A Lotus Rock frying pan has an excellent high heating effect, and so because of this it is ideal for use on a stove top to give meat and vegetables a deep brown, flavorful crust. However, although this cooking method undoubtedly gives the meat a more delicious taste on the surface, it can be difficult to cook some foods evenly – steak, for example – and to preserve as much moisture as possible to keep it juicy and moist.
One of the significant benefits of a forged steel handle or silicone grip handle is that the pan can be transferred to the oven either before or after the meat is seared on the stove. Coupling these techniques prevents scorching and excess moisture loss.
For chicken breasts, which must to be cooked very well done to be safe for human consumption, it is better to sear the chicken quickly first, to develop a crispy crust and then to put it in the oven to cook the inside.
A well-browned and juicy steak, on the other hand, requires the same process but in reverse order. It makes sense to put the steak in the oven first, to be heated indirectly, and then for it to be put on the stove later for a more efficient heat conductor, in order to develop a well-browned crust.
There are a couple of reasons for doing a steak this way, these include:
- Keeping the pan hot. A steak should not be seared too long in the pan, otherwise it will become too dry and tough to eat. If the pan is heated before the steak is added it will brown more quickly and so lose less moisture. Ideally the steak also should be heated in an oven before it is placed in the pan – a cold piece of meat will cool the pan slightly, and so delay the point at which the meat begins to brown (the Maillard reaction begins at 300 degrees) – though the heavy gauge and thick ceramic coating of a Lotus Rock pan gives it excellent heat retention and reduces this problem. The faster the steak is well-browned, the sooner it can be taken out of the hot pan and the more moisture it will retain, for a juicier, more succulent taste.
- Remove surface moisture. Oven warming the steak evaporates some surface moisture, so there is less to be converted to steam when the steak is added to the pan. Less moisture on the steak will reduce the chance of water vapor separating the steak from the pan while it is being seared. Consequently, the browning process can begin sooner and finish faster, for a well-browned crust and a juicy interior.*
*Another important factor that affects the juiciness of a steak is its resting period. Around 10 minutes after cooking is usually sufficient time for the moisture to be reabsorbed inside the meat. If the steak is cut immediately after cooking then a lot of liquid will spill out which would make the steak drier, chewier and less enjoyable.