Does Searing Meat Really Seal In Moisture?


Join us for a dive into the question: Does Searing Meat Really Seal In Moisture? The answer may surprise you. Keep reading to find out more. 

What is Searing Meat?

The term searing meat refers to when your meat is cooked on a high temperature for a short amount of time, generally in a pan, before roasting. This allows for those nice lines on meat, and cooks the outside. This is what is referred to as searing. 

Does Searing Meat Really Seal In Moisture?

Does Searing Meat Really Seal In Moisture? The short answer is that, no searing meat does not seal in moisture. Furthermore, searing meat in general has been found to dry out your meat, rather than help to make it moist. 

Author Harold McGee of “On Food and Cooking” says that searing meat does not seem in the moisture. Also, Food Network’s Alton Brown, agrees with McGee, that searing meat does not seal in moisture. He even conducted an experiment to determine if it helped or not. Brown measured the moisture content of both seared and un-seared meat that had been cooked to the same internal temperature. The result was that the seared meat actually had less moisture. 

Why Sear Meat

If searing your meat does not keep in the moisture, then what is the point of it and should you do it? This is a good question. Yes, there are many reasons to still sear your meat before baking. Some of the reasons are improving the presentation and expanding the flavor.


By searing your meat before roasting, it greatly improves the presentation of your meat. Everyone loves to see those nice lines seared into the meat, and it adds a nice coloring to your dish.


After the meat is seared, the flavor contrast is much more noticeable. Even if searing your meat does not in reality increase the moisture in your meat, your taste buds will think that it does because of the contrast, having dark on the outside and juicy on the inside.  

While searing meat does not make your meat more moist, there are still some good reasons to sear it first. What it comes down to is your preferences, and what you like better. There are still many benefits, for searing meat which adds flavor and texture contrast, in addition to greatly improving your presentation.

What have you found about searing your meat? Do you prefer seared meat?

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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