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Nothing beats the taste of steak with grill marks on the outside and a seared exterior. When you cut through that meat, the juices just pour out. Unless you use the right grill though, you won’t get the sear that some cuts of meat need. You want a pellet grill that can reach a high temperature and one with grates that keep food from sticking to the metal when you sear it.
The best pellet grill for cooking and searing is the Camp Chef SmokePro BBQ Sear Box. Designed to work with Camp Chef grills, this box attaches to the side and can reach a maximum temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. It uses the smoke from the wood pellets and has an adjustable burner. We know that finding a good pellet grill is tough, which is why this page contains both a buying guide for finding the best model and reviews of the top five pellet grills for meat searing.
Top 5 of the Best Pellet Grill for Searing 2021
Camp Chef makes many products for grilling enthusiasts, but the SmokePro BBQ Sear Box is the best one for getting a great sear on any type of meat. When you buy a wood pellet grill, you might find that it adds a smoky flavor to foods but it doesn’t produce the sear and grill marks that you need. As long as you have a compatible Camp Chef grill, you can attach this sear box to the side.
The sear box features a stainless steel exterior in a dark black color. That metal retains the heat produced by the grill and keeps it trapped inside to evenly cook your foods. A small handle on the front stays relatively cool and allows you to quickly lift the top of the box to visually check out your foods.
Inside the sear box is a small grate made from cast iron that you can remove for cleaning. This grate has thin slats and holes that help the smoke from the grill surround the food. Not only does this let you add grill marks, but it also sears those foods to lock in their natural flavors and juices.
Thanks to the adjustable knob on the front, it’s easy to adjust the volume of the sear box without changing the temperature of the grill. You can use this box at a maximum temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum output of 16,000 BTU. Though you may want to make sure that it’s compatible with your grill, this box is easy to use and installs in minutes.
The Davy Crockett from Green Mountain Grills is one of the best pellet grills for use at home and away from home. This grill has a handy design with strong metal legs that also function as handles. Those legs wrap around the exterior of the grill to let you carry it to a party. They also fold down and away from the grill to create legs for it.
One feature that many like is the WiFi programming capability. As long as you have a WiFi signal, you can connect your device to the grill and use the app you download to view the settings on the grill. Not only can you check on how many pellets are left in the hopper, but you can also change the smoke and temperature settings when you’re away from the grill.
Included with the grill are both 12V and 110V adapters that let you power the grill via the outlet in your car or an outdoor outlet. You can also use it with a standard outlet outside. The included adapters all fit inside the grill at the end of your trip too.
Called the ultimate pellet grill for tailgating, the Davy Crockett grill has a thermal sensor inside called the Sense-Mate. This monitors the internal temperature and tells you when you need to increase or decrease that level to keep your food safe. Weighing only 57 pounds, this is a grill that anyone can carry to all their parties and events.
One of the Camp Chef pellet grills that comes with a sear box is the Woodwind, which is a popular Camp Chef model for home grillers who want to sear meats. The Woodwind uses the company’s smart smoke technology, which gives you more freedom as you cook and keeps you from standing over the grill. This technology monitors the internal temperature and automatically adds more pellets when the temperature drops. The system maintains a constant temperature, even if you’re not there.
Suitable for grilling, braising and all other cooking methods, this grill has a temperature range of down to 160 degrees Fahrenheit up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only does the smokebox have a digital screen, but it has buttons that let you change the temperature in seconds. It can turn raw marinated foods into delicious smoked meats like short ribs without any effort. It also requires just one touch to turn the grill on and off.
Some of the features we like include the ash cleanout system and the interior cooking space. With a cooking area of 570 square inches, this grill lets you feed a hungry crowd quickly and keep foods warm on the included grates. The ash cleanout system collects the ash and pushes it into a bucket that you can empty without cleaning out the whole grill.
This is also one of the Camp Chef grills that comes with the company’s patented sear box. No matter what you want to sear, you’ll have enough space inside this box on the included cast iron grate. The sear box has a separate temperature knob that lets you set the grill to one temperature and the box to another.
If you like the Woodwind from Camp Chef but are on the fence about investing in that grill, you should consider the Woodwind SG, which is an upgraded version of that model. This has all the features that you love about the original Woodwind but comes with more features and cooking space. Camp Chef increases the cooking space inside to 811 square inches and gives you multiple cooking grates. Those grates let you cook, bake, braise, BBQ and use other cooking methods and also keep food at a safe temperature before you serve it.
With a quick touch of your fingers, you can adjust the grill’s temperature from 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Located on the ash box is a digital screen that sits close to the temperature knob. This lets you see the current temperature and increase or decrease it as needed. That feature is handy because wind and other weather conditions can significantly change the grill’s internal temperature.
Also included is a new ash system that collects ash on the bottom of the grill and in a bucket that hangs off one side. You can quickly empty that bucket and get right back to cooking in less time. It also uses smart smoke technology that uses more pellets as needed to create smoke based on your settings.
With the Woodwind SG, you get the company’s nice little sear box too. Not only does it give you more space for cooking, but it can increase the temperature up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This box works with a temperature knob located on the front and sits on the side of the Woodwind SG.
Camp Chef makes the DLX PG24 for those who want to cook different types of meat and those who love seared meats. It features 429 square inches of cooking space and comes with an extra grate that increases the space of 570 square inches. Those grates have a coating that ensures your meats pick up the smoke flavor that you want without sticking to the metal.
With an adjustable cooking range, this pellet grill lets you use all your favorite cooking methods outside. You can turn the temperature down to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for baking or cooking tough meats over low heat. It also has a maximum temperature setting of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly higher than other pellet grills can reach.
The cleanup systems on this model make it easy to use too. One system collects the grease that splatters off food and keeps it away from the grill, while another offers a convenient way to clean out the hopper. You also get a third system that collects all the wood ash for easy disposal.
Another nice feature is the built-in meat probe, which you can insert directly into any cut of meat to see the temperature and know when to take it off the grill. For seared meats, you’ll love using the included sear box. It uses the heat and smoke from the pellets to flavor and cooks the meat, but it also has grates that char the outside of the meat and gives it a richer flavor.
Getting the right pellet grill is important when you want to barbecue food at home and especially if you plan on entering competitions. If you’re serious about grilling, you might already own a pellet grill and worry about spending money on a new one just for searing meats. With the SmokePro BBQ Sear Box from Camp Chef, you don’t need to invest in a brand new grill because you can use this sear box on your existing model.
The sear box comes with a cast iron grate on the inside and a durable stainless steel exterior. That metal cleans easily, even when meat juices and smoke build up on it. The interior grate is also easy to clean and allows you to both sear slices of meat and cook them through without losing any of their natural juices.
Designed work like an extra burner, the sear box attaches to the side of the grill and uses both the smoke and the heat that the grill produces. It reaches a top temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit that lets you sear foods almost instantly. With a 16,000 BTU output, it works quickly too.
With any of the pellet grills on our list of the best of the best, you’ll have no problem getting the great sear that you want. You can opt for the Camp Chef sear box or any of the other top pellet grills for outdoor cooking.
How to Choose the Best Pellet Grill for Searing
A pellet grill is different from other types of grills because it uses wood rather than gas or charcoal to cook foods. It can give foods the same flavor that you usually only get when cooking over a campfire. To help you find the best pellet grill for searing meats, we’ll go over a few things to consider.
Pellet Grill vs. Sear Box
One important thing to consider is whether you need a whole new grill. Our top choice in this category is the Sear Box from Camp Chef, which fits onto older and newer grills from the company and comes standard on some grills. If you have a pellet grill that you love, feel free to use a sear box. There are similar accessories from other companies that work with different pellet grills.
The main reason you cannot sear on a standard pellet grill is that it doesn’t have a high enough temperature range. Most pellet grills have a range of somewhere around 150 to 200 degrees up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. To get a good sear, you need a higher temperature of 800 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also worthwhile to look at infrared grills. These grills use a different type of technology that uses dry heat to cook meats. These grills can give meats a nice sear and cook the interior to a perfect rare or medium-rare temperature. If you want a smoky flavor in your dishes, you’ll want to stick to pellet grills.
You should look at the cooking area if you have a group that you cook for or if you have limited space on your patio or deck. The size of the pellet grill will often give you an idea of the interior cooking area. Most companies list this size is square inches.
For a family of four, you need a pellet grill with a minimum of 400 square inches of cooking space. If you have a family of six or more, you’ll want 600 to 700 square inches of cooking area. Some of the pellet grills we found have a maximum cooking space of more than 800 square inches.
Cast Iron Grates
When shopping for pellet grills for searing, we recommend looking at models that come with cast iron grates. Cast iron retains heat better than stainless steel does and comes up to temperature quickly. As long as you let the grill reach the right temperature, you can sear foods as soon as you place them on those grates. Cast iron grates also keep the foods from sticking as you flip them.
We’ve made a comparison page for the pellet grill brands listing their pros and cons. Camp Chef & Pit Boss Pellet Grills are big names when it comes to pellet grills. Read More.