The quality of a sear is dependent on temperature and the presence (or lack of presence) of moisture. When you’re making a steak, you want the deepest sear you can get without literally burning the exterior or overcooking the interior. Tossing a steak in a cast-iron skillet with a little oil makes a fine steak, as does a gas or charcoal grill on max heat. But cast-iron skillets are only going to get so hot before breaching your cooking oil’s smoke point, and gas grills are typically not going higher than 650 to 700 degrees on the high end. If you’re looking to reach Maillard nirvana, turn to the new Beefer grills.

The Beefer differentiates itself in many ways — that is to say, it’s not what most would consider a grill, by traditional standards. The two primary differences are its heat potential and where the heat is coming from. It can be dialed up to a walloping 1500 degrees, at least double that of gas grills, and significantly greater than even top-tier charcoal grills. Not as sexy but equally useful is the machine’s top-down heating system, rather than the typical bottom-up style of campfires and grills of old. This means it works a lot like a more specifically-designed salamander broiler that’s used in many professional kitchens to quickly add a char to a wide range of dishes. Due to the Beefer’s vertical design, though, there’s a drip tray that catches the jus coming off the meat, meaning the base of a steak sauce that’s not A1 isn’t so far off and you eliminate the risk of flare-ups that occur on traditional grills.

Starting at $899 for the smallest model and running all the way to $2399 for the largest, the Beefer won’t come cheap. But for the steak-serious it may just be worth it.

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