How to sauté? Learn this cooking technique in 4 easy steps

Hoe te sauteren? Leer deze kooktechniek in 4 eenvoudige stappen
How to sauté food? This cooking technique may sound fancy, but it is easy to learn. Originally, the technique comes from French cuisine and is derived from the word sauté. This means to jump or throw up. You have probably seen a chef make a bumping movement with a pan. In the retreating movement, the contents jump up in an arc to land back in the pan. This is also a form of sautéing. Want to learn this technique the easy way? Then follow these 4 steps.

What is sautéing anyway?

Before you start learning the cooking technique, it is important to know what sautéing actually is. Sautéing is preparing a dish in a pan on high heat with little fat or oil. The pan is first heated thoroughly. Then, both the pan and the oil transfer heat to the food during cooking. With sautéing, dishes cook and brown evenly.

Stirring or flipping is a must, but in moderation. Because of the small amount of oil and the high heat, food cooks faster on the outside than the inside. This makes for vegetables with a bite, crispy caramelised onions or a juicy steak with a delicious crispy crust. So sautéing is very versatile in the kitchen.

Learn how to sauté in 4 easy steps

1. Prepare ingredients

You can sauté meat, fish or vegetables. In any case, good preparation is important. Make sure you cut the food into proportional pieces. This will ensure that each piece of vegetable or meat is cooked evenly during sautéing. How big you cut the pieces depends on the food. Chicken and meat should be cut a bit smaller than mushrooms or prawns. These are products that generally require a short cooking time.

2. Put the pan on high heat

If you want to learn how to sauté, it is very important that you use the right pan. For example, choose a non-stick pan or a non-stick pan with a PFAS and PFOA-free coating. If you are more experienced in sautéing, you can also use an iron pan.
  • Place the pan without oil on high heat. You can also use the wok burner. Wait for the pan to heat evenly. This will make it easier to sauté.
  • Add a little oil to the pan. Turn the pan to the left and right to distribute the oil evenly. Do not remove the pan from the heat. This prevents heat loss.
Tip: If you want to learn how to sauté, it is best to use oil instead of butter. Butter has a smoke point of 170°C. Oil gets much hotter at 230°C. Will your dish settle for a lower temperature but do you want a brown crust? Then do opt for butter. This also gives a product a bit more flavour. Like mushrooms, for example.

3. Put the ingredients in the pan

  • Put the ingredients in the pan when the oil or butter is evenly distributed. Add the meat or vegetables with the longest cooking time first.
  • Want to cook a large quantity? Then work in stages. This way, the heat is not lost during sautéing and you can also stir or shake the pan more easily. Sautéing small quantities of food also gives a more even cooking.
  • Shake the pan regularly or stir the ingredients. This will prevent the meat or vegetables from burning. In a good nonstick pan, you won't suffer as much from this.

4. Serve

Sautéing usually takes no more than 5 to 7 minutes. Depending on the product you want to prepare with this versatile and fun cooking technique, of course.

  • Have a piece of kitchen roll ready on the counter or on a board. Remove the pan from the heat and pour off any excess oil or cooking fat. You may want to collect and save this to add more flavour to other dishes or sauces.
  • Spoon the ingredients onto the kitchen roll. Excess oil or fat will be absorbed this way. You can now serve or season the dish as you like.

Looking for a pan set perfect for sautéing?

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