Can you brown a pork tenderloin and bake it later?

I'm having guests and don't want to be in the kitchen browning the meat when our guests arrive. So, is it possible to brown the meat earlier, then pop it in the oven later? I realize the meat will continue to cook after browning, so I'm thinking it will just take less time in the oven, but I don't want it to dry out. Help!

  • Posted by: Phyllis
  • December 8, 2014


boulangere December 8, 2014
Yes, absolutely. That's an old careering/banquet chef trick and it works like a charm. You can caramelize your meat even the day before, certainly the morning of your event. Afterwards, cover it with plastic and refrigerate it. Remove it to room temp an hour or so before you plan to finish it in the oven because you don't ever want to move a meat directly from refrigeration temps to heat, as doing so causes cell walls to tighten up under the sudden stress, causing water molecules to be forced out and dry meat results. Finish your meat in a 325 degree oven until it reaches your desired doneness. Your house will smell aromatic, not smoky.
Phyllis December 9, 2014
Thanks so much. Will definitely try it and hope for the best!
Meaghan F. December 9, 2014
Interesting! I didn't realize this was a common practice... Someone posted a similar question recently regarding beef tenderloin, and I questioned whether there would be a health risk involved with such a method.
SKK December 9, 2014
Thank you for the lesson! Learned a lot from this discussion.
ChezHenry December 9, 2014
The key is a rapid cool down. This is the key to all food safety, actually. While it's a trick used by caterers/restaurants, they always practice very high safety techniques. Don't leave the seared meat out on your counter. A restaurant would use an ice bath setup, with one banquet tray sitting inside another larger one filled with ice, salt and water. As they are seared, you place them into the chilling pan. Then into the fridge.
creamtea December 8, 2014
I would worry about bacteria developing with this treatment, because you're taking it out of the fridge, raising the surface temperature, but not the interior....
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