Gas grills have lots of great advantages over other types of grills, and one of them has got to be the sear station option. If you are in the market for your first gas grill, or you already have one but are not sure what the sear station is all about we have you covered. After this quick read you’ll know not just what it is, but also why you will want to use it.
What does a sear station do?
Searing is a cooking technique which uses very high temperatures to cook meat and fish, as during the process natural sugars and amino acids in the food are drawn out which creates a flavorful caramelized crust. Although it is possible to sear food without one, the results are better on a dedicated sear station.
How to use a sear station
The sear burner has one (or more) infrared plates which are specially designed to cook food at very high temperatures. The regular grill needs to be pre-heated before use, and during this time the searing section should not be activated. The sear station needs to be allowed to get to the right temperature before you use it, but beware this section heats faster than you may be used to. This will help you use sear station like a boss.
It isn’t used for the entire cooking time, instead you use it to sear your meat or fish before transferring them to the main part of the grill to allow the cooking process to be completed. While you are searing food you don’t need to close the grill’s lid.
Why use a sear station?
Although it can’t be used for absolutely everything you may throw onto a grill a sear station is great for cooking thick cut, tender steaks, or thicker cut fish fillets such as swordfish. (Meat or fish is best cooked at room temperature, after being dried with a paper towel to avoid too much moisture affecting the searing process.) Some of the main reasons to use a sear station include:
- Reducing cooking time.
Starting your meat on the sear station before shifting it to the regular grill reduces the risk of overcooking food.
- Greater capacity
If you are catering for a lot of people the sear station frees up the main grill for things like burgers and sausages which don’t benefit from the searing process. Then, when the seared food is ready to be moved over to the regular grill the smaller pieces of food cooked can be shifted to the edges to keep it warm.
- It looks great
Those attractive grill marks some food has is a result of searing.
- Better taste
Searing seals in the juices and keeps meat of all kinds moister than regular grilling can, with a distinct taste which nothing else can mimic.
There is a lesser used method known as ‘reverse searing’, which cooking suitable foods on the regular gas grill until they are nearly done, before transferring them over to the searing station. This is a good way to get the seared look and taste on less hardy foods such as vegetables.