How to Sear the Perfect Steak on a Gas Grill

Seared steak and vegetables on a cutting board

Discovering how to beautifully sear steak on a grill is a rite of passage for any griller worth their salt (and pepper). If you’re using gas instead of charcoal, you’re probably wondering how to sear steak on a grill that doesn’t hit extreme temperatures.

We’ve got you covered. With decades of grilling experience, we bring some serious expertise to the table, not to mention the juiciest and tastiest steaks! We’re gas grill users ourselves, but we also recognize their shortcomings—mainly flavor and heat.

That’s why we invented the FlavrQ Grilling System. FlavrQ gives your food bonafide charcoal-grilled flavor and makes it possible for your gas grill to hit temperatures over 100° hotter than before, so you can sear steak on a grill 50% faster.

We’ll give you the full scoop on FlavrQ after we share some crucial techniques for searing and sealing steaks like a boss. Ready to unleash your inner grill master? Put on your apron, and let’s get cookin’!

Why Searing Matters

First things first. Is searing steak really necessary? The answer is a resounding yes! If you’re not properly searing your steaks, you’re missing out on rich, robust flavor and juicy, melt-in-your-mouth texture, not to mention the visual appeal of flame-kissed flash marks.

Searing a steak gives the outer layer a crust of caramelization that creates bold, multidimensional flavor profiles you just don’t get with low-temp grilling. Also, when you sear steak on a grill, you’re locking in the moisture so every bite is blissfully tender.

Of course, grilling is all about the eating experience, but presentation matters, too. Knowing how to sear steak on a grill is a skill that’ll impress your guests and make your backyard BBQs legendary on social media and in memories.

Long story short: sear your steaks! Here’s how.

1. Prep Your Steak

Three raw steaks and salt and pepper

Before you light the grill, make sure your steaks are ready for action. Thaw them completely (if necessary) and then let them sit for 20-30 minutes or so until they reach room temperature. Grilling cold steaks often leads to an undercooked inside and overcooked outside.

Before you sear steak on a grill, you’ll also want to do some seasoning. For classic steaks, we recommend a generous amount of salt and pepper on both sides. You can stop there or add a pinch of rosemary and/or garlic, but you really don’t need any other seasonings.

Now, whether or not you want to oil your steak is up to you. It’s not necessary, but it can help to prevent sticking, and some quality olive oil (garlic-infused if you please) can add some depth to the flavor.

2. Crank the Heat Up

You might know how to sear steak on a grill, but that knowledge won’t do a lick of good if you’re not hitting the heat levels necessary to properly sear steak on a grill. To achieve searing sublimity, you’re going to need to reach 450°F to 500°F.

So, this is the point where you move on to the next section because you know that your FlavrQ-equipped gas grill is fully capable of hitting those scorching heat levels. If you’re still using a stock gas grill, it’s time to upgrade!

3. Sear Fast and Hot

A steak on a grill

When you’re grilling at ultra-high heat, it’s easy to overcook your steak into something that resembles oversized jerky if you’re not careful. Keep an eye on it. 

You typically only need 1-3 minutes on each side. Of course, the size and cut are going to affect how long you sear steak on a grill — a 3 inch t-bone steak is going to take a whole lot longer than a flank steak or some steak tips.

4. Check the Internal Temperature

Some grillers use vision, touch, instinct, or a combination of all three to determine when a steak is ready to be pulled. If that works for you, more power to you. That said, we highly recommend using a meat thermometer when searing.

Sometimes, a seared steak can have a golden-brown crust on the outside, but the inside still hasn’t had quite enough time to cook to your desired level. Using a thermometer removes all doubt.

Here are the temperature ranges to look for when you sear steak on a grill:

  • Bleu: 110°F
  • Rare: 120–130°F
  • Medium-Rare: 130–135°F
  • Medium: 135–145°F
  • Medium-Well: 145–155°F
  • Well-Done: 155°F+

5. Rest the Meat Before Cutting

A person cutting a steak on a cutting board

Now that you know how to sear steak on a grill, don’t blow it by cutting into your perfectly seared steak prematurely! We know how tempting it is to start enjoying the fruits (meats?) of your labor, but you must let your steaks take a quick nap for 5-10 minutes before you dig in.

Resting your seared steaks gives those active juices time to move around the meat, infusing everything with rich flavor and giving it a soft, succulent texture.

After you sear steak on a grill, we recommend putting it on a cutting board with a loose tin foil tent over the top to keep it warm until the feast begins.

Level Up Your Grilling Game with FlavrQ

As you can see, searing isn’t terribly difficult, but it does require the right gear. Sure, you could do your best with the gas grill you’ve got, but why settle for anything less than the best? Steaks are worth doing right.

FlavrQ uses two components to teach your old grill new tricks. The FlavrQ Grid installs in seconds and makes your gas grill compatible with our patented, all-natural ChipCharwood®—the fuel that makes it possible to sear steak on a grill at higher temperatures with charcoal-grilled flavor.

Even if you’re not using ChipCharwood®, the FlavrQ Grid improves radiant heat distribution, so it’s actually a useful upgrade for traditional gas grilling, too.

The FlavrQ system doesn’t just deliver tastier and juicier food. It’s healthier and better for the environment, too. Because our ChipCharwood® is derived from natural Canadian forested sugar maples, there are far fewer toxins in the food and air.

Grill Like the Pros

Understanding how to sear steak on a grill is the first step in your quest to achieve mastery of the timeless art of applying fire to food. Now, make sure you’re able to properly sear steak on a grill every time. If you’re ready to experience the difference, order your FlavrQ Starter Kit today.

Check out our BBQ blog for more expert grilling tips and techniques, and explore our patented gas grill accessories now!