Caramelizing -- or browning or searing -- involves reactions between sugars, proteins and dry heat. You can caramelize meats to produce rich flavors and colors. Try searing pork roasts, steaks and beef roasts, and chicken wings before cooking in the oven. Caramelizing meat requires no special cooking equipment. Any large, heavy pan will do for this technique.
Remove the meat from the fridge, and leave it at room temperature for approximately five minutes. Remove excess moisture from the meat by patting down with paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Select a heavy skillet or cast iron pan, and place it on the stove on high heat.
Brush the meat with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Rub a little sugar on the meat to enhance the caramelized flavor.
Add a teaspoon of oil to the hot pan. Lay the meat on the pan, and brown one side for about a minute, depending on the size of the meat.
Flip the meat over with tongs when the edges of the meat start to rise from the surface. Allow the same cooking time for the other side to achieve even browning.
Take the pan off the heat, and place into the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Allow for more or less cooking time depending on the size and type of meat.
Remove the pan from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Allow the meat to rest for approximately five minutes before serving to allow the juices to return to the center of the meat.
Use a pan or skillet with a large surface area to allow the meat maximum space to caramelize.
Cook the meat thoroughly before tasting. Make a small incision in the center of the meat, and take note of any juices that seep away from the meat. A pink-colored juice leaving the meat means that it is not cooked through, while clear juices indicate that the meat is medium done. If no juices run free, then the meat is well done.
Alan Pirie has written professionally for local government organizations, newspapers and specialist oil-and-gas industry publications since 2005. In his current role, Pirie covers the upstream oil and gas industry for various publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in publishing with journalism from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.