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Beef Packaging Facts

Beef Packaging Facts

We'll show you how beef packaging can help with meal planning. Watch the VIDEO or download our Fresh Beef Packaging Guide.

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Lesson - Pan-Sear Cooking

Pan Searing

Now sear this: Pan searing is a simple way to create restaurant-style steaks at home. Once you know how, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to do.

WATCH our pan searing video available in full length Cooking Show format (7:14) or Short Version (2:33).

LEARN how to pan sear with the Step-by-Step Lesson.

COOK the fabulous Pan Seared Medallions with Port Sauce feature recipe and more.

[ Video ]

Pan Searing Step-by-Step Lesson

Step 1a
Step 1b

Get Ready

  • Start with a thick-cut Beef Grilling Steak or Medallion, minimum 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick. Boneless cuts cook faster and more evenly than those with bone.
  • Grilling Steaks/Medallions: Top Sirloin, Strip Loin, Tenderloin, Rib Eye
  • Season beef with salt and pepper.

Turn on the stove exhaust fan or prop the kitchen door or window open to avoid setting off the smoke detector.

Step 1c


  • Use a shallow stainless steel pan with a heavy bottom (Nonstick pans don’t brown as well).
  • Use a pan that is large enough to cook the meat without over-crowding. If you overcrowd the pan, the meat will steam rather than brown. Brown the meat in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  • Use tongs to turn the meat.
  • Wear an apron as there will be splatters.
  • If using steaks more than 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick, set oven to 375°F (190°C) and use pan with ovenproof handles.

To make plastic or wooden pan handles oven-proof, wrap handles with foil.

Step 2a

Heating the Pan

  • Use vegetable oil or a mix of equal amounts of butter and vegetable oil in the pan – you don’t need much – a tablespoon (15 mL) or so will do.
Step 2b
  • Heat oil or oil/butter in pan over high heat until sizzling – test by sprinkling a drop of water into the pan – the drop will sizzle and evaporate on contact.

Oil is hot enough when it shimmers or looks wavy but is not smoking.

Step 3

Searing: Side 1

  • Place steak in pan – it will sizzle as the brown crust forms. For medium doneness, cook a 1-inch (2.5 cm) steak for 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Flip steak using tongs.

If you turn or move the steak before the crust forms, the meat will stick and tear. The steak lifts easily from the pan when it’s ready to turn.

Step 4

Searing: Side 2

  • Cook second side of 1-inch (2.5 cm) steak for 6 to 7 minutes for medium-rare doneness, turning twice or more to a finished temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Step 5


  • Test doneness by inserting a digital instant read thermometer sideways into steak (Med-rare:145°F/63°C; Medium: 155°F/68°C).
  • Remove steak, transfer steak to cutting board; let rest loosely covered with foil for 5 to 10 minutes (to allow juices to settle). Meanwhile, make pan sauce.

Step 6a
Step 6b

Simple Pan-Sauce

  • Add some chopped onion, garlic and fresh herbs (such as sage or thyme) to the pan; pan-fry for 2 minutes, adding extra oil if necessary.
  • Stir in beef/chicken stock and/or a splash of port or red wine, stirring up any browned bits from the pan (this is known as “deglazing the pan”). Cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Thicken with some cornstarch if you like (mix a spoonful of cornstarch with a spoonful of cold water and gradually stir into pan; bring to boil while stirring).

Step 7a
Step 7b

For Super-thick Steaks: For steaks thicker than 1-inch/2.5 cm, brown sides of steaks by turning with tongs, then, pan-sear for 3 minutes per side. Transfer steak (in searing-pan) to a 375°F (190°C) oven and cook to desired doneness (see chart). Test doneness by inserting digital instant read thermometer sideways into steak.

MINUTES IN OVEN (after pan-searing)
1-½ inches (4 cm) thick steak
8 to 10 12 to 13 15 to 18

Recipes to Cook

Feature Recipe: Pan Seared Medallions with Port Sauce

Pan Seared Bavette with Chili Maple Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

See all of our Pan Searing Recipes.

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Be Food Safe

Be Food Safe

Canada Beef Inc. is a proud partner with the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education in communicating safe food handling practices for you and your family. Visit the Partnership's Be Food Safe website for detailed Cook, Clean, Separate and Chill lessons or visit our FAQ section for more.

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Canadian Beef Farmers

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