How to use a Searing Burner on a Gas Grill

It’s getting more and more common to see a sear burner in a more expensive gas grill. It is without a doubt a great tool that enhances a grill’s versatility.

When using a sear burner, you can in a short time achieve a very high temperature, what would you need that for? Achieving perfect sear marks on the food’s surface is not among the easiest tasks, you need to achieve a high enough temperature, which is time-consuming.

This problem was solved by creating the sear burner, which is a tool that 100% solves this problem.

Depending on the manufacturer, this tool has different names and utilizes different technologies (for example infrared side burner) but in practice the principle of operation is the same and so are the results.

What is the Sear Burner and how does it work

When it comes to the sear station from Weber, these are smaller burners located very close to each other. Such arrangement allows to achieve in one spot a very high temperature in a very short time. It is usually located inside the grill next to the regular burners. It has a separate knob used to adjust the power in all the small burners at the same time.

Plenty of other manufacturers utilize the infrared technology instead of regular burners and it is often located in the side shelf.

Both types are great and work perfectly at their task, which consists of achieving very high temperatures in a short time (about 900 F).

How to use a Searing Burner on a Weber Gas Grill

Very huge popularity is enjoyed by gas grills from Weber which is why we decided to describe how to use sear burners based on Weber. In order to be more precise, I’d like to remind that Weber calls this feature “sear station”.

How you utilize the potential of sear burners is up to you. There are many methods, and which one you choose will mainly depend on what you want to achieve or what was written in the recipe.

We’ll present one variant based on grilling a steak.

Plenty of people will first decide to fry a steak using a sear station. That way you can decently barbecue meat right at the beginning, giving it beautiful sear marks. Next you need to move the meat to such place where you can start cooking with indirect heat. That way the steak will slowly reach the internal temperature that suits you, then you have to take it off the grates.

Or you can use the reverse sear technique, where the principle is opposite to the one described above. First you cook the meat on the grill, right before achieving the target internal temperature you move the meat over the sear station. Using full power of the sear burners, you spend 2-3 minutes giving the food beautiful sear marks on each side, then all that is left for you to do is take it off the grates and leave for 10-15 minutes to rest.

What does it look like step by step? 

We will describe it based on the first method.

Step 1 – Prepare the meat

In this case we’re dealing with a steak, but no matter what type of meat, we need to make sure that after taking it out of the fridge we leave it for about half an hour before cooking. We cannot place cold meat directly on the grates, wait until it reaches room temperature.

In the meantime, prepare the marinate if you use it or simply sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper thoroughly on each side, even on the edges.

Step 2 – Preheat the grill

A simple thing, start the grill and set the burner at full power so that it reaches the right temperature for cooking as soon as possible. The grill should reach a temperature of 450-500 degrees F, with most grills it takes about 15 minutes.

Step 3 – Start the Sear Station

Once the grill reaches the right temperature and the meat rests after being removed from the fridge, you can move on to grilling.

This method is about using the sear station first in order to achieve beautiful sear marks on the food’s surface. For that purpose, start the sear station and wait for a moment, then place the meat entirely over the sear burners.

Fry the steak for about 2-3 minutes on each side, then move it to a colder place and turn off the sear station.

Step 4 – Continue grilling

Start the remaining burners, leaving one off, place the steak right above it and let it cook slowly, achieving the right internal temperature. A very helpful thing here will be a smoker thermometer or an instant-read thermometer that will allow you to achieve a perfectly done steak.

Step 5 – Done

Once the meat has reached the right temperature, take it off the grates and wait for about 10 minutes before you start slicing.

Of course it is one of the ways to utilize sear burners. That way right at the start you can achieve wonderful sear marks, and the next stage is slow cooking that makes it possible to achieve perfect doneness on the inside (when you also use a thermometer, obviously).

The result is a steak perfectly done on the outside, with an ideal doneness level on the inside.