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I am a proponent of browning meat at high temperature to get the maillard reaction prior to whatever remaining cooking steps there may be. I usually use a large stainless steel pan and a quantity of food small enough such that once added the pan doesn't cool down much at all. In cases when I have only one batch to brown I end up deglazing the same pan and the fond from the browning ends up mixing with some liquid for a sauce in later cooking stages and this works out well!

However if I have lots of meat to brown I always do this in batches to avoid the pan cooling and the meat steaming instead of browning due to over crowding. My big question is: should I clean the pan between batches? Do people do this?

I find that between batches I like to get the heat back up prior to letting the raw meat hit the pan. It's during this reheating that remnants of food from previous batches can start to burn which causes problems.

Sometimes with solid cuts of meat the fond is minimal or not too hard to scrape off. Recently with some ground pork mince I had a real hard time avoiding burning and smoking between batches. What do people recommend? Should I reserve the oil from the pan, take the time to scrape off partially overcooked fond (maybe even wash), so that I can get it nice and hot again (re-adding the oil) without worrying about burning and ruining flavor and smoking up the kitchen in the process?

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I don't think there is a definitive answer to that.

You could remove some of the fat and small residues between batches to prevent them from burning.

You can also lower the temperature, it will take a little more time to brown the meat.

This recipe suggest to deglaze between batches and keep the juices for later use in the recipe.

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-template-how-to-make-be-107019

  • I think that last option is the way to go. The process of deglazing will clean the pan well enough that you're unlikely to burn whatever's left while trying to brown the next batch, because ideally its all part of the sauce now (just not in the pan anymore). The only downside I see to that is that it will take some time for large amounts, since you have to repeat the entire process start to finish potentially several times. – senschen Sep 29 '17 at 18:17
  • great answer! Not only will I avoid burning but I can also reserve more flavor for my sauce later. – mitch Sep 30 '17 at 12:32

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