Searing on a Pellet Grill: A Do-Everything Grill Does Even More


Is it possible for pellet grills, which have long been touted as do-everything grills, to actually do more? It’s a fair question. And, with the addition of a direct grilling option, the answer is yes.

If you have even a passing familiarity with pellet grills, you’ve heard it before: Pellet grills are do-everything grills or do-it-all cookers. It’s lofty praise and mostly deserved—pellet grills can smoke, grill, bake, roast, and braise. In fact, the typical pellet grill can do just about anything that a kitchen oven can do—with the addition of true wood smoke flavor.

However, the title Do-Everything Grill is also a little misleading, ripe with the kind of hyperbole marketing teams often apply to products. After all, if pellet grills were truly do-it-all grills then it wouldn’t be possible to add new capabilities like, say, searing. Yet that’s exactly what we’ve done by adding a high heat Sear Station to the Pellet Q-450.

What are the Best Pellet Grills for Searing?

That’s not an easy question to answer, in part because many people assume all pellet grills can sear. That’s partially the work of the marketing behind most pellet grills, which tends to make it seem like they all have the same capabilities. But it’s also because many people mistakenly use the terms grill and sear interchangeably. All pellet grills can grill (duh). However, not all pellet grills can sear.

Before going any further, a quick review is probably in order. At their core, pellet grills are indirect cookers—a metal diffuser plate sits between the fire and the food. The upside? There are no flare-ups or charred food, because neither the grease nor the meat ever comes in contact with the flames. The downside? That diffuser plate also blocks the most intense heat, keeping temperatures down. A run-of-the-mill pellet grill maxes out around 400-425°F. That’s fine for grilling, but not searing—ideal searing temperatures start at 550°F.

The FireCraft Pellet-Q450 Sear Station

In the grilling world, there’s nothing sexier than searing. Maybe that’s more hyperbole, but we all love that sizzle and we all want those dark crosshatched sear marks. For that reason, and because a do-everything grill should do everything, some pellet grills have added options that make high-heat direct grilling possible. We’re excited that the FireCraft Pellet-Q450 has that option thanks to the Q450 Sear Station.

From the beginning, we envisioned the Pellet-Q450 as a premium pellet grill with a modest price. That meant a price tag under $1,000. It also meant stainless steel construction, precision PID temperature control, a programmable meat probe and, yes, a direct grilling option. Easy to use and true to its name, the Q450 Sear Station is incredibly effective, as seen in the video above and our video recipe for Seared Tuna.