Can You Sear Meat the Night Before? (Answered)

can you sear meat the night before
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Can You Sear Meat the Night Before?

Busy cooks are always looking for ways to make their meal preparation easier. From pre-peeling and chopping vegetables to boiling rice and pasta the day before, we all have our go-to time-saving tricks.

Something you may have wondered is whether can you sear meat the night before? We’re here to tell you all about that so do stay with us!

Searing Meat

Searing meat is the process of quickly pre-cooking and browning the outside of the meat before the main cooking takes place. It serves several purposes.

  • Caramelizes the exterior of the meat to give it a delicious umami flavor.
  • Seals the meat by creating a crisp crust that prevents too much moisture from escaping. This ensures a deliciously moist and flavorsome result.
  • Browns the exterior of the meat to give it an appetizing color.

Can You Sear Meat the Night Before?

It is perfectly acceptable and safe to sear your meat the night before although we don’t think there’s much point. Searing is a really fast process that takes ten minutes at the most.

If you are doing it in the interest of saving time, there are more efficient things you can do. For instance:

  • Peel and chop all the vegetables
  • Par-boil potatoes for roasting
  • Precook rice
  • Set the table beforehand, ready for your visitors the next day
  • Make a dessert that can be kept in the fridge until it is needed the following day

Beef, chorizo, olives, and other ingredients
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How To Sear Meat The Night Before

If you really want to sear meat the night before cooking it, here are instructions on how to do so.

  1. Defrost the meat before searing. The safest way to do this is to take it out of the freezer 12 hours before and leave it in the fridge.
    Failing this, the next best method is to half-fill your sink with cold water and put the wrapped package of meat in there to defrost. It will not take more than an hour or two unless it’s a big roast.
  2. When you’re ready to sear the meat, wipe it dry with a clean kitchen towel. Rub it all over with the oil and seasoning of your choice. It’s better to oil the meat than the pan as this prevents smoke.
    cast iron skillet smoking
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  3. Get out a heavy-based griddle or pan. Cast iron is best for this purpose. Put it over a high flame and heat it until it is extremely hot.
  4. Put your meat on and let it cook on one side for a few minutes without disturbing or turning it. Once it has developed a well-colored crust, flip it over and do the other side.
  5. Remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  6. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and put it into the fridge until you are ready to finish cooking it the next day.


As you can see, you can sear meat the night before. However, we think there are several other things you can do that are more effective for saving time.

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