Published November 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.
To devise a pan-seared scallop recipe with a great crust, we seared the scallops in oil, then basted them in butter. Waiting to add the butter ensured that it had enough time to work its browning magic on the scallops, but not enough time to burn. When using scallops treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (a common preservative), we eliminated the chemical flavor in our seared scallop recipe by briefly brining the shellfish in a solution of water, lemon juice, and salt.