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Kitchen Tip: How to Pan Sear and Sauté

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Tips, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.

Pan searing and sautéing are very similar cooking techniques that both depend on controlling the temperature of the cooking oil.

They are extremely fundamental techniques that could not be easier to master. Whether you’re cooking protein or vegetables, these simple tips will help you achieve the perfect exterior sear and beautifully tender interior.

How to Pan Sear

You can pan sear any protein you prefer, like chicken, pork, fish and filet mignon, but for this example, I am pan searing a CARE Certified New York strip steak from Heinen’s Meat Department.

  1. Season the protein on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a cast iron skillet or pan on the burner of the cooktop.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add 2 Tbsp. of cooking oil.
  4. Once the oil is lightly smoking, add the seasoned protein.
  5. Immediately reduce the heat to medium to ensure that the protein does not burn.
  6. Add a few pats of unsalted butter to add flavor and assist with the browning process.
  7. If cooking a steak, sear for about 2-3 minutes per side to ensure a safe internal temperature.
  8. Baste the protein by gently tilting the pan towards yourself and spooning the drippings in the pan onto the top of the protein.
  9. Once the protein is done cooking, remove it from the burner and set it on a cutting board to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pan Seared Steak

How to Sauté

Sautéing is just like pan searing except the oil is slightly hotter and it’s a method primarily used for cooking vegetables. From carrots and butternut squash to bell peppers and zucchini, the options are endless.

  1. Place a large stainless steel frying pan over the burner of the cooktop.
  2. Turn the heat to high and add 2 Tbsp. of cooking oil.
  3. Once the oil is lightly smoking, add the vegetables.
  4. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-high.
  5. Take the pan in one hand and push it forward and back to allow the vegetables to move around. To avoid flames, simply lift the pan about a foot off of the burner and flip the vegetables.
  6. Within 2-3 minutes, the vegetables will reach a golden brown exterior and tender interior. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the hot vegetables directly to a plate or serving bowl and finish with fresh herbs of choice.

Sauted Vegetables
Kitchen Tip: How to Pan Sear and Sauté

Kitchen Tip: How to Pan Sear and Sauté

Chef Billy Parisi

By Chef Billy Parisi

Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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