Pan searing can greatly enhance the flavors of your meat if you do it right, if you don’t it can dry meat out and overcook it. The tricks to pan searing are not overly difficult, but like so many other things in the kitchen, mastering them and learning to throw out the timer in favor of your eyes can be difficult.
To Pan sear you need to start with a slope sided saute pan just large enough to hold what you are searing. If you are buying a pan with searing in mind, choose a heavy aluminum pan that heats evenly. Heating the pan first is essential, and making sure that the pan is hot enough is also vital. Turn your burner on medium heat, let the pan heat until it is fully hot but not smoking.
Add just enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan. The type of fat you use will depend on what you are searing as well as preference. Oil or clarified butter work best. Add your meat to the pan, the side you want to serve up should go face down first.
Now leave the meat until it develops a crust and is about halfway done. Flip the meat and sear the other side until done. You are looking for the meat to feel firmer, as it does when it cooks, you can also use a thermometer to check for doneness until you learn to get the feel for meat that is cooked to perfection.