The YS640s is unique for many reasons, one of which is its ability to achieve temperatures well into the high heat grilling and searing range by cooking over direct heat.
This kind of grilling is a fantastic way to achieve amazing flavor, and it’s one of our favorite ways to cook on the YS640s. Let’s talk about how to set up for over-the-flame grilling and why it works.
Setting Up a Sear Zone
To start, we’ve removed the entire diffuser and set up 3 GrillGrates brand grates directly over the firebox. We also moved our Variable Displacement Damper all the way to the left and set the temperature to 450º. If you need a second shelf, we recommend the half-depth shelf, which gives you more room to work in higher temperatures without burning yourself on the grate above.
With the grill set up in this configuration we are creating two separate grilling zones, one that has half the bottom grates working as a high heat direct grilling zone and the rest of the grill working as an indirect grilling zone.
Using the Sear Zone
Having the sear zone set up takes full advantage of the flames coming from the firebox. Even though our temp is set to 450º, we can achieve grate temperatures of 550º to 575º in the direct grilling zone and 375º to 400º in the indirect grilling zone with the door closed. If the 550º to 575º is not enough heat for you, simply increase the temperature.
As air flows through the cooking chamber, the Variable Displacement Damper redirects the air and develops and intensifies the heat. This heat buildup under the anodized aluminum grill grates is what actually sears the food.
At the same time, the rest of the cooking chamber receives enough heat to cook food indirectly or work as a holding area for food coming from the searing zone.
Why Is This Important?
Being able to sear at higher temperatures takes advantage of the Maillard reaction which is what browns food and adds even more flavor.
Temperatures below 400º can brown food as well, but they take longer and can overcook the inside of the meat. That’s why a properly prepared medium steak has pink on the inside and a rich flavorful crust on the outside.
When high heat is key to your cook, it’s easy to do on the YS640s.