The Difference Between Searing and Sauteing


Maryland-area resident Brian Kezer enjoys a wide range of hobbies in his free time. In addition to his interest in music and working out, Brian Kezer likes to cook.

In cooking, sautéing and searing are two similar, yet very different, techniques. While both methods involve the use of a shallow pan on a stovetop, searing is more of a surface treatment, while sautéing is a method to fully cook dishes.

The process of searing produces a well-browned crust, typically on thick cuts of fish, steak, or poultry. Popular belief holds that this is done to seal in the juices, but the method actually only adds a crunchy texture and deep flavor to the surface of the meat. The interior is still uncooked and is finished using a gentler cooking method after searing is completed.

Sautéing, however, does fully cook and is used for small pieces of food, like chopped vegetables, or for thin cuts of fish and meat. This method also softens garlic, onion, and other aromatic foods for use in a braise, sauce base, or stew.

Brian Kezer

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Brian Kezer