Learn how to sear a roast to get a gorgeous brown caramelized crust to achieve maximum flavor in your meal. Whether using a chuck roast, prime rib, or any other large piece of meat, searing improves the flavor tremendously. Home cooks should add this essential step to their skill set. This is also the same way you would sear cubed meat.
But What Doest It Mean To Sear a Roast?
Searing means to cook the outer edge of the meat at a high temperature in a hot skillet until a brown crust forms. The high temperatures are necessary because this is what maximizes the meats color and flavor. Searing is not 100% necessary but you will lose flavor and be left with a “not so pretty” roast. So, it is a good idea to get a caramelized surface of the meat and enjoy that rich brown crust.
How To Sear a Roast
To get a perfectly seared roast, follow these steps. Soon you will have a nice brown caramelized crust on the outer surface of the meat that makes your roast go from blah to wow!
Allow meat to come to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. When making roast in the crockpot, I like to just grab the roast out of the fridge at the same time I’m grabbing my homemade coffee creamer for my morning coffee. Then it can sit out until I am ready to sear it.
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Grab Your Cast Iron Pan
I’ve never seared meat in a non-cast iron pan before so I can’t actually say whether or not that works. What I can tell you is that cast iron pans truly make a difference in cooking though. Once switching over from store-bought non-stick pans to cast iron, even my veggies started tasting better. I do know some people that will use stainless steel pans though.
Pan searing will bring flavorful roasts, however, a dutch oven could be used as well. It would be less dirty dishes too if you are cooking your roast in the oven.
Warm up your large cast iron skillet for about 5-10 minutes. It should be a really hot pan.
Remove Moisture From Roast
Take a paper towel and blot the roast to remove excess moisture. Having too much liquid could cause steaming to take place and that is not what we want.
Place Fat In The Pan
Put a couple tablespoons of oil or fat in the pan. Lard is my personal preference. However many different options are available. Butter or avocado oil are great choices as well. Extra virgin olive oil can be used, however it does have a lower smoke point, so it is not recommended. A higher smoke point oil is the better choice so avocado oil would be the best oil because it is going to be some hot oil. Let the fat melt.
Place Roast In Pan
As soon as the meat hits the pan, you will hear a wonderful sizzling noise. Here is the important part, do NOT keep checking on the meat. Just leave the first side be for about 2-4 minutes. Checking on the meat too much can cause the meat to tear. The roast will release easily from the pan when ready to flip. Cook the other side for 2-4 minutes also.
Once you have seared the big sides, sear the small sides. This is a step a lot of people skip, however it gives you the best results. Just use tongs to hold the roast in place.
After the searing process, you can season meat with salt or whatever your favorite seasonings are.
Cook Your Roast
Congratulations! You learned how to sear a roast. Your final dish will have some savory flavor and your guests will be asking which cooking experts you have been training with!
After searing the roast, I like to place meat in the crockpot for some slow cooking. There will be some good meat bits in the pan and it is a great opportunity to soften up some onions and garlic cloves in there. The pan juices have so much flavor.
Check out my slow cooker pot roast recipe here. It works great for pork roast or beef roast. When you sear meat at a high temperature and then cook it at a lower temperature, the pieces of meat just fall off the bone and taste wonderful!