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How To Use Your Direct Flame Insert

The Memphis Wood Fire Grill’s ability to reach high searing temperatures up to 600-700°F sets the grill apart from other pellet grills in its class. In fact, our grills are particularly popular with chefs (including celebrity chefs Steven Raichlen, Cake Boss™ Buddy Valastro, and Andrew Zimmern) for the capability to sear over a direct flame at high heat.

There’s a reason Steven Raichlen has dubbed the Memphis “The Tesla of Pellet Grills”—Our grills were designed and engineered with versatility in mind, allowing users to smoke at temperatures as low as 180°F, bake and roast from 300°F, and sear on high heat both using indirect heat or using direct heat over an open flame.

Searing: Indirect Heat or Direct Heat?

Searing using indirect heat and searing using direct heat are both great options and offer slightly different finishes. With both methods, you will get that high-end steakhouse result that will impress your dinner guests and earn you Grill Master status. Experiment with your grill before you decide which technique you prefer and which technique works best with your favorite steak, burger, chops, fish, and vegetable recipes.

First Things First…

Before you begin cooking in Direct Flame Mode, make sure you’re set up for success:

  • Ensure that the hopper is filled with pellets
  • Have your Genie Tool ready to go
  • Remove the grill grates and scrape off the Flavorizer
  • Clean out the burn pot (using your Genie Tool!)
  • Ensure that grease pans are cleaned and there’s no grease left from previous cooks

Using the Direct Flame Insert and Direct Flame Mode(s)

Configuring your grill to cook over an open flame is simple.  Follow these steps for using the Direct Flame Insert whenever you’d like to cook over an open flame, starting with your Indirect Insert in place:

  1. Preheat your grill to 400°F.
  2. Once the grill has reached 400°F, use the Genie Tool to set aside the center grill grates.
  3. Use your Genie Tool to remove the Indirect Insert. Caution: The insert will be hot. Set aside somewhere safe on a non-combustible surface, away from children and pets.
  4. Insert the Direct Flame Insert, ensuring that it is fully seated in the Flavorizer.
  5. Replace the grill grates that you set aside back to their place above the Insert.
  6. Press and hold the “up” arrow until temperature reaches the model’s highest set temperature, then press the “up” arrow again to access LOW, MED, and MAX Direct Flame Modes.

Note: Advantage model has LOW and MED Direct Flame Modes, Pro and Elite models have LOW, MED, and MAX Direct Flame Modes.

Important Notes for Cooking in Direct Flame Mode

While cooking over an open flame is easy with the Memphis, you should always abide by the following tips to ensure safety and proper use of your Memphis Wood Fire Grill:

  • When cooking using the Direct Flame Insert on Direct Flame Settings, the hood should ALWAYS be in the open position. A closed hood during direct flame cooks may result in an Error-1 message. This error message means that the grill has reached too high of a temperature, causing the grill to shut down to avoid any damage to the unit.
  • Never leave your grill unattended during a direct flame cook.
  • When the Direct Flame Insert is in place, the grill is only to be operated in Direct Flame Mode (LOW, MED, MAX), never at a set temperature (180°F-700°F).
  • The grill is never to be operated in Direct Flame Mode while the Indirect Insert is in place.
  • While operating the grill in Direct Flame Mode, the grill temperature will not be displayed on your controller and the Food Probe will be in Read Only Mode.