When it comes to cooking meat, there are seemingly endless methods from which to choose from. However, whether you're grilling beef, pork, poultry, or produce – nothing beats the taste of a perfectly seared or reverse seared surface. The question lies on which to choose for optimal tenderness and flavor? To help with your decision, here is everything you need to know about achieving the perfect sear on your Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grill.
It’s important to understand the difference between these two cooking methods. Deciding which one to use depends on how thick your cut is, how crusty you like the outside, and how tender you want the inside to be.
Searing is a method of cooking that focuses on creating intense flavor on the outer surface of your foods before fully cooking the inside. It starts with browning the outside against high heat, so that the moisture evaporates, and a chemical change occurs resulting in a crusty texture and distinct caramel like flavor. Searing is preferred to reverse searing when grilling thin cuts of meat that will cook through quickly, like hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks less than 1 ½ inches thick, in addition to, tender fruits or vegetables, like pineapple, onions, peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini. To sear using your Pit Boss, start by browning both sides over piping hot grates. Followed by grilling with indirect heat until your food reaches the desired tenderness or internal temperature.
Reverse searing still features the distinct flavor and texture of the caramelized surface. Although, with a reverse sear, you start by cooking your meat to the desired internal temperature first, before finishing it off on a piping hot sear. Foods that are reverse seared take a little bit longer to cook, but this style is ideal for thicker cuts of meat that require more cooking time. Recipes best reverse seared include prime rib, ribeye or porterhouse steaks, and chicken breast. As well as dense fruits and vegetables like asparagus, carrots, or peaches. To achieve a reverse sear on your Pit Boss, start by cooking your food low and slow until you reach the desired internal temperature. Then, open the slide plate flame broiler and brown the outside until you reach a deep brown color. This can range from 30 – 90 seconds on each side depending on how hot your grill is.
The grill is one of the most important elements of the sear. A well prepped grill can make all the difference between a crunchy crust or a burnt one.
A good seared surface starts on a clean grill. Clean any debris leftover on your grates, so you can get even contact between the meat and the piping hot metal.
Remove the cooking grates to slide the flame broiler plate open and replace them afterward. If you have the Pit Boss Pro Series 1100, you can open the slide plate with the small handle underneath the side shelf.
Coat your grill or food with a little bit of oil. Fatty meats may not need this, but for foods like fish or fruits that have delicate skin, a touch of oil will help the flesh from sticking to the grill. Choose high-smoke point oils like canola, sunflower, or safflower.
Wait until your grill gets nice and hot. The best sear or reverse sear is going to come from lots of heat for a very short period of time, so even though there will be an open flame underneath, we still want the cast iron grids to be nice and hot.
In order to have a successful sear that is both crusty on the outside and tender on the inside, use the following steps to prepare your meet:
Dry the surface of your foods before searing them. If your meat was marinating beforehand, simply let the marinade drip off.
Allow meats to reach room temperature before grilling. This improves the overall flavor and juiciness.
Be sure to follow these tips for the perfect sear or reverse sear:
The first side will cool the grates slightly, so an unused section will help you achieve even heat and browning for both sides.
Either sear for 1-2 minutes or look for a crusty dark brown color. The sweet spot for the perfect brown color is just after the surface turns a nice golden color and right before it starts to char and turn black.
For a flavorful and textured crust, season with course black pepper and our Smoke Infused Sea Salt, before you sear or reverse sear.