Searing, the WOW Factor

Okay, so lots of people ask me two questions, in this order:

"Hey Will, what can I make for my significant other that will really wow them?"

Followed by,

"Hey Will, what can I make for my significant other that will really wow them, and doesn't require much technique or preparation on my part?"

The answer, friends, is a good sear.


A seared piece of meat (or some veggies, believe it) is a thing of beauty, and it's simplicity is both rustic and snazzy. However, a lot people have a bit of trouble achieving a crusty delicious outside with a perfectly cooked inside. So, here are a few pointers:

  1. If what you're cooking is thicker than 1", keep it cold until you're ready to cook. If it isn't, let it come up to almost room temp (this is perfectly safe, just don't leave it out all day).
  2. Pat your meat dry before it goes in the pan. Water and steam are the enemy of a good sear. Use a paper towel and get all that surface moisture off!
  3. A little smoke is unavoidable. To keep things from getting too smoky, let your pan heat up dry, and rub your oil or other fat on what you're cooking. Most smoke comes from excess oil breaking down, not to mention most spattering.
  4. If you have a thicker piece of meat/veg, once you have a crust, stick the meat and pan into a preheated 250 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Don't be afraid to test with a thermometer to make sure it's done to the temp you want!
  5. Last but not least, rest the steak. Let it sit on a plate at room temp for 5-15 minutes, depending on size. Then enjoy!