Browning is the process of imparting a brown colour to the surface of foodstuffs both for appearance and for flavouring before subjecting them to further processing. The foods most frequently subjected to browning are meats and vegetables but the technique can be applied to virtually any solid food.
Browning can be achieved by different means but the most frequently used methods are sautéing and searing. Grilling and roasting are also sometimes used for larger quantities of food when pan browning is impractical due to volume and time constraints. Also, large cuts of meat are often browned in the oven at a high temperature of 400ºF or more before lowering the temperature to complete cooking.
Some foods and dishes which may be subjected to browning include:
- Meats for soups and stews
- Minced (ground) meats used in sauces and ragoûts such as bolognese sauce
- Vegetables used in soups and stews e.g. French onion soup