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How to Sear Meat on the Grill

Searing meat seals in the juices and it is highly recommended for almost every piece of meat that you will grill. The basics of searing are fairly easy: you place your meat over high heat for a very short period of time to sear it sealing the juices inside. Then you flip it to the other side and repeat.

This is also the part that will get you those professional looking grill marks.

To sear properly you must first pre-heat your grill. This usually takes between 5 to 15 minutes depending on your grill and the outside temperature. Also be sure those grates are nice and clean, dirty grates will cause the food to stick. Run a wet grill brush over the area and allow it to get back up to temperature for best results.

Once the grill is preheated be sure to place the meat on the hottest part of your grill close the grill cover and wait 1 to 2 minutes. The first time you do this check the meat after one minute, the trick here is if it is still stuck your cooking grates, it’s not ready to flip.

Use only dry spices to season any meat to be seared. While you can sear any meat however, large cuts typically benefit more from the low and slow method. Dry rubs will also help you get a great crust.

If you are searing multiple items, some may stick some and may not. The ones that stick are on cooler parts of the grill and the other ones are ready to turn, when the meat is ready to turn, flip it and repeat the process. Typically after the sear you will be removing the meat from the hot spot of the grill and/or lowering your flame.

Searing Tips:

1) If your grills grates do not get hot enough place a pie tin upside down to trap the heat. This will drastically increase the grates temperature.

2) Do not attempt to sear anything that is covered in marinade or sauce of any kind. This will cause the meat to stick and burn and it will never release from the grates.

3) A thick piece of meat like a Filet Migon can be seared on the sides as well.

4) Keep an eye on fatty meats like chicken with the skin on or a well marbled steak when searing. Once that fat starts to render you will get flare-ups that will burn your food

That’s all there is to searing, it’s pretty simple once you learn the trick to it.




Is a Certified Food Safety Professional, KCBS member and has over 10 years experience in the food service industry.

“I have experienced some of the best food this country has to offer and nothing is better than the food that comes off my grill!”

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