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Old 09-20-2010, 11:04 AM   #1
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Searing Steak Doesn't Seal In Juices

(I don't know how old this news is but I still hear lots of people and chefs saying to sear your meat to seal in the juices...)

I just read that Food Scientists say searing meat to lock in the juices was proven to be a fallacy by molecular gastronomy because, in fact, anytime you get something super hot, you actually begin to draw the moisture out of it rather than seal it in. It does enhance the outer flavor to sear your steak but the juicy claim is not valid. Other techniques must be used to make it juicy...including don't overcook it.

Click on this link:

Molecular Gastronomists Don't Sear Their Steak | Wylie Dufresne | Big Think

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Old 09-20-2010, 11:07 AM   #2
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You ae absolutely correct Mollyanne. Searing meat damages the cell structure with makes the juices come out. The reason you sear if for flavor, not to lock in juices. Some chef somewhere must have said that at some point and it sounded good so people picked it up and ran with it.

If you cook your meat correctly then searing will lose some juices, but it will not be enough to make your meat dry. The trade off of a little bit of juice for the great crust you get from searing is well worth it in terms of flavor.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:11 AM   #3
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Thank you for that info. How long has this been a fact? It's new to me. But don't you still hear lots of chefs and foodies saying to sear meat first to lock in juices?
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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I have know this for probably 5 years or so I am guessing and I bet it was known a lot earlier than that, but yes I still hear it all the time. I expect this is one of those food myths that will continue for a very very long time, if not forever.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:15 AM   #5
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Sealing in the juices is indeed a fallacy. It sounds good but has been proven wrong.

There is a book titled, "What Einstein Told His Cook." by a well known scientist/foodie named Robert Wolke. He's a now retired professor of chemistry who spent time preforming experiments trying to prove or disprove common food "facts" and explain cooking phenomena.

Wolke discussed the juice sealing issue and proved with an experiment that it was false.

Here's a link to the Washington Post were he had a column for years. Some fascinating reading.

Robert L. Wolke - Food 101 - washingtonpost.com
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #6
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Wylie Dufresne is awesome.I would love to try his food.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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I think Alton Brown did an episode of Good Eats on this topic too.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
I think Alton Brown did an episode of Good Eats on this topic too.

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He did. He performed an experiment to prove the fallacy of this 'fact'.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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Yep, I agree with everyone else!
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollyanne
How long has this been a fact?
It has always been a "fact" ~~~ Harold McGee debunks the Myth in one of his books. He traces the Myth from the 17th Century all the way up into the 20th century..The book copyright is 1984..So at least 25 or so years...Possibly longer.
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