Searing: High Temperature Cooking

How to do steakhouse searing on your Kamado Joe

One of the benefits of grilling on a Kamado Joe ceramic grill is the ability to sear steaks like a steakhouse restaurant. There is nothing more mouth-watering than a sizzling, juicy steak right off the grill.

Grill set up and cooking instructions:

Charcoal & Air Flow

  1. Build a mound of charcoal that starts just below the holes in the side of the fire box with the peak of the mound just below the top of the fire ring.
  2. Build the mound with large chunks at the bottom and smaller ones as you build it. Dumping charcoal directly into the fire box will allow small pieces to block the air holes in the fire grate, which can prevent you from reaching grilling and searing temperatures.
  3. Charcoal can be relit 2-3 times for multiple cookings. Use the ash tool to stir the used charcoal, so the ashes will drop through the fire grate. Add 1/3 new charcoal to the existing charcoal and build a new mound. This works for well for roasting and grill temperatures. A full fire box of only fresh charcoal is recommended for smoking and searing temperatures.

Charcoal Tip: You can’t have too much charcoal, but you can have too little.


  1. Light the charcoal with a fire starter cube or two, chimney starter, electric starter or other method.
  2. Open the bottom draft door and leave the dome up.
  3. Wait 8-10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.
  4. Close the dome, open the top vent fully and adjust the air flow as needed as you near the target temperature.

Lighting Tip: Never use lighter fluid or any other combustible liquid.


  1. Close the dome and fully open the top vent.
  2. Allow the temperature to rise to 500-700°F (260-370°C).
  3. When you are 25°F from your target temperature, close the top vent so it is about half open.
  4. Close more of the top vent to lower the temperature and open it to increase the temperature. A .25" change can effect the temperature by as much as 25°F.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Lightly brush the steaks with extra virgin olive oil or cooking oil. This will keep the steaks from sticking to the hot cooking grate.
  2. Use coarse sea salt and pepper to taste. Sea salt will only be absorbed by the outer area of the steak.
  3. Place the steaks on the grill.
  4. Use tongs or a spatula to flip the steaks. A fork will cause the juices to escape.
  5. For a 1" steak seared at 600°F (315°C) and cooked to medium: 2 minutes each side, close the top vent for 2 minutes for a total of 6 minutes. Raise or lower the time for your desired doneness.
  6. IMPORTANT: Reopen the top vent fully and wait 10 seconds before raising the dome to prevent a flashback.
  7. Remove the steaks and allow them to rest for 2 minutes before serving or cutting. This will allow the juices to migrate back to the center of the steaks.