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How to Perfectly Pan Sear Scallops

Hell’s Kitchen Pan Seared Sea Scallops recipe by Gordon Ramsay. Thoroughly cooked golden-brown with a crispy outside crust, the way you would expect at the restaurants!

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Do you want to make Pan Seared Scallops that have a golden-brown, crispy outside crust, with no burnt flavors just the way you expect at a high-end restaurant! They’re easy to make at home and less expensive than eating out. So, What kind of pan is best for searing scallops?

Do not use nonstick pans because, typically, you can’t get the pan hot enough between 450- 500 °F required to sear scallops without damaging the nonstick coating.

Scallops come either wet or dry; buy the dry ones. Wet sea scallops have been treated with a chemical solution to preserve them, giving off-taste. If you aren’t sure if the scallops are wet or dry, ask your local supermarket fishmonger; if frozen, read the package label. Always wipe your sea scallops dry with a paper towel because moisture will stop them from browning.

My favorite pan-to-sear scallops are a fully seasoned Lodge Cast Iron Skillet or Mauviel M’steel Carbon Steel Skillet available at Amazon, also Lodge sells an Essential Cast-Iron Pan Set, 7-Piece, Black. Great for cooking at higher heat with oils to develop foods with full, rich flavor, color, and crisp texture. 

How to Make Gordon Ramsay Pan Sear Scallops

Step 1. Rinse scallops with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

Step 2. Place the pan on the stovetop on high heat, then add the butter and avocado oil. Salt and pepper the scallops. Heat for 2 minutes (make sure oil is hot); carefully add the scallops; they should not touch each other.

Step 3. Pan Sear Scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until brown. Making sure the scallops develop a 1/4-inch golden crust on both sides while still being translucent in the center not to overcook.

Step 4. Serve scallops immediately once cooking is complete or hold in the pan for final assemble to plate

What Kind of Pan is Best for Searing Scallops?

Seasoned cast‑iron or carbon steel pans are the best for searing scallops because they retain heat so well and preheat evenly. As you place your scallops into the skillet, you want to leave ample space between them; don’t crowd the pan so they don’t steam each other simultaneously.

What is the Best Oil to Cook Scallops?

For pan-searing scallops, the best oil to use is one with a high smoke point that can reach temperatures above 450°F for best searing results. Such as avocado, safflower, or soybean, don’t use olive oil, which has the lowest smoke point. You can add use clarified butter which gives the scallops a rich, full flavor.

Why Won’t My Scallops Sear?

If Scallops won’t sear brown, it’s because of excess moisture on the surface or oil isn’t hot enough. Wet scallops are treated with a solution of water and sodium tripolyphosphate and release more moisture when cooking, which interferes with the searing process leaving you with a boiled rubbery scallop. Dry scallops are shucked on the boat but stored in dry containers with no water or preservatives added.

Pan Seared Scallops – Gordon Ramsay

4 from 24 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: American
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

4

minutes

Creating Seared Scallops with a thoroughly cooked golden-brown with a crispy outside crust, the way you would expect at the restaurants!

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. dry scallops, 10/20 ct. (about 20)

  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter

  • 2 tsp. Avocado Oil

  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt to taste

  • ¼ tsp. Ground black pepper

Directions

  • Rinse scallops with cold water and thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Place pan on the stovetop with high heat, then add the butter and avocado oil. Salt and pepper the scallops. Heat for 2 minutes (make sure oil is hot); carefully add the scallops; they should not touch each other.
  • Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until brown. Making sure the scallops develop a 1/4-inch golden crust on both sides while still being translucent in the center not to overcook.
  • Serve scallops immediately once cooking is complete or hold in pan for final assemble to plate

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Adapted from Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen

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