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How to Sear on a Traeger Wood Pellet Grill

You don’t have to sacrifice wood fired taste for grill marks. Here’s how to sear on a Traeger wood pellet grill.

What is a Sear?

A sear is to mark, brand or char a surface with extreme heat.

Searing seals in natural flavors while creating a new flavor combination where it sears. When protein and sugars heat above 350° F, meat browns and caramelizes, which improves flavor. The flavor is what makes people want to lick their plates.

How it Works

Inside the Traeger wood fired oven, the convection fan speeds up the cooking process by 20%.

When you place the meat directly on a hot grate, the protein begins to warm, and the cold of the meat reflects cold back to the grill grate. This slows down the heating process of the parts that are not directly touching the grate.

This is how the area of the meat that is touching the grate has the Maillard reaction or browns and forms seared grill marks on the protein.

Searing occurs to the area of meat that touches the hot grate. This area cooks faster and hotter than the circulating convection heat cooks the rest of the meat.

In the best case scenario, you only sear the outside of the steak. This creates a different flavor combination than the juicy meat that’s slowly cooking inside.

Searing in a pan creates a different effect because the entire surface of the meat sears as it touches the pan, and there is no air circulating underneath it.

Tricks to a Good Sear on Any Grill

1. Always preheat your grill.

2. Find the hot spot on your grill and use it to sear. Most are on the right and back of the grill grate.

3. The grill temperature must be over 350° F for searing and grill marks to occur.

Sear on a Traeger

Tricks to a Good Sear on a Traeger Grill

1. Preheat your grill, set the temperature setting to Smoke with the lid open until a fire is established and smoke begins to billow. This could take 4 to 10 minutes.

2. Close the lid and set the grill temperature setting to High and continue preheating with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. When ready to sear, make sure your grill temperature is at least 350° F for the best sear  – we recommend 450° F.

Open the grill lid and quickly place the meat on your grill’s hot spot, then close the lid quickly and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes uninterrupted. No peeking.

4. Flip the meat over and repeat.

5. Cast iron retains and distributes heat evenly. It maintains slow and even cooking and provides a deeper sear.

When you’re grilling outside and cooking an expensive cut of meat, you want to grill it to perfection. You can try the tips in the article on your favorite New York strip steak, filet mignon or rib eye.

With Traeger, nothing is impossible. Don’t sacrifice wood fired taste for grill marks.


Source: Traeger Grills