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While you may be used to only seeing them in restaurants and steakhouses, infrared grills are becoming a more and more popular choice for a great backyard grill.
Infrared grills have a specific design that helps capture and hold the flavor of whatever you put on the grill. They are an easy and different way to cook quality food with great flavor.
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about what makes infrared grills unique and walk you through some of the best options on the market right now.
Best Infrared Grills Comparison Chart
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What is an Infrared Grill?
An infrared grill does not use conventional burning fuels for heating or cooking food. Rather, it involves the use of infrared radiation to generate heat in order to cook food. The grill heats directly, which minimizes the time needed for BBQ, so there is no need to give time for pre-heating.
An infrared grill does not produce much smoke either, so it does not damage the paint indoors. These grills spread heat evenly without causing any losses. This makes them more efficient and reliable for indoor cooking than other grills.
How Do Infrared Grills Work?
Infrared grills are different from other types of grills because they use infrared radiation. Infrared waves are on the electromagnetic spectrum, just like light waves or microwaves.
The radiation of infrared waves is what causes us to feel heat. Because of this, you’ll find infrared heat in all types of grills, but infrared grills use the most infrared heat. The higher the temperature of a grill is, the more infrared heat it emits.
Most conventional grills will typically reach about 700 degrees Fahrenheit. An infrared grill, however, can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Infrared grills cook food with a more intense and focused heat. Most conventional grills that use charcoal or gas cook food through the process of convection.
The heat comes from the charcoal or gas and the hot air circulates around the food to cook it.
Infrared grills use electricity or gas to directly heat a solid surface, which then radiates to the food sitting on the cooking rack.
The radiation is what makes the heat so intense. This actually helps maintain the flavor and prevents the food from drying out while it cooks. Because of the focused heat, the grill will also heat up at a much faster rate and cook the food more evenly.
Infrared Grills Pros and Cons
While they are not always the obvious first choice for an outdoor grill, infrared grills are becoming increasingly popular choice for many reasons.
One of the main advantages of an infrared grill is the way it uses heat to cook food. Its system uses radiant heat that increases in temperature at a much faster rate. This locks in the juices in the food as it cooks and creates a better flavor while also saving you time.
Most types of grills heat the cooking surface itself and the air around it, which can dry out food while it cooks.
Infrared grills only heat the actual grilling surface, preventing anything from drying out and also making them an excellent option for searing food.
This method also distributes the heat more evenly, so you won’t have to worry about hot and cold spots on the grill. The meat will cook the same anywhere wherever it is placed on the cooking surface.
Another advantage of infrared grills is safety. Because of the infrared element, there is no open flame, making it much less likely that an accidental fire will occur. They are also more energy efficient because you need fewer ignitions to light an infrared grill.
The main disadvantage of using an infrared grill is the limited temperature control. Infrared grills will be able to reach higher temperatures much faster, but it is also harder to regulate the temperature if you want something a little less intense.
What Makes a Great Infrared Grill?
One of the first factors to consider when buying an infrared grill is its size. Like other types of grills, they come in a range of sizes and designs.
Are you looking for something more compact and portable that you can take along on trips or something more mid-size and sturdy that will have a place in the backyard?
You also want to look at the size of the actual cooking space, as well as the grill’s overall size.
Many of the options we’ll look at today have about 420-450 square inches of cooking surface, which provides you with a lot of room for cooking larger meats like a turkey or chicken.
Another thing to consider is the versatility of the design. Because of the intense and focused heat, infrared grills are some of the best grills for searing and grilling.
Review of the Best Infrared Grills
Now that we’ve gone over the most important components of an infrared grill, let’s move on to the product review section and take a look at some of the best models.
Best Infrared Grill:
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill + Cover
With this grill, you can do it all. This model gives you the option to smoke, roast, or grill your food using the infrared technology. The smoker box has a temperature control from 9,000 to 18,000 BTUs.
The inside has a large volume and the infrared technology keeps the grill temperature from having any cold or hot spots. It cooks food very evenly and quickly.
It also comes with a grill cover included, so your grill will always be protected and you don’t have to worry about buying one separately.
Overall, this product is a great hybrid option. You can use it to cook many different kinds of food any way you want and it is straightforward and easy to use.
Some people have said they had issues with the smoker door getting stuck, but the product as a whole is of good quality. Its design and flexibility make it perfect for bigger tasks like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Best Small Infrared Grill:
Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill
If you’re looking for something a little more compact, this grill is an excellent option. It still has the capacity to cook a lot of food, but is much smaller and easier to transport. It could easily fit into a car.
It also comes with carry handles and legs, making it easy to set up anywhere during a camping trip or a cookout.
The firebox and lid are made from cast aluminum, with stainless steel latches. It also uses TRU-Infrared technology for faster cooking and less risk of any accidental fire.
This grill is lightweight and easy to transport. Because it is portable, the grilling surface is smaller than some other options. However, it’s definitely the best choice if you’re looking for something that is more compact.
Best Tru Infrared Grill:
Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 420 3-Burner Gas Grill
The Char-Broil Signature is a great mid-sized grill. It is a three-burner gas grill with a 420-square-inch cooking surface and a 155-square-inch warming rack.
If you still need more space, it also includes stainless steel shelves and a lidded side burner.
Like all TRU-infrared products, it heats up quickly and seals in the flavor of the food as it cooks. It is best for grilling and searing, but can be used as a smoker, as well.
While it may take a little more time to assemble, this grill is a good middle-of-the road option. It is a good size with a large cooking surface and warming rack.
It isn’t specifically designed to double as a smoker like The Big Easy grill, but still works very well for grilling, searing, and smoking.
Best Infrared Grill Under $300:
Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 240
The Electric Patio Bistro is great if you’re looking for something more cost effective. It is the cheapest of the options, but still good quality.
It is not as portable or compact as the Char-Broil Grill2Go, but is still small enough to be a great option in a variety of outdoor spaces, from an apartment balcony to a backyard patio.
It has a 240-square-inch grilling surface and an 80-square-inch warming rack. It also comes with folding shelves on both sides, so you have a lot of room for both preparing and cooking food.
It is made from porcelain-coated cast iron, so it is sturdy, rust-resistant, and easy to clean.
This grill is compact, versatile, and cost effective. Its smaller size means there is less cooking space, but it comes with shelves that provide extra room for food preparation.
It is a great option for anyone living in a more confined space like an apartment. It is also more customizable with different color options to choose from.
Best Infrared Grill Under $500:
Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3-Burner Gas Grill
The Char-Broil Performance is another excellent cost-effective option. While it is a little higher in price than the Electric Patio model, it is bigger with a larger grilling surface.
It has three burners with 450 square inches of cooking space and a 150-square-inch swing-a-way warming rack. Both are porcelain-coated. It also includes a fold down cover that provides more space for food preparation.
This is a great grill for the price with a lot of cooking space and the best of infrared technology that cooks food quickly.
It is mid-size, making it great for a backyard. Its design does allow for some flare ups to happen, but is ultimately still less of a fire risk than a conventional grill.
6. Philips Smokeless Indoor BBQ Grill
Why It Stands Out to Us
This Philips Indoor Grill stands out to us with its impressive features like a clean plate and quick heating. The non-stick grill plate is easy to clean with a simple dishwashing liquid and sponge. The grill plate also does not let any drippings slide down and end up on the ground. This ensures a simple and clean BBQ experience indoors.
Furthermore, this grill by Philips has voltage requirements of 120 volts, which is prevalent in most places. The infrared heating technology makes the grill completely smokeless, so it does not activate any smoke alerts at your place. Another important feature is that it takes only one minute to set up for cooking.
There is no tricky assembly involved in it or the pre-burning of fuel. So, this grill makes smoking food not only easy but also quick. The “keep warm” feature helps in keeping the food warm for a long time so that you do not have to microwave it frequently.
The final word on this Philips Indoor Grill is that it has a smart construction that works well, even in the living room. It does not need any additional fuel, making it quite easy for you to smoke BBQ meat without making a mess. The power usage is also quite pocket-friendly, so it does not lead to an increase in electricity bills.
How to Clean an Infrared Grill
Cleaning an infrared grill is not hard at all. You just need to take care of some basic points, and you are good to go. So, let’s have a look at the easiest way of cleaning an infrared grill without further ado.
- Turn the heat to the maximum and close the lid for 15 minutes. This will cause any accumulated food residue to fall down in the lower plate.
- After letting the grill cool down to a moderately warm level, brush it with a heavy-duty wired brush.
- Now remove the grates from the grill to clean the infrared emitting plate.
- Then scrape off the ash from this plate with the back of the wired brush.
- After removing all the debris from the infrared emitting plate, spray some high heat cooking oil on it.
- Replace the graters on the grill, and it will be ready for the next grilling round.
Watch the video below if you want a better understanding of this cleaning procedure.
Infrared vs Gas Grill - Comparison Overview
Gas grills and infrared grills are the most commonly used equipment for grilling. They serve the same purpose but have different ways of working. So, let’s have a look at their comparison overview to understand their difference better.
Mode of Heating
Both of these types of grill use different modes of heating. The gas ones work on gas (mostly propane) fuel, while the infrared ones use radiation for heating. There is lesser fuel burning in infrared grills, and they run mostly on electricity.
While the maximum temperature range is the same for both infrared and gas grills, the heating speed is different, as the former heats up faster than the latter.
The level of moisture retention of meat and veggies is different, too, when you grill them on different grills. Infrared grills help in saving up to 35% of the natural moisture in your grilled food.
Heat distribution also distinguishes gas and infrared grills. Infrared grills have the same level of radiation emission throughout the emitting plate. So, they have a consistent heat level while the gas flames have a varying distribution of heat.
Most of the grilling is done outdoors, but sometimes people like indoor grilling during rain or extremely cold weather. Gas grills are quite tricky to use indoors as they have a direct flame. But, infrared grills can be used indoors as they are safer.
Whether you’re looking for something small enough for the back of your car camping trips or big enough to cook a Thanksgiving turkey, infrared grills are an excellent option for many different occasions.
Modern, energy efficient, and safe, it’s no wonder they’re becoming more and more popular each year.
The infrared technology allows you cook your food faster than most conventional grills at restaurant quality from your own backyard.
We hope that this article has helped give you a better understanding of infrared grills and provided you with an option that’s perfect for you!
People Also Ask
Now that you most of the stuff about infrared grills, you might have some questions in mind. Here, we have answered some frequently asked questions to remove your confusion.
What is Tru-Infrared Grill?
Tru-Infrared grills have an even spread of heat throughout their surface. There is a consistent grilling temperature all over the grilling plate as there are no active hot or cold spots. So, they grill your food faster than other grills.
How to Clean Char-Broil Infrared Grill Grates
In order to clean Char-Broil infrared grill grates, you have to follow these basic steps.
- Remove all the chunks of remaining food from the grates.
- Then use a wired brush to clean the debris off the grates.
- After this, spray a dishwashing liquid on the grates and wipe it with a wet cloth. Now the grates will be good to use.
Why Does My Infrared Grill Smoke So Much?
Infrared grills do not smoke much usually, but if sauce drips on them, they smoke. The grill might be smoking due to the oil you sprayed on the food. The droplets fall on the emission plate and create great amounts of smoke.
How Do I Light a Char-Broil Infrared Grill?
In order to light a Char-Broil infrared grill manually, you have to use a long match stick. Light the match and insert it in the closest hole of the burner. Then turn the knobs, and the burner will be lit.
Why Use an Infrared Grill?
An infrared grill is a much better option for grilling, as it causes less smoke. The grilling plate heats up quickly, and there is an even distribution of heat throughout the plate. So, if you have a choice, then go for infrared grills.