Trouble with searing

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Chris I am not stirring when I am searing,  only when I am making a stew or flour covered meat or chicken.Which when I coat it with flour I don't consider it seared.
     
  2. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    Chededb,

     I agree, just from home experience.  you can get a nice crispiness and colour with the flour on first, but it is not strictly searing.  Meat has to come out then get a start on the onions and veg and sauce etc.  The meat will still be very tasty and the flour on it will help thicken the gravy.

    I must admit I don't  know what a Le Ceuset is or its uses.... so what I am inputting into this conversation may all be nonsense /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I must say this is not a sentence I expected from you.  Is it true that you don't know what Le creuset is?
     
     
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    This is getting very complicated and for no good reason. 

    First, we're not talking about searing, we're talking about browning.  They are sometimes but not always the same thing.  If the food is dredged in flour before browning, it is not said to be seared. 

    Think of the flour as bread.  It got black because it was overtoasted.  The problem could have been too much heat, too long on the heat, or a combination.  Based on the description, yours was most likely caused by preheating the pan on too high a flame, but not long enough for the pan temperature to equilibriate and spread.  With heavier pans of relatively low thermal efficency, it's a good idea to preheat over a moderate flame for a long time.

    For those who don't know what Le Creuset is -- perhaps because of their location in the antipodes -- it's a French company whose name is synonymous with medium-weight cast iron cooware covered by enamel.  For the purposes of our discussion regarding scorching the flour, only the cast-iron part is important.  FWIW, if you desire an enamel over cast rondeau, oval or casserole, Le Creuset is high quality and high price as those things go.  Dernier cri, you might say.

    Hope this helps,

    BDL
     
  5. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Let's make it simple. Here you can download english instructions. The two following paragraphs may be of some significance;

    http://www.lecreuset.co.uk/Care--Use/Cast-Iron

    HIGH HEATS should only be used for boiling water for vegetables or pasta, or for reducing the consistency of stocks and sauces. High heats should never be used to pre-heat a pan before lowering the heat for cooking. Cast iron retains heat so well that if a pan is overheated in this way it will contribute to poor cooking results, sticking and discolouration of cooking surfaces. Non-stick surfaces are permanently damaged by this mis-use.

    MEDIUM AND LOW HEATS will provide the best results for the majority of cooking, including frying and searing. Allow the pan to heat gradually and thoroughly, as this will give the most even and efficient cooking results. Once the pan is hot almost all cooking can be continued on lower settings.
     
  6. oldfoodguy

    oldfoodguy

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    I have found over many years of using all types of cast iron, enameled and not, that preheating the pan is the only way to use them. Example, when making pancakes, I will set the griddle or skillet on med/low heat for the entire time it takes to make the batter. As to Koukouvagia's speciffic challenges, I have only seen the oil mentioned as lubricant. It is really the cooking medium that is tranferring heat from pan to meat. You can always start with a pre-heated pan, use a bit more oil than you have been, then pouring off any remaining exess oil  once you have browned the meat. As for Le Crueset, it is remarkable cookware. If you love the deep pot, I have to reccomend thier 5.5 quart, covered casserole. It's a great piece that I have used on the stove, in the oven, propane grill and even campfires. Indestructible, versitle and virtually never off the stove at our house.
     
  7. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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       On a viking stove, I found that heating the cast iron pan took a full 10 minutes on a very medium flame.  Turning the flame to high gives you an very uneven heat, to the point where you can have one section of a protein burning while the other would be in a very different temperature range.

    Heating under Medium Flame

    [​IMG]           [​IMG]

    Med heat at 5 minutes.                                Medium heat at 7 minutes.  The darker area is fairly even @350f

    [​IMG]

    Medium heat 10 minutes.  Fairly even @375f

    At this point you can leave it medium and raise the temp or turn it down and maintain temp.

    Heating Under High Flame

    Using the high flame heating method proved to have inconsistent results across the pan (see comments below)

    [​IMG]                            [​IMG]

    High heat at 1 minute.                                                                High heat at 2 minute

    Dark area 200f, light <101f                                                          Dark area 300f, light <151f

    [​IMG]                    [​IMG]

    High heat 3 minute                                                            High heat 4 minute

    Dark area 400f, light only 200f or less.                          Some* dark area 500f, light (center) at 300f

      [​IMG]

        High heat 5 minute

     Some* dark over 500f, other dark is down to 375f

     *I could have used other settings which showed greater sensitivity but they didn't photograph as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It's hard to argue when the proof is in the pudding.