Best Pellet Grill for Searing – Using Direct Heat!

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best pellet grill for searing. Photo of grill with direct heat cooking.

This is our review of the best pellet grill for searing – with direct flame!

If you want one pellet grill to smoke on and with direct flame searing capability, you’ve come to the right place. We picked only the best pellet smokers with a direct flame option!

The pellet grills that made this list have the highest ability to sear with direct heat but are also top-notch at low-and-slow smoking as well.

It’s important to note, searing is temperature based so you don’t need direct flame to sear.

HOWEVER, let’s be honest, buying a pellet smoker with a direct flame option leaves no doubt you are getting that char-broiled sear!

Best Overall

Recteq B380 Bulleye

Impressive Temperature Range

Riot Mode for Searing

Stainless Steel Construction

Legs can be wobbly

Top Features & Flexibility

Camp chef woodwind pro 24 with sear sidekick

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24

By Far Best Features for Smoking

High Quality Construction

Very Customizable w/ add-ons

Small Wheels to move around

Best Budget Friendly

Pitt Boss Sportsman 820

Most Affordable Option

Simple to Use

Easy to Use Direct Flame Lever

Basic PID Controller

Check out our full list of the best pellet smokers that can sear using direct flame. 

What To Look for to Sear on a Pellet Grill

To sear on a pellet grill, we checked each of our recommendations to ensure it had BOTH of the following features:

High Temperature: The best pellet grills for searing should be able to reach temperatures of 450 – 500F. In this case, we sought out pellet grills that can effortlessly hit and maintain these temperatures through direct heat.

Direct Flame: While you don’t need direct flame to sear, having a direct flame option on a pellet grill leaves no doubt that you can achieve the sear and char-broil you are looking for.

Recteq B380 Bullseye

BEST FOR: Those that want a quality wood pellet smoker that can sear similar to a gas grill.

How Does It Sear?: The Recteq B380 Bullseye has a unique “Riot Mode” which can heat the grill up above 700F. Simply set to Riot Mode, let it heat up, and sear your food. In this mode, you will get some direct flames in the grill.

Riot mode on the Recteq bullseye pellet grill in action. Cooking over direct flame on a pellet grill.
Riot Mode on the Bullseye in action. Credit: Recteq Youtube

We like:

  • The Riot Mode for high heat is perfect for searing.
  • Made with mostly Stainless Steel so it’s built to last. 
  • We liked the unique design of a traditional charcoal grill look but functions as a pellet grill.
  • Adjust the temperature in increments of 25F.
  • Large wheels make it easier to move around.

We don’t like:

  • Grease management is a bit tricky when smoking. You should use a drip pan on the heat deflector for better clean up.
  • On the smaller side at 380 square inches of cooking area. However, the price is in line with quality smoker grills in that size range.
  • The legs are a little undersized and wobbly. Need to tighten from time-to-time.
  • No WIFI or app capabilities

Weber SmokeFire EX6

BEST FOR: Those looking for a reliable pellet grill from a long-time, trusted brand.

How does it Sear?: Set the SmokeFire EX6 to the highest temperature setting. Wait a few minutes for it to heat up. The SmokeFire uses flavorizer bars, similar to those in gas grills, to distribute heat evenly. The flavorizer bar set up allows flame and direct heat to reach the food quickly at the highest temperature setting.

We like:

  • Temperature setting up to 600F allows for a better sear when grilling.
  • Loaded with cool (and useful!) features such as “Smoke Boost”, WiFi and app controls, and alerts when the hopper is low.
  • Large, slide out grease and ash cleanout make cleaning up much easier.
  • The sleek design with the signature, long-lasting Weber porcelain-enamel exterior finish.
  • Weber has a great warranty between 3-5 years depending on the specific part.

We don’t like:

  • The price for the cooking area versus other brands seems a touch high but the features do make up for this a bit.
  • Roller wheels are small and best suited for smooth driveways and patios.
  • The narrow hopper can be difficult to fill without spilling pellets.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24

Camp chef woodwind pro 24 with sear sidekick

BEST FOR: Those looking for the most feature-packed wood pellet smoker for the money. Also, those that want maximum flexibility for smoke flavors and searing options.

How does it Sear?: For direct flames, you want to purchase the SideKick Sear attachment with the pellet smoker. The Woodwind Pro with the Side Kick Sear option is the best for those that want the higher quality pellet smoker with direct flame searing all in one.

What makes the Woodwind Pro 24 one of the best pellet grills for searing is new features that result in both a versatile searing and smoking machine. The Side Kick attachments turn one of the most well-built pellet smokers out there into a combo grill for direct flame searing in one grill.

Beyond searing, the Woodwind Pro has an impressive range of smoking options for maximum smoke flavor.

The first of which is the “Smoke box”, a sliding tray which allows you to add wood chips/chunks directly above the pellet fire box. 

The Smoke Box, combined with the wood pellets, gives a sizable boost to the volume and quality of smoke flavor when smoking. 

Camp Chef doubled down on getting the desired smoke flavor with their “Smoke Number” function on their PID controller. You can set the Smoke Number between 1-10 and the pellet grill will automatically adjust the smoke flavor to your selection!

To top it off, this pellet smoker is solidly built using high quality stainless steel meaning the barrel could literally last forever.

We like:

  • Most useful features to get maximum smoke flavors.
  • Ability with the Side-Kick to grill and smoke perfectly all on one grill.
  • Built for high quality Stainless Steel.
  • Large cooking area of 811 square inches
  • Camp Chef’s 3-Year Warranty is industry average.

We don’t like:

  • Less affordable than other options.
  • Roller wheels are small and best for concrete driveways and patios
  • The top rack sticks out pretty far and can make it difficult to access the bottom grate. 

Louisiana Grills 1200 – Black Label Series

Louisiana Grills 1200 Black Label Series pellet grill

BEST FOR: Those looking for a large pellet smoker with direct heat searing. 

How does it Sear?: Open the sear plate using the flame broiler lever which allows direct heat up to the grates. Turn up the auger controller to a high temperature setting. 

Photo showing the flame boiler lever on a Louisiana Grills 1200 Black Label series pellet grill. The flame boiler lever moves a sear plate allowing you to cook with direct flame.
Direct flame option on the Louisiana Grills 1200. Credit: Louisiana Grills

We like:

  • Sliding sear plate with a lever is easy to use. Makes it simple to switch between smoking, grilling, and reverse searing.
  • The sleek, black-out design looks awesome.
  • The folding front shelf is great for moving food on and off the grill. 

We don’t like:

  • The medium-sized wheels are best for smooth surfaces. OK if you don’t have to move the grill around a lot.
  • A few reviews mention issues with connecting to the app and notifications.

Pit Boss Sportsman 820

BEST FOR: Those starting out with pellet grills for smoking and grilling. 

How does it Sear?: Open the sear plate using the Flame Broiler lever which allows direct heat up to the grates. Turn up the auger controller to a high temperature setting. 

We’ve been using Pit Boss pellet grills for many years now. They’ve held their own against other top pellet smoker brands in both long smoking sessions and quick searing of steaks.

Pit Boss also includes the Flame Broiler on almost all their pellet grills.

We like:

  • The exterior holds up well for years when properly cared for.
  • Sliding sear plate with a lever are easy to use. Makes it simple to switch between smoking, grilling, and reverse searing.
  • Medium size wheels make it decent at moving around.
  • The folding front shelf and SS side shelf are a nice addition for a pellet grill this size.

We don’t like:

  • The PID controller is basic and lacks some popular features.
  • Price seems to change frequently.

Still trying to find the right pellet smoker? Check our more of our comprehensive buying guides below.

Best Smoker Grill Combos

6 Best Pit Boss Pellet Grills – Full Review

Best Traeger Grill Alternatives

Top Smokers for Beginners


What pellet grills have a sear option?

Searing is temperature based so a pellet smoker that can reach temperatures above 400F can sear. However, select models of pellet grills from Pit Boss, Louisiana Grills, Recteq, Weber, and Camp Chef have an option for direct flame option for searing.

Which pellet smokers have a direct heat option?

Select models from Pit Boss, Louisiana Grills, Recteq, Camp Chef, and Weber have a direct flame option for searing and char-broiling.