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
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.
Infrared grills heat quickly. It takes an infrared burner few minutes once ignited to preheat on high, usually 3-5 minutes.
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.
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!
Long term expense
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|
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.
- 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
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?