I assume by now most sous-vide fans have at least heard of the Mayo sear. I don’t expect that everyone has tried it but most have likely heard of it.
The idea is pretty simple- after the waterbath and your food is cooked, lather up your meat (usually beef steaks) with mayo and sear to finish. A pan-searing method works best.
Real Mayonnaise consists of oil and egg whites. The oil helps with the searing in the pan and the egg whites add protein which sears into a nice crust. Ideally you’d use Avocado Mayo because the oil would be best for searing and the most healthy option.
Side By Side
For this post, I decided to keep it straight forward. Salt and Pepper on ribeye steaks. I cooked two steaks, one with a mayo sear and one without.
Cooked sous-vide at 129 for 1 hour.
Searing is no different than if you had only oil in the skillet. Pat dry and apply mayo to one side. Sear about 30-60 seconds for each side at high heat. Place the Mayo side down first and allow to sear while you apply Mayo to the other side. Flip and sear second side for 30-60 seconds as well.
Mind the backwards switch of mayo orientation in the above photos.
I enjoyed seeing the darker, crustier sear on the ribeye that was seared with Mayo. It also didn’t seem to allow the heat to penetrate the meat as much during the sear.
The flavor didn’t seem to be any different (which is good IMO) and it also doesn’t require any noticeable amount of extra effort.
The Mayo Sear is an interesting approach to take in searing a steak, and for anyone intrigued or skeptical I suggest you give it a try!