Searing Temp

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by quagmire38, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. What's up everybody,

    I have a question about searing temps. What is a good temperature for searing meats?
    I grilled some chicken quarters today and I didn't get any sear marks? I got the searing sound when I put the chicken on the grates but no sear marks. I used two chimneys full of charcoal. I have a 55 gallon drum grill.

    Appreciate the help.

  2. I hate to be the one to tell you, but searing marks don't make the meat taste any better.  It may look better on the plate buy your palate will never know the difference.

    That being said, if you really need to see those marks on your chicken you need to get the temp up there, at least over 400 degrees.  However, if you do that you may end up with the sear marks you are desiring but have raw meat inside. 


    I never worry about sear marks on chicken or pork as I tend to cook them low and slow, as far as grilling goes.  For beef it's a bit different depending on how you like your steaks, and what kind of cut you are cooking. 

    Regardless, if you like the way your chicken tasted, keep doing it that way. 
  3. Thanks AJBert. LOL! Yes I know the sear mark don't make the meat better. I just want the look. So 400 degrees or better will give me the sear marks I am looking for. I will try it on the next grill session.
  4. Also, to ensure you get the sear marks you desire, make sure the grill is up to temp before putting any meat on the grates.  With chicken I always use some non-stick spray on the grates.  When you flip the chicken move it to a part of the grate that you haven't used yet if the grill isn't full.
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is why, if you are grilling them you should use a combination of direct and indirect cooking. The direct gives you the sear marks and caramelisation and the indirect then brings it up to the required internal temperature.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If the chicken is moist, grill marks usually take a long time... dry the bird well, rub with oil, oil transfers heat best... water turns to steam and won't give the marks you like... even a steak will take grill marks better when it is oiled first... try bacon fat for chicken and steak... adds a new dimension...
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not to be argumentative, but those sear marks actually do make the chicken taste better. To put it in terms people seem to like here, they're little lines of "bark". The same reason people go nuts over the bark on a pork butt or a nice seared crust on a steak. Plus, as they say, we eat with our eyes first, so those grill marks trigger our brains to say "YUM!! GRILLED FOOD!!"
    As for how, you've already gotten good advice on that. Dry surface, HOT grill and a little oil. And yes, 2 stage cooking is a must when grilling chicken. If you do the indirect before searing, the surface will be dry and the proteins on the surface, so it will take a better sear.
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm with MD on this. Indirect then sear. Even works with spatchy chickens!

  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For chicken I agree - however for burgers I find it better the other way around.
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd disagree wth that. I like to cold smoke burgers then sear over high heat. Just my preference. You get a killer smokey back flavor and the charred goodness.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  11. Thank you gentlemen. Great advice. Mdboatbum I will try the reverse sear you suggested. Indirect first then direct for the sear. Can't wait till my weekend to hit the grill again.
  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The good thing about the forum is that we all have our different methods and we all find out which works best for us. Why don't you try them both ways and then you will know which works best for you.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015

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