To brown meat is to cook it quickly in butter or oil in a skillet until it turns brown, turning the food to get both sides.
The purpose behind browning is to seal the surface of the meat so that no juices can escape during cooking. Usually, when browning, you then are directed to move on to another form of cooking. Because the meat has been sealed, it does not dry out when being cooked, but stays moist and flavorful. "Browning" meat differs from "sauteing" meat in that when you saute, you then go on to finish cooking the meat then and there.

Helpful Hints:

  • When browning, always make sure that the meat is dry and at room temperature. Cold meat will not only lower the temperature of the pan, but will cause steam in the process, which prevents the meat from browning.
  • Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this will have the same effect as cold meat. Without room for the heat to circulate, steam develops.
  • Dusting flour on the meat will ensure that the meat is dry and browns evenly without steaming.
  • Try mixing spices into the flour before coating the meat to add extra flavor and texture!
  • Brown the meat in a pan that has been coated with butter or oil to prevent sticking. Using butter adds the most flavor and also allows the meat to brown a beautiful golden color!
  • Be sure to turn the meat at regular intervals to ensure even browning and sealing.
  • Large heavy fry pans work best for browning. They allow room for the meat to cook and provide a nice high heat. If you use a stainless steel pan, the clean up is easy and worry-free.

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