Pan Searing Before Oven Roasting is Smart Kitchen's Preferred Method.
Pan Searing Before Oven Roasting
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Pan Searing Before Oven Roasting is the technique demonstrated by Teaching Chef in the Roasting Meat exercise.

The benefits of “pan searing” over “oven searing,” are the addition of a fat for added flavor & color, the speed at which the sear can be completed, and the ability, with regularly shaped products like beef cuts, to sear each of the 6 planar surfaces of the product.  

The Flavor: A protein over higher heats creates Fond, the flavorful residue of time in the pan, as its internal moisture evaporates. Some fond adheres to the pan, some adheres to the product.

If you pan sear, the fond that remains on the product, follows it into the roasting oven and improves the flavor of your final dish. Fond is created in Oven Searing too, as Fat and Jus drip into the Roasting Pan and lose their moisture via evaporation. But Pan Searing creates much more Fond, which can be De-Glazed and used to make a Pan Sauce to accompany your roast. When your guests are clamoring for a bit more sauce, you will be glad that you have it.  

A quick side note before moving on. Though we are calling it a “Pan Sear” what we mean is placing your pot, pan, or other suitable cooking vessel on top of a burner (or burners) to use the energy of High Heat Conduction to sear the product.

 The Speed: A pan sear is about 10% to 20% faster than a plain Oven Sear. Cooking speed obviously saves the chef time, which is important, especially when multiple dishes are being prepared simultaneously. The less obvious reason that cooking time is important is that fewer minutes in the cooking environment means less evaporation of your product’s moisture. Moisture retained means a juicer outcome. 

The Sides:  In an Oven Sear, the high heat convection (hot air blowing around the product) will only hit the exposed sides. If only 5 of the 6 possible sides (top, bottom, front, back, left and right) are exposed, only 5 will be seared.  Exposing every side is the reason that it is important to use a Roasting Pan, with a Roasting Rack or Trivet to ensure the best results when Oven Searing. Lifting the product up allows air to flow around it and hit the as many exterior surfaces as possible.

Beginning with a Pan Sear allows all 6 sides (top, bottom, front, back, left and right) to be seared quickly so that they become golden brown and develop the more complex flavors created by Rendering, the Maillard Reaction and Caramelization. Nothing has to be missed.

Be careful when Pan Searing about the potential for uneven application of the Sear. An overdone bottom and an underdone top are not great cooking and would be chalked up to Chef’s error. Similarly, Pan Searing is only appropriate for even shaped products. Un-even shapes, like whole poultry for example, have irregular bumps and crevices that will be missed by the flat surface of your pan.

 Once the sear is accomplished, the product is transferred to a pre-heated oven, already at a Roasting heat selected by the chef to suit the product and available time.

The product is then Finish Cooked in the normal way until it reaches 5 to 10 degrees below the desired level of doneness so that it can be pulled from the oven and Carry Over Cooking can finish the Roast.