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Topic Title: To sear or not to sear
Created on January 27, 2012 at 04:12 PM

Skip

I have been interested in buying the Sear Mate to go with my Holland Legacy but I have read that searing a steak, for instance, doesn't really do anything for the flavor. Apparently the only advantage is cosmetic. I saw in a blog that Tom Kirkman, who I consider an expert on all things Holland, said he would never sear again. That makes me think there must be some disadvantges to searing meat. Any comments are welcome.
Thanks
Skip

Tom Kirkman

I'm no expert and barely a novice cook, but I think if it tastes good, it is good (to paraphrase Duke Ellington).
I bought the stainless steel Searmate and it's a very well built unit. It does exactly what it claims to do. However, after consulting some chefs, including a friend who owns one of this area's top restaurants (a steak will run you $40 to $50) I am convince that none of the top chefs sear their steaks. They sprinkle a little sugar on the outside and set them on a grill for mere seconds to mark them and then do the bulk of the cooking in the oven where they can control things. I even heard chef Gordon Ramsay say this very thing.
I've used my searmate a few times. I put the steaks on for 90 seconds per side and then finished cooking on the Holland. They were dry. So I tried going just 30 seconds per side and finishing on the Holland. Again, dry. So now I'm back to just doing the entire process on the Holland and they're juicy and succulent. They don't have grill marks on them, but I no longer care.
I'm not trying to knock Holland out of selling a searmate, but I think you should try searing a steak on whatever old gas grill you have now, and then finish in the Holland, versus just doing all the cooking in the Holland. Then decide.
Don't trust my taste - your's may be entirely different.

Toms Right

But why can't we get a Side Burner?????

Skip

I guess this begs the question: is it advisable to cook the steak entirely on the Sear Mate with no time on the Holland Grill?
Thanks

Tom Kirkman

You can, but it'll be dry and not at all succulent and delicious as it would be if cooked entirely in the Holland.