If you’ve heard that a Traeger can’t sear, we beg to differ.
A sear is to mark, brand, or char a surface with extreme heat. Searing seals in natural flavors and creates a new flavor combination where it sears. When protein and sugars heat above 350 degrees 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%. By placing 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, which 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.
Ideally, you only want to cook the outside of a steak by searing, 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.
How to Get a Good Sear:
1. Preheating your grill is imperative.
2. Every grill has hot spots, most are on the right and back of the grill grate. Find your hottest spot and use it to sear.
3. Searing and grill marks occur when the grill temperature is over 350 degrees F.
Tips and Tricks to Sear on a Traeger.
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 degrees F for the best sear 450 degrees F is recommended. 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. Check out our Cast Iron Grill Accessories to find a cast iron grill grate to add to your wood-fired grill.
When you spend a good chunk of change on a prime cut of meat, cooking it to perfection is the key to creating a melt-in-your-mouth meal. Try these searing tips on a New York strip steak, filet mignon, or rib eye and enjoy.
To get a tender, medium rare steak, cook the meat until the internal temperature is 125 to 135 degrees F. Let the meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.
With Traeger, nothing is impossible. Don't sacrifice wood fired taste for grill marks.