How to get the perfect sear marks

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How to get the perfect sear marks

I know you want those perfect sear marks. You want to show your neighbour that your steak looks better. I totally get it. I like the look of a picture-perfect steak.

I’ve got your back. I show you all my tricks to get perfect sear marks and a hack. The hack is that I’ve got special grill grates to get even better sear marks than average.


For good grill marks, you need grill grates that can hold a lot of energy. Usually, that’s done with cast-iron grill grates. My grill comes with beautiful grill grates, but you can buy them for your grill.

Cast-iron collects and holds a lot of energy and releases it when the cold steak hits it. That energy is starting the Maillard effect that builds those desirable sear marks. That’s all there is to it.

  1. The first thing you have to do is fire up your grill. All the charcoal has to be fully lit, and you want to see a layer of white ashes on top of the charcoal.

  1. Then you have to let the grill grates become piping hot. Because without heat, you can have no grill marks.

  1. When the grates are hot, you want to clean them and season them. Brush off the old grease and burnt parts with a wired brush, and then you clean the grates with some paper towel and a bit of vegetable oil.

  1. Then your steak needs to have a dry surface. So you use some paper towel to pat it dry. Then you can place the steak on the grates and wait for 30 seconds. If you’re not sure that the steak has complete contact with the grates, you can put a weight on it to help.

    As you can see i’m using special GrillGrates that can get really hot without the flare-ups that can ruin the perfect sear marks. This was the hack I talked about. It’s a bit like cheating but it’s all allowed if you want to beat your neighbour.

  1. After 30 seconds, you’ve got the first lines. But you want a diamond shape you see in the commercials, so you rotate the steak 45 degrees and place the steak on a new spot where the grates are still hot.

  1. After another 30 seconds, the first side is finished. If you are only concerned about the looks, you can take a picture and send it to your neighbour. Otherwise, you do the same to the other side. It helps when you dry that side first before you put it down on the grates.

Big thanks to Napoleon Grills for sponsoring this post.
Please return the favor by visiting their website.

BBQ gear used

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I link these articles because of their quality.

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