Infrared grills have been around for a very long time and their popularity seems to be only growing. Innovation has seen the introduction of different infrared cooking systems and brands incorporating infrared grilling technology into their grills, with the most popular brands being the Char-Broil, Lynx and Tec. If you use a traditional grill, and you’ve never had the opportunity to try an Infrared grill,  then you might be wondering what exactly is so special about them. Well, almost everything.

The infrared grills feature an infrared burner system that usually sits above the fuel source. When heat is generated this infrared burner system quickly and efficiently transfers this heat evenly on the cooking surface. So in short, this burner system absorbs the heat and radiates it evenly across the entire cooking surface with no cold or hot spots. For a regular grill however, heat is applied to the food through an air medium, so air is first heated then the air transfers the heat to the food.

For a better understanding of how infrared grills work and benefits, we are going to compare them with regular grills;

 

 A comparison between infrared grills and regular gas grills

Working Efficiency

With a regular grill much of the energy source is lost during the cooking process. as it happens, during cooking, what gets heated mostly is the air which then transfers the heat to the food. This is inefficient and also ends up drying the food.

With an infrared gas grill however, heat is sent directly to your food hence retaining more moisture.

Heating time

 Infrared grills heat quickly. It takes an infrared burner few minutes once ignited to preheat on high, usually 3-5 minutes.

If you’ve used a regular gas grill, you do know that it takes some time to reach the desired temperature. More time and fuel is used up this way.

Cooking time/speed

A regular grill takes longer to cook with as compared to cooking with an infrared grill.

Infrared grills produce intense heat that is quickly and efficiently transferred to the cooking surface facilitating in a faster cooking time.

Food quality

One of the disadvantages of a longer cooking time that is present with regular grills is that food gets dry and losses its moisture content.
With an infrared grill however, 50% of the food’s natural moisture content is retained. This results in tender, better-tasting and juicier foods. Also many infrared grills have the steak searing capabilities of restaurants as they are able to reach high searing temperatures for the most delicious steaks.

Heat distribution

One of the major and truly inconveniencing problems common with many regular grills is the problem of heat distribution. Most regular grills are not capable of evenly distributing heat across the whole cooking surface area which is why a lot of times you get the hot and cold spots on the cooking surface.

Because of this uneven heat distribution with some spots being extremely hot others cold, food also gets unevenly cooked with some overcooked, under cooked or even burnt parts. This problem will no doubt require food to stay longer on the grill. Definitely not fun!

With infrared grills however, this problem is eliminated because they are built to efficiently distribute heat across the whole cooking surface for consistency.  This results in perfectly grilled meals and makes cooking a breeze!

Flare-ups

Something else to dislike about the regular grills is the unpredictable flare-ups when grease and oils from your food drip and find their way into the flames to cause flare -ups. The results in charred and burnt food that is not at all appealing to both the eyes and the tongue.
This problem is however minimized in an infrared grill. Any drippings are instantly vaporized by the infrared grill and the rich, smoky and steam flavors are  infused back into the food. This reduces flare-ups and results in more flavored delicious foods.

Fuel consumption

Because an infrared grill preheats faster and cooks faster, this in turns means that you will save on fuel as less is used.
A regular gas grill on the other hand, will use more fuel because of the longer preheating time and cooking time.

Long term expense

In the long run, there is no doubt that you will end up spending more money with a regular gas grill because the need to replace fuel tanks will happen more frequently as opposed to using an infrared gas grill. In the long run, a regular gas grill will be more expensive.

Side by side comparison;

Infrared Grills Regular Gas  Grills
Heating Time Shorter time to preheat Longer time to preheat
Cooking Speed Faster cooking speed Slower cooking speed
Food Quality Juicier, flavored and tender food Possibility of dry food with less juices and flavor
Heat Distribution Even heat distribution Uneven heat distribution
Flare-Ups Minimized flare-ups Unpredictable flare ups is the norm
Fuel Consumption Consumes less fuel Consumes more fuel
Long Term Expense Less expensive in the long term More expensive in the long term
 So just to summarize, here is why infrared grills are better that the regular grills;

Advantages of infrared grills;

  • Better tasting food because food cooked with an infrared grill is more tender, packed with  flavor and 50% more of its own natural juices than a regular grill.
  • Results in evenly cooked as the grilling surface’s heat is consistent.
  • Reduced flare ups because food drippings that cause flare ups are vaporized and infused back into the food.
  • Faster cooking time that saves on time and fuel.
  • Less expensive in the long run because you will use less propane tanks.

Cons;

  •  This sophisticated technology that comes with infrared grills makes them more expensive that than the conventional grills. However the Char-broil TRU infrared grills are quite affordable unlike their competitors

Bottom line

Infrared grills are more efficient in fuel consumption, they are very efficient in  heat distribution, produce better tasting food, cook faster and  minimize the risk of flare-ups. These all are great reasons why they are better for grilling don’t you think?