SCS 006| Sautéing, Searing & Pan Roasting

Pan Roasting, Sauteing & Searing

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In this episode of The Stella Culinary School Podcast, we start a three part series on basic cooking technique. Discussed today; sautéing, searing and pan roasting.

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Check out Stephen Budiansky's article, Math Lessons For Locavores, or you can follow him on his personal blog,

Further Information



For our complete list of audio lectures you can view The Stella Culinary School Podcast Index. For a list of video techniques, please visit our How To Cook Video Index. You can also subscribe to the Stella Culinary School Podcast feed through traditional RSS or iTunes.




Hi Jacob, 

Just a reminder - you mention on the audio cast that you would post the sauteing technique video.

GreenBake's picture
Joined: 05/15/2011
Stella Stars: 4400
On the myth, “Sear the meat to seal in the juices,” I found a reference to this in the Kindle version of On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. He mentions that this myth was disproven in the 1800’s. Location 4395 of 27600 (15%) if you have the Kindle version.

I’m curious to know if this is still being taught by any (big-name or not) culinary school. Anyone know the answer to this one?
Joined: 01/04/2015
Stella Stars: 460
I have done the thigh, breast, and steak searing the last few nights, and I have some feedback.

- My electric stove's 'high' (10) is way too hot for this.  8 made the airline breasts completely black, 7 still was on the black side, and 6.5 was about right for the thighs - they were golden with a brownish edge ring.  7 was putting my clarified butter at 420F according to my thermapen.  Is that too hot?  [Side note: even though the breasts were almost completely black, they didn't stick and were actually good tasting....whew!]

- Is searing and sauteeing supposed to make your kitchen walls/ceiling/eye glasses a smoky/steamy/greasy mess when done right?  I'm using my own clarified butter.   How do home chefs deal with this cleanup? Even if the oil doesn't smoke, what about the meat or onions?  My microwave vent just blows more oily gunk up the walls.

- Does it matter what temp the protein is before it hits the pan?  I guess it would oven cook better if it was warmer to start.  But maybe restaurants have to grab it from the fridge on demand?

Lastly, thank you so much for the wonderful site.  I approach food more from a health and efficiency point of view, but still love to learn new things (like how restaurants brine chicken breasts with sugar to make them palatable :-)
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