Can you tell me EXACTLY what kind of pan you use? I mean, what brand, size and type of pan do you use?
Here's why I'm asking -- for the first time ever, I pan seared my brisket before oven braising it. I actually went out and bought a new roasting pan because the roasting pan I'd normally use for oven braising a large (~8 lb.) brisket has a non-stick surface and I didn't want to put that pan over high heat on the stovetop. I have a large, round LC Dutch oven, but it wasn't large enough for the whole brisket.
I checked online for roasting pan recommendations and found the Calphalon Conemporary tri-ply SS roasting pan to be highly rated on Americas's Test Kitchen website, so that's the one I bought. But here's the problem -- there's a slightly recessed area around the perimeter of the base of the pan, maybe 2" wide all around. I'm sure that the recessed area is intended to hold pan drippings from roasts, and that's fine for roasting. But having a recessed area means that the center part of the pan's base is raised, thereby greatly reducing the surface area of the part of the pan that actually comes in contact with the meat while searing.
So enlighten me, please -- what pan are you using to get a great sear on your brisket? Thanks!