How To Cook Perfect Scallops

How To Cook Scallops | Learn Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Scallops 

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How To Cook Scallops Perfectly

Kitchen Basics Culinary Course

Scallops cooked correctly are simply amazing and sure are beautiful on the plate. The perfect golden brown scallop that everyone wants to see on their plate. Scallops are naturally delicate and can overcook easily. I’ve written an article covering scallops in detail I would like for you to check out. In the article, I discuss my experience in culinary school where I went out looking for help from my Chefs. Cooking the perfect scallop did not come easy for me, just like with most cooks. Promise you’ll learn a bunch in the article. You can get it here.

Have you ever cooked scallops before? Do you like them when they are perfectly golden brown>>? I sure do, but learning how to do it well didn’t come easy for me. After you watch the video below you will have the keys to golden brown scallops for LIFE..

Article All About Scallops – Culinary School Adventure Learning To Cook Scallops

 perfect golden brown scallop

Here’s my quick fire list for cooking scallops to perfection

  • Before you start cooking scallops make sure the scallops are very very dry. I suggest placing them on a paper towel with a paper towel on top till you’re ready to start cooking. This is the largest mistake cooks make when cooking scallops. If you try to cook them, and they’re not very dry, they scallops will only steam in the pan. Which results in no color on the scallops.
  • Pay close attention to the heat level. Sadly, Chefs state to cook scallops with a screaming hot pan. They are very wrong with that statement that gets repeated often, flat wrong. Forget all about that falsely stated non-fact. Cooking scallops just like the photos in this article are accomplished by using med/high heat. If the pan was screaming hot the scallops would begin to caramelize extremely quickly resulting in two things. Overcooked scallops and burnt edges around the scallop. Scallops have a good amount of natural sugars in them and they will burn easily.
  • The kind of fat/oil you cook scallops in is of make it or break it importance. Oils/Fats with low smoke points cause discolorations, also the Oil/Fat oxidize which is the oil breaking down. Which means the Oil/Fat molecular makeup has changed which results in a bad or bitter taste.
  • Suggested Oil = Peanut Oil (Very High Smoke Point) 440
  • Suggested Fat = Clarified Butter ( Smoke Point Around 400 and Up Depending on the Butter Quality) Normal butter (350)
  • Do Not Add anymore than the needed amount of Oil/Fat to the pan. If you do, your shallow frying and no longer searing scallops.
  • Type of Pan to cook scallops in. The best is Cast Iron. Non Stick pans are so inconsistent I would be leading you down a road of failure if I suggested ever cooking scallops with a non-stick pan. Cast Iron skillets are very low cost. I’ll add a suggested purchase from my affiliate Amazon account below.

how to cook scallops perfectly


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How To Cook Scallops Perfectly

The tips and tricks for cooking perfect scallops can be confusing. Allow me to explain 🙂
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Seafood
Cuisine: Classic French
Keyword: How To Cook Perfect Scallops
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 12 Large Sea Scallops (colossal scallops) Dry Packed Have More Flavor
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp Clarified Butter Help increase smoke point
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp Olive Oil Mixing butter and olive helps improve the taste and smoke point level
  • Sea Salt

Optional: Quick Marinate Recipe

  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Tbsp Creole Seasoning


  • The recipe is for 4 people each getting 3 large scallops plated. Add more if you like. The reason for 3 each is first, cost control and second professional plating is done on "odds". The brain looks for even numbers, so when serving odd numbers the brain interprets the plating as nicer, more visually appealing 

The Marinade Process

  • You will want to do this about 15 minutes before cooking. The scallops only need a short time in the marinade. DO NOT marinade the scallop longer than 10 minutes or risk cooking them from the apple cider vinegar. Plus, it will change the texture destroying the scallops.
  • After 10 minutes in the marinade, you need to move them over to a dry paper towel and allow the scallop to dry. You may need to change the paper towel a few times to get them dry.
  • WARNING: Wet scallops will never become golden brown. Never, unless you shallow fry them. 

The Cooking Of The Scallops

  • Using a large skillet (Do not crowd the pan with scallops or risk steaming them, which means no golden brown scallops)
    Over medium-high heat. Do not use high heat or risk burning the scallops and oil.
    Add both the olive oil and butter
    Allow the oil to come to temperature
    Add the (Dry Scallops) to the pan. Once they touch the pan, move them around to make sure the oil is evenly covering the base of each scallop or get inconsistent browning on the scallops.
  • When are they done?
    Here's a tip. Do not overcook them 🙂 If you wanted to, you could eat them raw. Yes, seriously. So when you're cooking them, they only take about 3 to 4 minutes MAX cook time.
  • While they are cooking you can baste them with the oil/butter/olive oil. 
    Using a large spoon, scoop the hot oil over the scallops. This helps with even cooking and browning


How To Cook Scallops | Learn Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Scallops | Kitchen Basics

how to cook scallops