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Old 04-12-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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Pan Searing question

I've watched a lot of Alton Brown's shows and he seems to have contradicted himself (or so it seems to me). I have seen shows where he pan sears beef (such as his black peppercorn encrusted fillet mignon) by heating Olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat and then sears the fillet for a couple minutes per side.

I recently was watching an episode where he was making a roast. He was searing it to give it a crust and said that you never want to put oil in the pan because it will burn and smoke, so instead you should brush the meat with oil. He also said that you shouldn't season the meat with pepper, as pepper burns.

So was he referring just to a pot roast? I'm confused because I have always seared by putting oil in the pan and I do use peppercorn.


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Old 04-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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different cuts of the same meat cook differently, temps and times, thus the different methods. A sauteed steak is a quick cook. A pot roast is a low slow braise but begins with a long sear for flavor.

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Old 04-12-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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AB does contradict himself at times. I think what happens is that his knowledge evolves and he presents the new information, not realizing the contradiction.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:12 AM   #4
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He may also have used oil for steak au poivre to increase conduction since the meat's covered with crushed peppercorns. Such an encrusting would also make it difficult to rub with oil as he suggests in "Good Wine Gone Bad". In "A Chuck for Chuck" he doesn't do either when searing the pot roast!
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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As much as I like him, a lot of his "must nevers" are personal preference.

Personally, I LIKE crushed peppercorns on my steak...and like them ahem "well done"....but only on certain cuts like a sirloin.

same with using a pan sear.....I like certain cuts pan seared and certain grilled....my girlfriend swears when I pan sear and throw it in the oven to finish that they taste better....

brush with oil,but use a little in the pan as well,
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