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Best Infrared Grill – Ultimate Buying Guide, Roundup and Mini-Reviews

Not many people own one, but infrared grills are starting to gain in popularity when it comes to outdoor cooking.

The allure of them is their ability to radiate incredibly high heat, to create a perfect sear on any meat that crosses their path.

They inarguably perform much better at searing than any standard gas grill or charcoal fuelled grills, and are pretty much unhindered by any adverse weather conditions. Not even the strongest winds will slow their searing power.

So for those of us who love to cook outdoors, who seek the perfect crust to our steaks or burgers, infrared grills can’t be beaten.

Utilizing the latest technology, these grills cook your food at intense, uniform heat. You can forget about cold and hot spots in your meats and look forward to mouth-watering, barbecued meals.

Bacon wrapped sausages on sticks, cooking on an infrared grill
© Piyachok Thawornmat – 123rf.com

From this article, you’ll learn more about how infrared grills work, the benefits to owning and using one, and what to look for when buying one.

We then end this guide with a detailed look and some mini-reviews of what are, in our opinion, some of the best infrared grills available on the market today.

At a Glance: Our Chosen Recommendations for Best Infrared Grill

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Contents - Click to Jump to Section

Best Infrared Grill — Our Top Choices in Different Categories

Now that you know the important things to look for in the best infrared grill, you probably can’t wait to buy one and have friends over for an afternoon BBQ and drinks session?

Before you rush out, check out a few of our top picks—you can’t go wrong with these grills.

Best Overall – Char-Broil Signature Tru-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

In the world of infrared grills, this is probably one of the best choices and the wisest investments you can make.

It’s family-sized, high-performing, and heats up fast. It also distributes heat to the food evenly, so you won’t have cold and hot spots.

Char-Broil makes high-quality grills and is a well-known leader in this market. Its products are durable, user-friendly, and efficient. With this particular model, the food will also cook faster because of the sleek stainless-steel design and grill plates.

The extra space and shelving options allow you to add more to your menu. Cleanup is such a breeze that once you’ve finished cooking on it you’ll be impatient for your next outdoor cooking experience!

What’s in the Box

The infrared gas grill is a 4-cabinet burner box with more than 500 square inches of primary grilling area. It also has an extra 200-square inch warming rack on top, as well as a 13,000 btu side burner so you can prepare different dishes all at once.

It comes on wheels, so it’s easy to move around and store. Making up to 25 burgers at once has never been so easy.

Features

  • Generous Cooking Space of Over 500 Square Inches on the Main Grill.
  • Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron Grates Keep the Heat Inside the Grill and Make Cleanup Simple and Smooth.
  • The side burner and side shelf add space and are useful for warming side dishes.
  • Additional cooking space in the form a 200-square-inch cooking rack.
  • Electric ignition system makes for easy lighting.
  • Built-in lid temperature gauge keeps track of the heat status.
  • Includes a storage cabinet for all your grilling tools and other items.

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: Four
  • Secondary burners: One side burner.
  • Ignition type: Electronic ignition.
  • BTU: 32,000
  • Primary cooking area: 525 square inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 200 square inches.
  • Total cooking area: 725 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions:5 x 57.2 x 47.2 inches.
  • Warranty: 10 years.

What We Like

  • Heat collects evenly under the infrared plates and doesn’t flare up.
  • Will last for several years.
  • Durable, Stainless-Steel design.
  • Food particles don’t stick to the grates.
  • Side burner allows for cooking different dishes all at once.
  • The generous cooking area means you can have a hearty meal prepared for all, no matter how big the gathering.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users complain that the quality of the cast iron is poor, which leads to rusting.
  • It can be tricky to assemble.

Summary

If you’re someone with a big family, or you simply like having a lot of friends over for barbecues often, you can’t go wrong with the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525.

It’s also a great multipurpose grill for anyone, whether you spark it up every so often or 10 times a month! For more information and to check out the latest prices, follow the link below.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best High End Option – Saber Grills R50sc0017 3-Burner Grill, Stainless Steel

Saber Grills R50SC0017 3-Burner Grill, Stainless Steel

If you’re ready to splash out, this is an impressive buy that’s suitable for different climates and both day and nighttime use. There’s a reason it’s a popular model: it stands up to rust, is incredibly durable, and certainly stands out as top-performing.

Saber is recognized as a quality brand because its heating system is extremely effective—this model heats up and is ready to cook in as little as 3 minutes. It also comes with a versatile warming rack with different positioning levels, allowing you to keep food warm.

What’s in the Box

Grill grates, emitter grids with tiny holes, burners that work with battery-powered heat ignition are included.

This all makes for an optimal, safe grilling experience. It also holds an adjustable warming rack, allowing for discrete storage and warming positions.

Features

  • Easy-to-read temperature gauge for convenient grilling, even with the lid up.
  • Warming rack can rotate to discrete positions.
  • Conveniently allows for different fuel types with a separately-sold conversion kit.
  • Easy after-cleaning with Saber’s separately sold Cold Touch grill brush.
  • Drip pan catches juices released during the cooking process.
  • Utilizes 30 percent less gas with each use.
  • Nylon locking casters are heavy duty.
  • Electronic ignition makes the process simple and easy.
  • Three cooking surfaces, one of which can be adjusted to just an inch above the grilling surface.
  • Independent cooking zones.
  • Internal halogen lights make it easy to cook at any time of the day

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: Three
  • Secondary burners: One
  • Ignition type: Electric ignition.
  • BTU: 24,000 for main burner and 18,000 for side burner.
  • Primary cooking area: 500 square inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 175 square inches.
  • Total cooking area: 675 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel and porcelain.
  • Dimensions:5 x 25.0 x 48.4 inches.
  • Warranty: 2 to 5 years for parts, 10 years for the burner tubes, and a limited lifetime warranty for lid inserts and fireboxes.

What We Like

  • Quick, easy cleanup because the surface is non-stick, and the product generally requires little upkeep.
  • The 18,000-BTU side burner is great for cooking side dishes fast.
  • Made of strong and durable materials, it’s likely to be one you’ll keep for a lifetime!
  • Preheats in merely 10 minutes.
  • Design allows heat to radiate evenly across the grill’s entire surface.
  • Simple assembly process.
  • Optimal performance, even in cold temperatures.
  • The versatile rack allows for additional cooking space.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users have complained the company’s customer service isn’t the best.
  • Not the most affordable grill, although you do get a lot for your bucks.

Summary

This high-end, versatile option allows for a variety of cooking modes, abundant cooking space, and you can even convert it to cook with natural gas by using separately sold accessories.

Even on windy or cold days, you’ll be able to prepare a generous barbecue meal with this model that locks the heat in. If you think it’s a fit for you, or you want to know more, you can find the information here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best Portable Option – Solaire Sol-Ev17a Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill

Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill, Stainless Steel

Whether you’re heading to the park or grilling in the convenience of your backyard, the Solaire infrared burner is a compact, portable option that you can take around on either day.

Marked at an affordable price tag, this is a great option to take along with you on your next adventure.

What’s in the Box

Pretty much just a pre-assembled infrared grill.

This small, portable infrared grill is ideal for carrying around anywhere, with an easy assembly of 6-bolt angles and four adjustable feet. It also includes a relatively generous grilling surface.

You can transport it with a separately sold bag that also fits a couple of propane tanks. It is also compatible with gas switches; the conversions are sold separately.

Features

  • Strong latches on the outside of the grill allow for secure transport.
  • V-grate grids enhance flavor as the drippings come back to the food in the form of flavor-enhancing smoke.
  • Two side handles for easy travel.
  • Entirely constructed of 304 stainless steel.
  • Compatible with both BBQ propane tanks and natural gas tanks.
  • User-friendly push-button ignition.
  • Weighs a mere 15 pounds.

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: One
  • Secondary burners: N/A
  • Ignition type: Push-button, rapid-spark ignition.
  • BTU: 14,000
  • Primary cooking area: 140 square inches.
  • Total cooking area: 140 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions:5 x 21 x 8.2 inches.
  • Warranty: One year.

What We Like

  • Heats up super fast in just three minutes.
  • V-shaped grid captures drippings and evaporates them back into the food, leading to great smoky flavor.
  • Performs just as well as the full-sized grill, despite its compact size.
  • Distributes heat effectively to deliver natural-tasting food.
  • Ideal for heading out and about due to its portability.
  • Quality hardware made with durable materials.
  • It’s energy efficient; you can cook a large meal with just one pound of propane.
  • Comes with a straight-forward instruction manual.

What We Don’t Like

  • Warranty duration is shorter than other comparable products.
  • Relatively narrow temperature range, mostly on the hot end of the scale.

Summary

If you want to turn heads while flipping burgers at your next picnic barbecue, this option from Solaire will definitely do the trick. Rest assured that it will keep all your barbecue cravings satisfied when you’re out and about or simply don’t have enough space at home for a larger grill.

Find out more about it and the latest prices here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Other Notable Models Worth Considering:

There are quite a few top buys out there that you might want to give some thought to. While they’re not my absolute favorites, these are still pretty heavy duty and worth a mention.

Char-Broil Signature Tru-Infrared 420 3-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 420 3-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

A junior version of our top pick, this is another great choice from Char-Broil. With a slightly smaller cooking area, it still comes with a lot of the benefits the larger version has—including a side burner and storage cabinet.

It’s not only nifty and efficient, this mini Char-Broil also looks sleek. It effortlessly combines functionality with aesthetics.

What’s in the Box

The medium-sized three-burner gas grill comes with a 420-square inch cooking surface and a 155-inch cooking rack. This grill can also do double duty as a smoker.

Features

  • Adjustable stainless-steel burners deliver heat easily, at both low and high temperatures.
  • Additional side burner for sauces and side dishes.
  • Additional storage area in cabinets with lock features.
  • Iron grates coated in durable porcelain.

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: One
  • Ignition type: Electric
  • BTU: 25,500
  • Primary cooking area: 420 square inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 155 square inches.
  • Total cooking area: 575 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions:5 x 51.1 x 47.2 inches.
  • Warranty: Limited one-year warranty.

What We Like

  • All the benefits of genius infrared technology without the massive size.
  • A generous cooking area allows for grilling an entire meal in one round.
  • Easy cleanup.
  • Affordable price tag compared to its larger counterpart.
  • Heats up very fast.
  • Doubles as a smoker.
  • The brand’s porcelain grate system is durable and helpful when it comes to preventing flare-ups.
  • Allows for temperature control through an electronic fire-ignition system.
  • Easy conversion from liquid propane to natural gas with a separately sold natural gas conversion kit.

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be challenging to assemble.
  • Some users complain it smokes up a bit, even when the lid is shut.

Summary

If you want all the benefits of a quality infrared grill without the hefty price tag and the massive size, you can’t go wrong with the Char-Broil 420.

It’s not our absolute favorite among the grills on this list, but it comes with all the key features of a decent grill. For more information and the latest prices, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Magma Products, A10-918-2gs Newport 2 Infra Red Gourmet Series Gas Grill

Magma Products, A10-918-2GS Newport 2 Infra Red Gourmet Series Gas Grill, Polished Stainless Steel

A compact grill suitable for frequent cooking, you can’t go wrong with this pick from Magma. With a sleek, elegant look and a compact make, the Magma will have you turning heads the next time you’re at a picnic in the park, or wherever else you’d like to take it.

With a viewing window and a thermometer in the lid, it’s incredibly easy to keep an eye on the food but keep the heat in. Users have praised its ability to remain lit in windy weather. It’s easy to store and burns just as well as larger burners.

What’s in the Box

Stainless-steel grill with a rounded-edge design, compatible with disposable, separately sold propane canisters.

It has a thermometer built into the lid and a grease-catching system also incorporated.

Features

  • Foldaway legs, great for picnics and easy storage.
  • Electronic ignition system.
  • Lockable lid.
  • Stainless-steel handles.
  • The swiveling valve allows for quick and safe gas bottle exchange.
  • Grates made of durable materials.

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: One
  • Secondary burners: N/A
  • Ignition type: Electric
  • Primary cooking area: 162 square inches.
  • Total cooking area: 162 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions:5 x 11.6 x 11.6 inches.
  • Warranty: One year.

What We Like

  • Ample cooking space, despite the product’s compact size.
  • Durable materials make it both a long-lasting product and one that can withstand different climates.
  • The swiveling control valve makes it easy to supply the grill with propane or natural gas as needed.
  • Built-in thermometer simplifies grilling and makes for easy management of cooking times.
  • Stays lit in windy conditions.
  • Grease catching system.

What We Don’t Like

  • Only has one burner area which doesn’t allow much opportunity for cooking different dishes all at once.
  • Thermometer doesn’t display degrees, only colors.

Summary

Wherever your outdoor adventures may take you, this option from Magma is likely to be a great companion. It’s versatile and works great in different climates and windy conditions.

Whether you’re planning to hold your next barbecue at the beach or in the comfort of your patio, you’ll be able to cook your food to perfection. Best of all, it’s quite portable, given the foldable legs.

For more info and the latest price, check out the link below.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill, Black

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill, Black

If you don’t have much available space at home for a larger grill, you might want to check out Char-Broil’s infrared patio option.

You’ll get juicy, hot food without sacrificing a lot of precious space in your small condo or on the patio.

What’s in the Box

This infrared gas grill has a small footprint, but all the essential features needed for a great barbecue.

The electronic ignition, which is integrated into the gas dial, makes it easy to light and a warming rack sits over the grilling area. It has two wheels for portability, with a shelf at the base to keep your propane tank securely in place. Some assembly is required before use.

Features

  • Porcelain-coated premium grates.
  • Can be rolled away for easy storage.
  • Electronic ignition.
  • Wide temperature range.
  • Two cooking areas.
  • Towel bar for tools.

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: One
  • Secondary burners: N/A
  • Ignition type: Electronic
  • Primary cooking area: 240 square inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 80 square inches.
  • Total cooking area: 320 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions:4 x 25.2 x 38.2 inches.
  • Warranty: Five years for the burner and firebox. Two years for all the other parts.

What We Like

  • User-friendly and easy to ignite.
  • Small footprint; will look good on most patios and balconies.
  • Basic infrared features make for a more effective cooking experience and juicier flavors.
  • Takes as little as four minutes to reach its top heat.
  • Reasonable price point.

What We Don’t Like

  • Assembly process isn’t straightforward.
  • Some users complain that food particles stick to the grate.
  • Warranty conditions are limited, and rusting is not included.

Summary

If you enjoy cooking for a small group of family or close friends, the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio is definitely worth considering. It might not be as fancy as some of the more impressive grill options out there, but it’s great for daily or frequent use. For more info and to find out the latest price, please check the link below:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Solaire 27-Inch Basic Infrared Propane Pedestal Grill, Stainless Steel

Solaire 27-Inch Basic Infrared Propane Pedestal Grill, Stainless Steel

This great option from Solaire makes for an easy and user-friendly grilling session. No matter what you’re cooking, this sturdy option won’t disappoint. The manufacturer is so confident that this grill is built to last, there’s a lifetime warranty included.

The slick stainless-steel design will look great on your porch or in the garden, too.

What’s in the Box

This 27-inch infrared grill comes with a removable stainless steel warming rack and drip tray. Other accessories include a cover, BBQ tray, griddle plate, insulated jacket, and more.

Features

  • Stainless-steel construction resists rust and corrosion.
  • V-shaped grill enhances flavor and reduces flare-ups.
  • Shorter preheat time makes the cooking process easier than with comparable grills.
  • Preheats in merely three minutes.
  • Compatible with a wide range of accessories.

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: Two
  • Secondary burners: N/A
  • Ignition type: Electronic
  • BTU: 24,000
  • Total cooking area: 473 square inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions: 20 x 51.5 x 59.8 inches.
  • Warranty:

What We Like

  • Accessible customer service department.
  • Preheats very fast.
  • Generous lifetime guarantee.
  • Easy cleanup process.
  • The user-friendly, battery-powered electronic ignition.

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t come with a side burner.

Summary

This great option from Solaire is durable and definitely lives up to the brand’s reputation for quality. I’m not as huge a fan of this model as I am others in Solaire’s product line, but you can’t discount the sleek look and power efficiency it shares with the rest of their signature, top-notch burners.

Read more about this product and see the most recent prices here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Char-Broil Grill2go X200 Portable Tru-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill

For all you travelers and the nomads out there, the Char-Broil Grill2Go is a great product to help you make the most of weekend trips. Living up to the brand name, it’s definitely one top-notch barbecue product, ideal for cookouts or balcony barbecues.

It has a carrying handle with locking clips for great portability, plus two side handles if you need to move it around when in use.

What’s in the Box

A small, road-friendly grill in a high impact frame, with an aluminum lid and cast aluminum firebox. It comes fully assembled, with a temperature gauge built into the lid. The x200 weighs less than 20 pounds.

Features

  • Heavy-duty legs and carry handles.
  • Durable grilling grate.
  • Temperature gauge.
  • Top-notch infrared cooking system.
  • Built-in ignition requires no batteries to power up.
  • Can easily be converted to use with a separately sold 20-pound tank (kit sold separately).

Specifications

  • Number of main burners: One
  • Ignition type: Electric
  • BTU: 9,500
  • Primary cooking area: 200 square inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: N/A
  • Total cooking area: 200 square inches.
  • Build materials: Die-cast aluminum.
  • Dimensions:7 x 15 x 13.6 inches.
  • Warranty: Five years on the firebox, lid, and burner. One year on everything else.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Great for travel.
  • The black color gives it a sleek look.
  • Generates a minimum of 65 percent infrared power.
  • Easy to clean.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users complained that the regulator is temperamental and chose to purchase an aftermarket replacement.
  • Low temperature can still be too hot.

Summary

If you’re someone who can’t wait till your next getaway but would also like to have juicy, smokey BBQ dinners along the way, you definitely need to check out Char-Broil Grill2Go. Best of all, there’s no need to break the bank.

For more info, check out the link below.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

What is an Infrared Grill?

An infrared grill operates much like a gas or charcoal grill when you’re cooking. A key difference, though, is that infrared burners emit direct, persistent heat via radiation, not convection. It’s a much more efficient cooking process than traditional grilling.

Traditional gas burners may be more common, but they’re really not as fast-heating and user-friendly as infrared grills. There’s a reason why most steakhouses use infrared burners; they emit far less diffused heat compared to traditional grills.

The benefits of infrared grilling include quick heating and cooking times, as well as an incredibly even distribution of heat across the entire grill’s surface. Since heat distribution is direct and more intense, you get more optimal results from your grilling.

How Does Infrared Grilling Work?

One of the key features of infrared grilling is the panel which sits between the grates and the flame. This is often a perforated ceramic tile, special glass, or metal covered with a stainless-steel mesh.

Infrared works to eliminate the convective air movement in traditional grilling, providing radiant heat instead. During the grilling process, gas heats the panel below the food, and then intense heat is radiated to the meat on the grill. This is a very different process to conventional gas grilling, where the grates are directly heated.

Some of the older types of infrared grills use ceramic plates, although you’ll commonly find quality products featuring a glass panel right above the stainless-steel burners. Ceramic plating is reportedly better for higher temperatures.

Others use gas burners to heat a metal surface between the burners and the grates.

The additional plate absorbs the energy and heat from the gas burner before it re-radiates it toward the food.

In this way, the food doesn’t come into direct contact with either the electric or the gas heating element. While most traditional grills heat the air inside the grill to very high temperatures, infrared grills provide the majority of their heat from below the food.

This means that the food is less likely to dry out; infrared heats the food directly. Your food can sear at the highest temperatures, or cook slowly on a low, steady heat.

While convective heat destroys the moisture barrier in foods, infrared heat penetrates the moisture barrier to lock in natural juices. This prevents juices from evaporating, locking in the natural tenderness of the meat and vegetables you cook.

Benefits of Infrared Grills Over Other Types

Once a niche cooking commodity, infrared grills are now being widely used among hobbyists and in a lot of steakhouses, for a number of reasons. Even in home kitchen use, commercial griddles utilizing infrared technology are becoming increasingly popular because of the wide-ranging benefits.

The benefit is you can easily produce a juicy, mouthwatering flavor when you grill, even if you’re not a skilled cook. This because the infrared cooking process is so much more effective, easy and foolproof than it is with traditional gas or charcoal grills.

Infrared grills cook very fast, use less gas than traditional options, deliver even heat to your food, allow for multiple cooking methods, and prevent flare-ups. Not to mention, the taste of juicy, barbecued meats is even more rewarding, thanks to the user-friendly infrared grilling process.

Let’s take a look at some of the above benefits in greater detail now.

They Heat up VERY Quickly

The optimal technology infrared cooking offers means that your meat and vegetables will heat up super fast. Some sources claim that even older infrared barbecues can take as little as three to five minutes to reach the temperature needed, and 15 minutes for the entire cooking process.

if you’re someone who works long hours and doesn’t have time for the traditional barbecue process, infrared grills could help to make your life a lot easier.

They are Less Affected by Wind

Infrared grills work well in a wide range of climate conditions because the process is reliant on radiant heat.

Unlike traditional grills, there’s no need to worry about flames blowing out, charcoal fragments being scattered around or ‘rising hot air’ being blown aorund and out of your grill away from the cooking food.

With an infrared grill, the heat is radiant light, impervious to the effects of wind.

They are EXCELLENT for Searing

The heating process in infrared gas grills functions in much the same way as you might visualize the light of a laser beam. The heat moves up, directly through the air and into the food for a higher quality sear, locking in moisture and resulting in fewer flare-ups.

The result is superb, uniform caramelization across the entire surface, and that brown, beautiful crust most BBQ aficionados crave.

They Cook Faster

Infrared grills offer quick preheating times and reach very hot temperatures, usually between 900 to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, with ease and within mere minutes.

That’s between three and six times the heat that traditional gas or charcoal grills offer, and in just a fraction of the time.

They Provide Very Even Heat

Most grills have hot and cold spots, which affect how the food cooks with some parts of the same foods often being cooked at different temperatures on the same grill.

Infrared heat is generally even throughout the grills entire cooking surface, which means consistent results.

No Flames Means Less Flare-Ups

The additional layer in infrared grills prevents flare-ups, given that they allow hot air to move through the food you’re cooking much more effectively.

Food also retains up to 30 percent more moisture than on traditional grills.

Energy Efficient

Infrared grills use less fuel than charcoal or gas grills. Since they offer high heat performance in shorter time frames, you’re doing your bit for the environment by using these fuel-efficient appliances.

Easy to Clean

Since there are no ashes left to clean up, you have less to worry about in the aftermath of your barbecue get-together when using an infrared grill.

Are There any Downsides to them?

While purchasing a quality infrared grill is likely to be a great investment, it doesn’t come without a few cons. Here are some of the downsides to infrared grills, when compared to more traditional models.

They Tend to Be More Expensive

The cost of many models is much higher than that of regular gas or charcoal grills. Infrared grilling was even historically exclusive to high-end, commercial kitchens until the early 2000s.

This is when the original patent expired, and more manufacturers began appearing on the market, driving prices down through competition.

Some Models Can Be Too Hot for Certain Types of Cooking

Infrared cooking might not be best suited for grilling fish or vegetables, which require a more gentle type of heat than some models can provide.

Truly slow cooking is also likely to be out of the question; with infrared grilling, you don’t have the option of regulating low temperatures quite as accurately.

Higher Chance of Burning Food Due to High Heat

The extremely high temperatures also mean that food is more likely to get burned by inattentive cooks.

You’ll need to make sure you stick around while the food is cooking and watch the process, otherwise burning might occur.

What to Look for in the Best Infrared Grill for You

Expanding your outdoor cooking menu will be easier now that you’re on your way to infrared grilling. Before you take your pick though, you’ll need to have a few specifications in mind, to ensure you’re making a wise investment.

From performance to price, a number of factors will affect your choice when you’re selecting a grill. Let’s take a look at those now.

Fuel Source: Propane or Natural Gas?

Infrared grills are mostly compatible with both propane and natural gas. The ability to switch between the two usually involves separately sold accessories. Propane generally works best with more compact models.

Btu Level / Heat Flux

BTU and heat flux are indicators of heat output. BTU stands for British thermal unit. Despite the name, it’s a standard measure of heat output in the United States.

Generally speaking, the higher the BTU of a grill, the hotter it can get. However, BTU is more a measure of ‘how much gas the grill uses’, rather than a true measure of heat output. And it’s even less accurate when it comes to infrared grills.

Having said that though, if comparing 2 infrared grills side by side, the one with the higher BTU is likely to be more powerful.

Capacity

Infrared grills come in several different sizes, mostly dependent on the product’s surface area. Whether you’re usually cooking for the family, a few friends, or a larger group, this is a major factor to consider when you make your choice.

Before you buy, consider how many you are likely to cook for, and buy a grill with a cooking surface area that can cater to your needs.

Many quality models allow for a secondary cooking surface or burner, allowing you to cook up a generous meal if you often feed crowds.

Ignition System

A quick-to-light ignition system is a major plus that you shouldn’t discount. Many top-notch infrared grills come with this feature, usually allowing electronic ignition and removing any need for matches or any manual lighting on the owners part.

A Good Grill Hood

Watch out for a quality grill hood before you make your purchase. You might not need the hood for cooking steaks and burgers, but for everything else, you’ll want a spacious one that has ample room for a tall bird or large cut of meat to be cooked inside.

Also, check out the handles; if they get too hot, that can make your cooking experience extremely uncomfortable.

Total Product Dimensions

Whether you’re using your new grill on your balcony or in your backyard, you need to make sure that the model you’re selecting fits into the space you have available, while making sure you leave free space around it, to prevent any possibility of nearby objects catching fire while you cook.

Number and Configuration of Burners

Most quality infrared grills come with more than one burner, so you have a significant surface area for cooking a large meal at once. Others come with a rotisserie, or are rotisserie-ready, to fulfill all your grilling needs.

Another potential plus is many models come with a warming rack. This keeps cooked food warm or allows you to cook smaller dishes, etc., while you’re grilling on your main burner.

Easy Access to Gas Tanks

Most top-notch infrared grills allow the user to power up with an accessible gas tank that won’t compromise mobility. Also, many have a gauge for measuring gas levels, so you can assess precisely how much gas you’re using.

Flavorizer Bars

Flavorizer bars add that great, fresh-off-the-grill taste to your food by burning dripping fat that causes a smoky flavor.

Fortunately, most infrared grills come with pretty good quality ones.

Grill Grate Materials

Stainless steel or porcelain-coated grill materials have the potential to last longer. Opt for these materials as opposed to others that may be neither durable or produce good food.

Shelving and Storage Space

Some grill brands come with ample storage space and shelves. You can use these areas to stash your tools, wood chips, and anything else you’d like to use in the barbecuing process.

Shelves and cupboards included with the grill will make your life easier, and your barbecue experience hassle-free.

Portability

Where you store your grill at home and how often you’ll need to move it between places is an important factor to consider. Depending on your use, lifestyle, and the space you have free, you may or may not prioritize a more compact, portable model.

Build Quality, Materials, And Durability

Since not all infrared grills are created equal, some will last longer than others. To get maximum returns on your buck, you want to make sure you’re choosing a high-quality grill that you can regularly use for years to come.

Buy cheap, buy often is an oft used phrase and it really does apply to outdoor cooking equipment that has to endure all kinds of weather, as well as incredibly high temperatures during every use.

Look for Extra, Modern Features Making Use Easier and More Precise

Additional bonus features, such as integrated thermometers, warming racks, side burners for cooking vegetables or sauces, internal lights – these can all make for a more user-friendly infrared grill that you’ll enjoy cooking on time and time again.

Warranty

You want a manufacturer who stands by their product. A decent warranty period gives you confidence that the grill is good, that it will last, and that there’s help available if it doesn’t.

1 year is standard with any grill, up to 3 years relatively common. I woud personally never buy a grill without a warranty, it kind of shows the manufacturer has no confidence in their own kit.

Price and Value

You do get what you pay for, but you should also set a budget and stick to it.

Be realistic regarding what you can get for different prices, but also seek value in the build quality and features you’re paying for.

Conclusion

We all love juicy, hearty burgers and tender-cooked BBQ meats. And the best way to prepare for your next big BBQ bonanza is definitely by choosing the right grill. With the effectiveness and the excellent features infrared grills offer, you’ll easily be able to find a great one that suits your needs.

Although revenue is declining in the barbecue and grill manufacturing industry, the market for infrared grills is booming. These burners emit heat in infrared wavelengths which pass through the infrared plate and allow for the best cooking conditions.

My top pick of all discussed above is the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525. It has all the features you need in a great product, and because I love having a lot of people over for dinner and it has the largest cooking surface area, this model would be a great buy.

What’s your experience with infrared grills? Do you have a dream grill in mind that you might buy soon? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section, and do let us know if you have any questions.

Happy grilling!

 

Product image credits: © Amazon.com

Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

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