The Recipe for Stress-Free Holiday Grilling: Equal Parts Technology and Technique

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The grilling experts at GrillGrate LLC share two keys to successful holiday grilling – a digital thermometer and a technique called the reverse sear.

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Precision Grilling Prime Rib

Grilling large, expensive cuts of meat for the holidays doesn't have to be a stressful experience.

Today, the grilling experts at GrillGrate LLC are sharing their knowledge of grilling large cuts of meat for the holiday season. As the holidays approach, families are getting together, and that means larger cuts of meat for large groups of people. As it turns out, the correct approach is the sum of two parts: the right technology and the right technique.

For the first step for proper holiday grilling, grill enthusiasts should invest in a good digital instant read thermometer. Quality meat thermometers can instantly display the meat temperature, and using them to measure temperature progress helps grillers reach the target temperature without undercooking or overcooking. The peace of mind is worth the investment, as digital instant read thermometers generally range from $20 to $85 retail.

The second step for holiday grilling is in the technique of the reverse sear. The reverse sear allows the griller to control the timing of the cook, and includes a rest period that can last a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the timing needs. The reverse sear (also known as Sear in the Rear) consists of three parts:
Long, slow roast of the meat: The target internal temperature of the meat is 10-15 degrees under the finished temperature target.
Off grill rest period: Once the meat reaches its target, it can sit off the grill for up to 2 hours. The meat will not rise in temperature more than 5 degrees, and the hosts can relax or prepare other side dishes as the meat rests.
Hot sear to finish: Once the hosts are ready, they can sear the meat at a very high temperature before serving. Searing the meat at the end of the cook browns and caramelizes the exterior of the roast while finishing to a perfect internal temperature.

“Grilling large expensive cuts of meat for the holidays doesn’t have to be a stressful experience,” explains Brad Barrett, President of GrillGrate. “I used to feel pressure when grilling large pieces of meat – how long would it take? How will I avoid undercooking or overcooking it? Am I ruining the meat? Through a lot of trial and error, we’ve learned how to properly grill for the holidays.”

GrillGrate recently put together 3 recipes that are great examples of holiday grilling using the reverse sear technique – prime rib, boneless leg of lamb, and rack of lamb.*

Two-zone grilling is a key aspect of the reverse sear. Hosts that have two grills can use them both – one for low roasting and the other for the hot sear. The hot grill can grill sides during the slow roast, and then get turned up for the hot sear. Gas grills and charcoals grills can also indirectly cook meat at low temperatures, and then the heat can be applied when it’s time to finish.
Roasting grill temps: 225° - 250° F
Sear Grill temps: 550°-700° F
Smaller cuts require approximately 30-45 minutes, while larger roasts can take 1 – 1.5 hours – but the most important aspect is the internal temperature, not the time of the cook.

About GrillGrate:  

GrillGrate LLC is based in Cartersville, GA. GrillGrates are interlocking raised rail panels manufactured in various lengths and shapes for all popular grills. GrillGrates improve the cooking performance of any grill, including gas grills, charcoal grills, kamado and pellet grills. GrillGrates are available at hardware, house-ware and outdoor retailers as well as at GrillGrates are proudly made in the USA. The GrateTool™ is made in China.

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Brad Barrett
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since: 04/2008
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