How to Use a Searing Burner

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Updated February 11, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 5
Time Required Depends on ingredients
Things to Know

If you are just getting into the world of grilling, you may wonder how to use a searing burner. The best grills, after all, tend to include a searing station with a searing burner or two. Keep reading to learn how to use a searing burner.


  • Most grills have an ultra-hot searing station cooking grate, aka an infrared burner, for quickly searing a piece of meat and related ingredients.
  • Turn on the infrared burner and the searing station and allow it to reach the maximum temperature for reduced cooking times.
  • Sear a standard steak for around 90 seconds per side with intense heat and finish cooking on the main burner. Keep your meat thermometer handy.

How to Use a Searing Burner on a Gas Grill

Most grills, like the Napoleon Burners Prestige Pro 665 grill, are gas grills. But some charcoal-based grills offer this functionality if you are learning how to use hardwood lump charcoal.

Insider Tip

No matter how much you sear your meat, always finish cooking it on the main burner to ensure it gets up to an acceptable temperature.

STEP 1 Identify Your Searing Station

  1. Find your grill’s searing station or searing burner by checking the instructions or looking underneath the grill for a confluence of two or three burners in one location.
  2. The sear burner included on many higher-end gas grills is an extremely powerful cooking element.
  3. It uses a large number of small flames to heat a ceramic plate to high temperatures. The superheated ceramic element emits infrared radiation, which rapidly sears and browns meats and other ingredients.
  4. A searing station is for ultra-high cooking temperatures, unlike when learning about pellet smoker parts.

STEP 2 Light Your Grill and Searing Burner

  1. Light your gas grill and sear burner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the instructions require you to light the sear burner separately, follow the instructions for that as well.
  2. Preheat the sear burner to its highest setting, while setting the main grill to a temperature of around 300F.

STEP 3 Prepare Your Ingredients

  1. A searing station is primarily used to sear cuts of meat, like steaks, chicken, and pork.
  2. Before you place the ingredients on the burner, prepare them for the cooking process by cutting them into appropriate sizes and seasoning them generously with salt and pepper.
  3. You may also want to marinate them ahead of night overnight with a mixture of your choosing.

STEP 4 Sear the Ingredients

  1. Place the cuts of meat or related ingredients on your searing burner.
  2. Each ingredient is different but count on cooking them on the burner for 90 seconds per side to achieve a good sear.

STEP 5 Finish Cooking on Main Burners

  1. Once seared, remove the ingredients from the dedicated sear burner and transfer them to the main burner or burners to finish cooking. Clean up after you’re done, which is a given, that way you can keep mice out of your grill. This is important because even the best built-in grills can get mice. 


What can you do with a side burner?

Side burners are great for anything that does well with indirect heat, such as side dishes and the like.

What does searing do for meat?

Searing keeps the juices inside the meat and adds a bit of flavor, thanks to the crusting over of fats. No matter the grill type, make sure your meat gets up to an adequate internal temperature before eating.

How to clean a flat top grill?

No matter if you are using electric grills, pellet grills, or portable grills, cleaning the flat top is a matter of thoroughly scrubbing with a brush and removing food debris.

STAT: Some people like to employ the “reverse sear” method, in which the food is cooked almost to completion over a lower temperature, and then moved to the sear station just before it’s done to sear. (source)

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