The Perfect Sear Using the Cold Grate Technique
Everyone agrees: grill marks = flavor. The brown crust that forms due to the exposure of meat to high heat (Maillard reaction) produces the most flavorful bites. So why are we happy with food that only has strips of flavor? What if we could have all-over flavor? We can! The Slow ‘N Sear and the Cold Grate Technique make it both possible and incredibly easy.
Say goodbye to grill marks…
…and HELLO! to all over sear and fantastic flavor!
Why are we so used to grill marks?
It’s no surprise that we’ve learned to think that a grill-marked steak looks delicious. Most grills (even in restaurants) don’t get hot enough to deliver an all-over sear to the food. Instead, they rely on the heat from the cooking grate to do most of the cooking. The meat touching the grate gets nice and browned but the rest of the surface just gets cooked without any additional flavor. This is why you usually see tan banding around the outside edges of a grill-marked steak when you cut into it rather than the wall-to-wall color you get with the Cold Grate Technique.
No tan banding here! This Cold Grate, reverse seared ribeye has wall-to-wall uniform interior color.
- The fully walled basket keeps coals away from the kettle wall so heat stays inside the grill
- The slightly angled walls of the basket encourages even burn of fuel and concentrates heat
- The basket itself is large enough to hold enough fuel to generate super-high temperatures (1000+ F)
A cold cooking grate – the key to a perfect sear
Now that we have an intensely hot sear zone, we’re going to let the fire do the cooking and not the grate.
- Instead of heating up your cooking grate, do everything you can to keep it COLD and out of the way of your intense radiant heat.
- Use a thin wire grate so it can’t store heat energy and put it on at the last moment so it’s not hot when the steak is first set on the grill.
- Maintain a two zone fire so only part of the grate is over the sear zone.
- When it’s time to flip, spin the grate so that you’re always using a cold grate and a very hot fire to sear.