There’s nothing quite like plating your dish with foods that have the perfect sear marks from your grill. Getting those cross-hatched grill lines on your meats and veggies will take you one step closer to reaching grill master status. So what’s the secret to picture-perfect sear marks? Here are a few tips to impress all your friends and family at your next cookout.
1. Preparing your grill
Before you can get to the fun part, make sure your grill is well-cleaned and seasoned. This quick tip
from Stan Hays, co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief, will get you a spotless surface and add a little flavor at the same time. Once that is complete, you’ll need to preheat your grill. A hot grill is vital to getting the right finish to your food, and preheating is the first step to making that happen. To fully preheat, turn your grill to high and then close the lid for about 15 minutes. Make sure to follow any additional safety instructions listed on your grill’s owner’s manual when turning it on.
2. Getting your meats and veggies ready
The last thing you want when going for perfect sear marks is a sticky grill. In order to prevent your meats and veggies from sticking to the grill’s surface, make sure to lightly oil
them before placing them on the grill. It’s also important to know that not all meats are created equal, and to get the grill lines you’ve always wanted, a flatter, more precise cut will go a long way. For example, a sirloin steak
will lay flatter on the grill, meaning the grill’s grates will press up evenly on the surface of the meat.
3. Start searing
Searing simply means cooking the surface of your meat at a high temperature to seal in juices and caramelize the sugars found naturally in food. Place your meats and/or vegetables on the grill, and let the direct heat
do its job. When the bottom surface of your food naturally releases (without a tug) from the grill’s grates, you’re ready for the next step. This usually takes anywhere from 90 seconds to two minutes.
4. Rotate your food
At this point, there should already be a few grill lines on your food from the step above. Now, to get the cross-hatch pattern, all you have to do is rotate your food 45 degrees. Use your initial grill marks to guide you if you to getting the perfect angle. Since your food is already partially seared from the step above, you won’t need to leave it on the grill for as long. Once the sear marks are complete, flip over to cook the other side. This side won’t need perfect sear marks, as only one side of your food will be presented on a plate. Trying to get those sear marks on both sides can often lead to overcooked food. Finally, to make sure your food is ready, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
There are plenty of foods that cater themselves to having great sear marks. Check out our recipes page
to get a few ideas on what to grill at your next cookout!