The Cinder Grill is not only the best and fastest way to sous vide, but also provides a professional-level sear, eliminating both the needs for heavy water baths and for dirtying another pan in order to enjoy restaurant-quality dining at home. Here’s a brief informative guide to maximizing results when searing on the Cinder Grill.
Between the cooking phase and the searing phase, a few quick steps can make all the difference in the quality of the sear. The Cinder Grill encloses the food while it cooks, providing a moist environment with no additional liquid. Because of this, most foods emerge from the Cinder Grill deliciously juicy inside and a little bit damp on the surface. Moisture inhibits browning, so the first step in getting a good sear is to gently pat the food dry while transferring it to a plate or other holding station.
Cooking Surface Preparation
The next step is to quickly wipe the plates dry as well, directing any excess of drippings into the drip tray. This has dual purposes. The first is that liquid boiling off the plates will remove heat from them, making them take longer to reach searing temperature. The second is that any juices or fats rendered from the cooked food are likely to be rich in protein, and proteins tend to be sticky and to burn. Removing them before bringing the Cinder to high heat helps maintain the effectiveness of the nonstick and prevent any buildup or char on the plates. Once the plates have been wiped, the Cinder can be set to sear.
Choosing an Oil to Sear With
Choosing the right cooking oil is an important step in searing. Every cooking oil has a smoke point, a temperature at which it begins to burn. It is essential to choose an oil with a high enough smoke point to withstand the 450 F heat of searing. While it’s tempting to choose an oil for its flavor, such as rich and peppery extra virgin olive oil, it is a general rule that the more flavorful an oil, the lower its smoke point. This is because more flavorful oils contain a greater number of compounds, including large organic molecules which are susceptible to burning at relatively low temperatures. In general, the more refined the oil the higher its smoke point, so oils such as peanut, canola, and avocado are best for searing on the Cinder.
However, there is an exception so notable we wrote an entire article on it. Ghee, a toasted variant of clarified butter, can both withstand the heat of searing and has a delicious flavor to contribute to any dish.
Lower Temperature Searing
If a flavorful oil such as the earlier mentioned extra virgin olive oil is required, there’s a compromise: set the Cinder’s temperature to 350 F. This isn’t the blazing temperature of the Sear setting, so it will take a little longer to build up a brown appetizing crust on the food, but it can be used with more heat-susceptible fats such as butter. It may help to monitor the internal temperature of the food while searing at 350F, to ensure that the interior doesn’t absorb too much extra heat during the extended sear.
The Cinder Grill makes complex cooking tasks easy. With a little attention paid to details, it can and will reliably produce a delicious and beautiful sear on any food you desire.