Everyone knows (and loves!) the sound of the sizzle from a grill - it's the hallmark sound of summer. It’s this very sizzle that creates the flavor found in grilled meats. When the heat of the metal grill comes into contact with the meat, the surface proteins on the meat and the sugars present react by turning brown and creating that delicious meaty aroma. The maillard reaction (or browning reaction) is the instant sear that seals in flavor while adding an a beautiful crust for that char-grilled flavor we all crave.

Add Grill Marks Using A Preheated Napoleon Grill

To create a good sear, preheat your grill; your grilling surface needs to be clean and hot. First, light the charcoal or turn on the gas grill and close the lid. This will heat the metal quickly and allow the meat to cook immediately when it comes into contact with the surface of the grill. Once seared, depending on what you’re grilling, you can cook to the proper internal temperature. Either a quick sear on all sides for thin cuts of meat, or a quick sear, followed by moving your food to indirect heat to finish grilling and avoid drying out your meat. Many people are surprised to learn that the sear comes before the cooking in most cases.

Pro Tips:

  • Do not leave the grill unattended. You will need to wait while the grill heats up, but this is not extra time for you to head indoors while it does so. Instead, bring your food outside and use your grill’s generous side shelves to prep while you’re waiting.
  • Clean the grids thoroughly. Many grill stories end with over-charred lumps or blackened disasters. One cause of these burnt outcomes is flare ups, small pieces of meat or fat that stick to the grids burst into flames when heated on the grill, causing intense spots of heat. Make sure to brush the grates, loosen any old particles, and clear the grill of any potential for a flare up before you grill.

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