How to Oven-Sear Meat

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One method of making the perfect meat dish is to sear the meat prior to cooking it. Searing uses high heat at the start of the cooking process to caramelize the surface of the meat. This locks in the internal juices released during the roasting process. Searing can be done by frying the meat on all sides first. Oven-roasting is more practical for large roasts because it might be difficult to fry a large cut of meat on the stove top. However, you can oven-sear various types of meats using the same procedure.

A plate of roasted beef.
Image Credit: Rasulovs/iStock/Getty Images

Sear a Roast

Step 1

Preheat the oven between 450 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven temperature is contingent on the ultimate cooking temperature your roast calls for. Beef roasts at 325 degrees while pork may roast at 450 degrees. Set your initial temperature so it is approximately 100 to 125 degrees above the temperature at which you will finish the roast. If you plan on cooking the roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then you sear it at 450 to 475 degrees F.

Step 2

Prepare the meat according to your recipe using a dry rub, a wet marinade or just a sprinkle of salt and pepper. A dry rub combines dried herbs and seasonings, such as equal parts salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder, which are massaged into the surface of the meat. Most wet marinades contain an oil ingredient,an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice or vinegar, and herbs and spices.

Step 3

Place the meat in the roasting pan.

Step 4

Place the roasting pan on the center rack in the oven. Sear the roast for 10 minutes, turn it over and sear it for 10 more minutes.

Step 5

Reduce the heat of the oven to the recommended roasting temperature. Cook the meat for the recommended cooking time, less 20 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer deep into the roast's center to check the internal temperature for doneness.

Sear a Steak

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Prepare your steaks according to taste, using a dry rub, wet marinade or simply a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Step 3

Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil and place the steak on the bottom of the pan. If cooking more than one steak, place them about 1/2 inch apart.

Step 4

Put the pan in the oven and sear for two to three minutes. Turn the steak with tongs and sear for two to three more minutes on the other side.

Step 5

Lower the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 10 to 15 more minutes, moving the meat to the top oven rack, farthest from the heat. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the steak to check the doneness of the meat.

Things You'll Need

  • Roasting pan

  • Dry rub

  • Marinade

  • Meat thermometer

  • Olive oil

  • Tongs


Beef and fish is safely cooked at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Pork and poultry is safely cooked at 165 degrees according to the USDA.

Beef is medium-rare at 135 degrees, medium at 145 degrees and well done at 155 degrees. Pork is medium-rare at 145 degrees, medium at 150 degrees and well-done at 160 degrees.

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