What Does Sear Mean When Cooking a Steak on the Gas Grill?

by Chris Commins
searing steak on gas grill

If you're looking to cook a steak on a gas grill, you may have heard the term "searing" thrown around. But what does it actually mean and how does it impact the final result of your steak? This article delves into the art of searing steaks on a gas grill and offers some helpful tips on how to achieve a flawless sear for your meat.

Understanding Searing: Intense Heat for a Quick Cook

Searing is the process of quickly cooking the surface of something, such as meat, using intense heat. It is typically done at the beginning of the cooking process to create a caramelized, flavorful crust on the outside of the steak. While there is a common belief that searing seals in the juices, this is still a matter of opinion and has not been scientifically proven.

Getting the Right Tools: Searing Burners or Infrared Burners

To achieve that perfect sear on your steak, it helps to have the right tools. Many gas grill manufacturers offer searing burners or infrared burners as optional features or add-ons to their grills. These burners can heat up to very high temperatures, allowing you to sear your steak effectively.

Preparing Your Steak for Searing

To ensure a perfectly seared steak on your gas grill, it's crucial to prepare the meat correctly. Begin by gently applying olive oil onto the steak, and then season it with salt and pepper to your liking. This will elevate the taste and encourage the formation of a delectable crust during the searing process.

The Searing Process: Achieving the Perfect Sear

Once your gas grill and searing burner are preheated, it's time to start searing your steak. Begin by spraying a non-stick spray on the infrared burner to prevent the steak from sticking. Then, carefully place the steak directly on the burner. The intense heat will quickly sear the surface of the meat.

For optimal results, it is recommended to cook both sides of the steak for about 1 to 1.5 minutes, taking into account the thickness of the meat and your preferred level of doneness. Remember that searing is intended to produce a crispy exterior while maintaining a moist and succulent interior.


seared steak


Finishing the Cooking Process

After searing your steak on the infrared burner, it's essential to move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. This will allow the internal temperature of the steak to rise gradually and evenly, ensuring a perfectly cooked piece of meat.

To accurately determine the doneness of your steak, it is recommended to use a meat thermometer. Each level of doneness has a specific temperature range, such as rare (125°F/52°C), medium-rare (135°F/57°C), medium (145°F/63°C), medium-well (150°F/66°C), and well-done (160°F/71°C).

For precise readings, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding contact with the bone.

Enjoying Your Perfectly Seared Steak

Once your steak has reached your desired level of doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak.

Sealing in Juices

Searing a steak on a gas grill is an excellent way to enhance its flavor and create a mouthwatering crust. With the help of searing burners or infrared burners, you can achieve the intense heat required for a perfect sear.

Remember to properly season your steak, sear it quickly on the high-temperature burner, and then finish cooking it on a cooler part of the grill. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a delicious, restaurant-quality steak right in your own backyard.

While the debate about searing and its effect on sealing in juices continues, the most important thing is to cook your steak to your liking. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the level of doneness, so trust your instincts and enjoy your steak just the way you like it.

Experimenting with Different Techniques

Searing a steak on a gas grill is not the only way to achieve a fantastic crust and delicious flavor. There are alternative techniques you can try to expand your culinary repertoire and create variety in your grilled steak dishes.

  • Reverse Searing: This method involves cooking the steak at a low temperature first and then finishing it with a quick sear. It allows for more even cooking and a beautifully caramelized crust.
  • Cast Iron Skillet: If you don't have a searing burner or infrared burner on your gas grill, you can achieve a great sear by using a cast iron skillet on the grill. Preheat the skillet on the grill, and when it's smoking hot, sear your steak on each side for a few minutes.
  • Sous Vide: Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing the steak and cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature. Afterward, a quick sear on the gas grill will give it a delectable crust.
  • Finishing Touches: After searing your steak, consider adding a pat of butter or a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top to enhance the flavor. Let the butter melt over the steak as it rests, infusing it with richness and depth.

Mastering the Art of Searing

Searing a steak on a gas grill is a skill that can be perfected with practice. Here are a few additional tips to help you achieve the best results:


  • Preheat the Grill: Make sure your gas grill is preheated to a high temperature before you begin searing. This will ensure that the grill grates are hot enough to create a beautiful sear on the steak.
  • Oil the Grates: Before placing the steak on the grill, oil the grates to prevent sticking. Use tongs and a folded paper towel soaked in oil to rub the grates.
  • Avoid Flare-Ups: The high heat used for searing can sometimes cause flare-ups. Be prepared to move the steak to a different part of the grill if necessary to avoid excessive charring.
  • Resting Period: After your steak is cooked to perfection, allow it to rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

In conclusion, searing a steak on a gas grill is a fantastic way to enhance its flavor and create a mouthwatering crust. Whether you use a searing burner, an infrared burner, or alternative techniques like reverse searing or using a cast iron skillet, the key is to achieve that perfect balance of caramelization on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender.

With practice and a little experimentation, you'll be able to create restaurant-quality steaks right in your own backyard.

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From searing burners to infrared burners, they have everything you need to achieve that perfect sear on your steaks.

Visit BBQ Outfitters to explore their selection and find the perfect gas grill for your needs. Contact our knowledgeable team for any inquiries or assistance you may require.

So don't wait any longer. Take your grilling skills to new heights with the right equipment from BBQ Outfitters. Your backyard cookouts will never be the same again. Happy grilling!