A few years back, I wrote an article on sear-roasting, a classic restaurant technique for searing meat or fish on the stovetop and then roasting it in the oven until just done. It’s one of my favorite methods and is easily adapted to the home kitchen. And it’s only natural that after a couple of summers of outdoor cooking, I’ve adapted this formula to the grill.
Your basic one-flip, high-heat grilling technique works best for small, quick-cooking cuts of meat—think burgers or chicken breasts. Larger cuts—like pork loins, beef roasts, and whole chickens—have traditionally been saved for the oven for fear of burning on the grill. But by searing them over high heat and then pushing them to a cool zone on the grill to roast, these cuts cook gently and evenly. That’s because the covered grill acts almost like an oven, with the hot air circulating around the meat. Plus, the meat picks up an extra layer of smoky flavor it wouldn’t get in the oven. This method also lets you cook a meal for a crowd out on the patio instead of inside a steamy kitchen.
Sear, then go low and slow
The initial sear on the gas grill or the hottest part of the charcoal fire gives the meat a nice browned crust. Then lower the heat and continue to cook the meat slowly. On a gas grill, this means turning off a burner; on a charcoal grill, move the meat to a cool area. Cover the grill so the heat inside runs about 350°F and then check the meat every so often and make sure the fire holds steady.
When I grill-roast, I add more flavor to the meat in two ways: with a wet spice rub and a flavorful finishing sauce. In the recipes that follow I’ve included a vibrant jalapeño-lime salsa for the pork, a tangy barbecue sauce for the chicken, and a garlicky, herby chimichurri for the beef. And because these roasts feed between four and eight people, they’re perfect for summer parties. So light up the grill, invite some friends, and get ready to impress with a new technique—and delicious results.