There are quite a few things that determine which infrared grill you should buy.
For instance, how much space you have, how often you will use it, do you want it to be portable or stationary, overall ease of use and of course, how much does it cost and where is the best place to buy.
If you already know which grill you would like, I have found the best prices are at Amazon and in almost all cases, include free shipping and no sales tax.
If you would like to go directly to a best infrared grill review, see this post.
I’ve been a serious griller for about 30 years. I currently grill about 3 times a week, year round. I really love it. I’ve used gas, charcoal, electric and now infrared.
My reviews are based on personal experience and what I have learned over the years. I hope my experiences can be helpful to you.
I would suggest you consider the following before you make your purchase.
What is Infrared Grilling ?
Traditional methods like charcoal or gas create heat that warms the air around the food and the warm air cooks the food. This works fine, we’ve all have many great tasting steaks cooked this way.
The problem is that the warm air dries out the food and ultimately the food can be overcooked on the outside and raw on the inside.
The drippings from the meat can also cause fire flare-ups that can cook the food unevenly.
Afterwards, clean up can be an issue (if cleaned up at all). The fat from the meat can stick to the grates and because the grill usually doesn’t get much over 500 degrees, the fat never burns off the grates, causing sticking the next time you use the grill.
Ultimately the traditional cooking method takes more effort to master and maintain, not to mention the extra effort for clean up.
Infrared grills eliminate all of these issues. Infrared heat is a higher part of the spectrum. It’s a higher degree heat that penetrates the meat and heats evenly. There are no hot or cold spots or even flare-ups.
But all tech stuff aside, infrared heat simply cooks a juicier, better tasting piece of meat and cooks it faster than a traditional grill. Because it cooks faster, its also cheaper to operate because it uses 30% less propane.
Some models can be hooked up to natural gas. Check the specs before you buy.
Until recently infrared technology was only used in expensive restaurants. That’s why you walked out of Ruth’s Chris or Mortons, thinking how good you steak was.
The patent for this technology recently expired and now companies like Charbroil are producing quality consumer models that use this same infrared technology.
This is really a commercial from Char Broil bit it’s a pretty good video on how infrarerd grilling works.
What’s the cooking temperature?
Infrared grills cook at about 700 degrees. The high heat allows for a perfect sear on the outside of the meat while the infrared technology keeps the inside tender and juicy.
This really means that you burgers or steaks won’t shrink or curl. You get to enjoy the flavor instead of it dripping out into the grill.
What about clean up?
Clean up, you mean you’re actually supposed to clean a grill????? OK, anybody who has ever dreaded cleaning and scrubbing a grill with the trusty grill brush will appreciate my attempt at humor here!
In reality, the infrared will do most of the work for you. It heats up high enough to burn off anything that sticks to the grates. It works kind of like the cleaning cycle on you inside oven.
To clean, simply heat to grill for a few minutes and anything that was left will turn to ash. A few swipes with the grill brush and you’re done. Periodically, just empty the bottom of the grill and you’ll have a perfectly clean grill.
Realize it does take a little longer for an infrared grill to heat up. Most gas grills take about 5 minutes or so. The infrared will take about 10-12. This is simply because you’re cooking at 700 degrees vs 400 degree.
It can take a few times to learn how to cook on infrared. Since you’ve always used charcoal or gas, the tendency is to leave the meat on the grill as long. Remember, infrared cooks much faster and it will take you a few times to adjust to the lesser cooking times. But this is minor and now that you know this you will probably get it right the first time you grill.