Sear Marks. It’s A Matter of Taste & Style!

September 4, 2012

Dial-In the Sear on Those Steaks! 

Great grill marks aka sear marks are a treat for the eyes as well as the pallet.  First feast on your eyes and then your taste buds.  Dial-in your sear marks from golden brown (not charred) to dark crunchy black- all the way to Pittsburgh Style.  With GrillGrates sear marks are a great indicator of cooking temp while delivering that perfectly grilled look.   The temps in the chart below are at the GrillGrate and highlight the range of grilling temps to dial in searing and the amount of char you prefer.  Remember GrillGrates are likely to be 100F higher than indicated on the hood thermometer of your grill.
  • 350-400F  Roasting temps for vegetables and for longer poultry cooks such as spatchcocked chicken
  • 400-500F  Golden brown sear marks on steaks and ideal temps for most fish and poultry, and hamburgers
  • 550-650F  Darker near black sear marks- This is where most of our championship buddies are cooking their steaks.  Primarily steak and tuna temps above 550F.
  • 700-850F  Black and crunchy sear marks on steaks- for those who like more of a char that lingers on your pallet.  Also great for quick searing Tuna and wahoo.  Otherwise, these temps will overwhelm most other foods and leave a very rare center.

This collage featuring Brett Gallaway of the USA Cook Team highlights the delicious range of sear-marks and varying degrees of char on steaks. No photoshop on these pics either!

I’ve been wavering from a super hot and fast seared and charred method back toward golden brown sear marks with less char.  This also gives the meat more time on the grill for the magic The Malliard Reaction!  I figure I’ve got another 30 years of R&D to do!