to be so crusty,
    BDL
     
  17. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I don't disagree with you at all.  It's definitely possible to sear something first and then cook it with a lid on.  That's what's usually done for stews and braises anyway.  Whether or not you keep that crust though, with a lid on it's doubtful.  I wouldn't do it for a steak, but I do cook boneless skinless chicken breasts this way, get a good color on them first and finish cooking covered on the stove rather than putting in the oven.  I don't want a crust on skinless chicken. 
     
  18. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Words usually don't change meaning based on the medium of heat. Saute or sear is the same concept irrespective of the fuel source.

    Words may however change context a bit if one edits a post after a follow up.

    In either event the term Saute has nothing to do with a lid nor does searing explicitly exclude a lid.

    I think we were talking about boneless chicken breast and simply because one finishes with a lid it doesn't mean the chicken wasn't "sauteed", which means little other than cooking quickly with a small amount of oil. If you sear a split breast with skin I wouldn't use that technique but there's no reason not to sear a steak in a pan and utilize the residual heat to finish the steak with a lid. If you put a seared steak in the oven to finish it in essence your just doing the very same thing only then your putting a large lid on it .......and baking it. Does that negate the searing? Not to my way of thinking and it seems a bit persnickety to suggest other wise.The same technique is often used grilling. Sear the steak and then close the lid on the grill allowing the steak to keep the char crust and finish in the very same way one would use an oven. Only with ......A large lid.

     A crust will not come off finishing with a lid or finishing in the oven. If you just have a bit of browning from the Maillard reaction and not a "crust" that may be another issue.

    Then again when I sear meat even for a stew that browning can often be seen on the meat well into the cooking process, certainly far longer than I would ever rest or finish a steak with this method.

    If we turn to Larousse ;

    Saute

    "To cook meat, fish or vegetables in fat until brown, using a frying pan (skillet), a saute pan, or even a heavy sauce pan. Small items are cooked uncovered, but slightly thicker pieces (Chicken for example) some times need to be covered after browning to complete the cooking"

    Dave
     
  19. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Definition 100% correct of Saute     only word missing I would include is cook in SHALLOW fat.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I hate semantics but here we go.  The problem with comparing a lid on a shallow pan to a grill lid or an oven is that putting a lid on a pan creates wet heat, and an oven creates dry heat as does a grill lid.  The lid draws steam, a grill lid does not.
     
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