What Is An Infrared Grill And How Do They Work
Infrared grills, also known as IR grills, use infrared radiation to cook your food. To do this, a regular gas grill gets started up, then has a specialized plate placed on top as a cooktop. The heatwaves from the grill get spread through the plate, which distributes the heat evenly throughout the plate.
As opposed to producing just hot air, an infrared grill produces infrared waves. These waves are what heat up the surface of an object, such as a slab of meat. Since the plates on an infrared grill are designed to conduct heat, these grills have a notoriously fast heat-up time.
These types of grills work similar to the sun. The energy of the sun consists of roughly 50% infrared, which is why roadways are very hot to the touch in the summer, but we cannot visibly see the heating process.
Reasons To Switch From A Charcoal To An Infrared Grill
To our charcoal-loving friends: Let us just say, we get it. Youve devoted years to perfecting the art of grilling over coals and the very thought of using a gas grill has a traitorous ring to it. Its like admitting you drink light beer or prefer veggie burgers over beeftheres something just not right about
To our charcoal-loving friends: Let us just say, we get it.
Youve devoted years to perfecting the art of grilling over coals and the very thought of using a gas grill has a traitorous ring to it. Its like admitting you drink light beer or prefer veggie burgers over beeftheres something just not right about that.
Were here to help. Once youre able to let go of the guilt, there are plenty of reasons to go gas, especially if youre upgrading to an infrared grill. Here are our favorite reasons to make the switch from charcoal to infrared and to embrace it.
Reason #1: Less Fuel
Every time your grill with charcoal, youre filling up the firebox with a new batch of charcoal or wood. With infrared, youre using a propane tank or a natural gas setup- both last longer than one grill-out. With propane, you do have to replace the tank once empty, but with the SABER® grill, you save at least 30% of the fuel per grilling session, which means every third tank is free.
Reason #2: Searing
Reason #3: No flare-ups
Reason #4: Tender, Juicy Meats
Reason #5: Grill Faster
Pros: Infrared Grills Cook Food Quickly
Because of their mega-high temperatures, infrared grills cook very, very fast. And for some types of grilling, that happens to be exactly what you want. The most notable example of this is steak.
The key to cooking a steak is cooking as quickly as possible over as high a heat as possible. The hotter and quicker, the better. The reason being that steaks get tougher the longer they spend over the heat. Your goal with cooking one, then, is to sear the outside and produce a flavorful brown crust while ensuring that the interior remains tender and juicy.
And an infrared grill with its cooking temperature approaching 1,000 F happens to be perfect for that. It might only take a minute on each side and even less for thin cuts like skirt steak.
Another advantage to infrared grills is that they aren’t prone to flare-ups since anything that drips from the food is instantly vaporized when it hits the glass or ceramic.
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Ceramic Infrared Burner Systems
The most common infrared system is the ceramic infrared burner. These grills use a stainless-steel gas burner overlaid with a ceramic substance.
When heated with the gas flame, the heat source induces tiny flames in the ceramic, which becomes the focus of radiant heat.
The cooking grid is situated just a few inches above the ceramic plates and disperses heat across the food. The result of having this ceramic surface is getting high heat, up to 1,000 degrees.
Infrared Cooking Provides Most Radiation Heat And This Gives A Better Result
Many commercial ovens and grills use this technique already for a long time, but now it is affordable for backyard grillers like you and me.
The Char broil company is most known for its infrared grill for backyard grills.That is why I have added some videos from their YouTube channel to maybe explain it better than I can.
Technical video about infrared on char broil and YouTube
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Is It Safe To Cook With Infrared
The current research on infrared radiation is that it is not powerful enough to alter the molecular structure of food cooked using it as a heat source, and its food results are safe for human use and consumption. So far, there have been no links found between infrared grilling and cancer, but its important to note that there have been links found between food cooked at high temperatures and carcinogenic compounds in meat, which is not limited to infrared cooking.
According to the National Cancer Institute, meats cooked at high temperatures above 300 F or those cooked for a long time tend to form more heterocyclic amines or HCAs, while cooking food that exposed it to smoke produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons . Both of these compounds have been found to sometimes cause cancer on animals during lab experiments, and the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research recommends limiting consumption of processed meats, but there aren’t specific guidelines on how much HCA and PAH should be avoided.
This is all to say, moderation is key with infrared cookery and food in general. Hopefully, this guide has given you the primer you need to go forth and try ways of infrared cooking that best suit your lifestyle!
Upgrade Pick Saber Cast 500 32
If you are looking for a high-end infrared gas grill, Saber are an excellent choice. They have developed their very own patented cooking system which uses infrared heat.
The Saber Cast 500 32 Inch 3 Burner hits the sweet spot for price and quality out of all the infrared options over $1,000 and earns our top spot for the best luxury infrared grill.
All the burners on the grill use this technology, and unlike most infrared grills that only have one temperature , Sabers patented technology allows for great temperature control.
Saber grills also offer fuel efficiency, the capacity for incredibly high temperatures, flare up reduction and the resilience and durability of stainless steel construction.
You get 500 square inches of primary grilling area plus an adjustable, enamel-coated 175 square inch warming rack can be folded down to keep foods warm or folded away to give you more space.
When it comes to durability, all burners, infrared emitters, side shelves, and cooking grates are made of 304 stainless steel.
This particular model also includes an 18,000 BTU side burner. The burner is dual control and offers you that extra spot on the grill for boiling, wok cooking or keeping food warm.
Like the Char-Broil reviewed above, the side burner has a lid so you can use it as a side shelf for extra prep area.
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What we like:
What we dont like:
Read our full Victory gas grill review.
What we like:
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Are Infrared Grills Worth The Cost
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If youre in the market for a new grill, youve probably been bombarded with the term Infrared. If you listen to the sales reps, they say its a must have feature when shopping for a grill.
Infrared burners promise incredibly fast searing, perfectly even heat distribution and the ability to hit temperatures that you could only dream of reaching with a commercial grill.
But before you shell out extra cash, its worth understanding what infrared actually means, and the pros and cons of infrared grilling.
So lets have a closer look at how infrared works.
What Are The Advantages Of Cooking With An Infrared Grill
The undeniable truth about infrared burners is that they are lightening fast. These burners are capable of getting up to around 700°F in seven minutes.
- With a grill that hot, you will be able to sear your food really quick.
- Manufacturers also make the claim that cooking with an infrared grill will lock in more juices.
However, there is still conjecture surrounding these claims. When searing your meat, you are caramelizing and browning the surface as the Maillard reaction takes place. While a brown and crispy surface may appear to lock in juices, whether or not this really happens is still debated.
So while locking in juices is a moot point, there are some other advantages.
Infrared grills produce very even heat, which makes for a consistently well seared surface.
Being so fast and hot, infrared cooking is energy efficient as well. You will be able to cook more food in a shorter amount of time, using less fuel.
Lastly, due to the intense heat of the burners, there can be less chance of flare ups when cooking with certain types of infrared. We will talk more about the different types of infrared grill later in this article.
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So What Is Infrared Grilling Technology
Infrared grilling technology is a cooking technology that makes good use of a ceramic element to radiate small infrared waves into the food that is cooking. Previously, the version that was in use was costly to the average homeowner.
However, with this technology, it has proven to be an affordable consumer product, and it is found in numerous grills.
Here are some of the advantages that come with the use of this impressive grilling technology!
- Process-The way the plate directs heat to the food is very gentle compared to cooking with flames.
- Speed-Infrared heat is highly concentrated but less intense making cooking faster.
- Flavor-The absence of convection or air passing through the food means that you cannot have dried out meats the technology leaves the meat juicy, something that cannot be seen with other forms of grilling.
- Variety-Infrared technology can cook a variety of foods including vegetables and any form of meat.
- The grills come with emitter panels for smooth coking with the outer part of the grill coming with a lifetime warranty.· These grills can be fueled by either propane or natural gas.
Napoleon Prestige 500 Freestanding Propane Gas Grill With Infrared Burner
These high quality grills arent the cheapest option, but there isnt much they cant do. If you have a bit of cash to throw at a grill, then the Napoleon Prestige 500 is definitely worth a look.
With 500 square inches of cooking space, and the capability to grill, sear, bake, smoke and roast, these units can handle anything you throw at them.
The lid is well insulated so when closed, the grill can be used as a smoker. Throw in a smoker tube filled with your favorite wood chips to make the meat as smoky as you like.
When you want to grill, the lid folds away, right out of the road.
Note that not all of the burners are infrared. The Prestige 500 has a 18,000 BTU rear infrared burner and rotisserie kit and a 14,000 BTU infrared side burner for high temp searing.
The sear plates reach a staggering 1800°F so to say searing is easy is an understatement.
All components are made of quality materials and the unit itself is made in Canada
What we like:
- Thoughtful design features such as a cupboard under the grill for storage, tool hooks inside the doors, reversible WAVE designed grill rods to reduce the amount of food that falls through the cracks, and the ability to order the grill natural gas ready.
- The rotisserie kit that comes with the grill can hold up to 25 pounds.
- Large size You can cook up to 30 burger patties on the main cooking area of this unit.
What we dont like:
There is also the option of a charcoal tray for this grill, but you will have to order it separately.
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How Long Should An Infrared Grill Be Preheated To Kill Bacteria
A traditional gas grill can take up around 10 minutes for preheating and a charcoal grill requires preheating for about 20 minutes. However, with an infrared grill, you only need to preheat the grill for 3 to 5 minutes to kill bacteria.
Meats need to be cooked at a sufficient internal temperature in order to kill bacteria. As an infrared grill can increase cooking temperature more quickly, it typically requires less time for preheating.
Why Might You Want One Who Are Infrared Grills Best Suited To
So, who would want one of these grills?
Well, if youre looking for the cooking method that can give you the best steak experience consistently, then an infrared grill could be a welcome addition to your grill collection.
Or, if patience is not your strongest trait, then infrared can save you a lot of time, and deliver your dinner much quicker!
Maybe you like to keep on top of new technology and impress your guests? If so, an infrared grill would do precisely that.
These grills could also be well-suited to those that have cooked on an industrial scale before and who regularly host and grill for large groups.
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What Is An Infrared Grill How Do They Work
To understand this fully we need to understand the difference between infrared and your usual go-to cooking method, which is usually either grilling with charcoal or gas-fired grilling.
Both these methods are convection cooking, in that the charcoal or gas flames heat the air between the fire and the food.
This hot air circulates around the food as it heats, which is known as a convection current.
This is the reason you close the lid while cooking, as it stops the hot air from escaping and allows the temperature to sit at a reasonably constant temperature, much like a traditional oven.
Infrared is different.
In simple terms, it is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which measures the length and speed of waves. Only a small part of the spectrum is visible to the human eye as visible light, and IR is just outside of this scope, and thus it is invisible to us. However, because it heats things, we can feel, see and taste the effect of it.
It is a lot like the sun. The suns energy is made up of around 50% infrared, and this is why pavements are hot to the touch in summer, yet we cannot see the heating process.
An IR grill uses a gas burner to heat a plate made of metal, ceramic, or glass and in turn produces infrared waves as opposed to just hot air. This plate heats quicker than just air and reaches a much higher temperature much faster.
The infrared waves created are what heats the surface of an object, such as meat, quicker than circulating hot air can.
Should I Buy An Infrared Grill
That is a question I hear and see a lot.It is not easy to answer this question, because it all depends on your specific situation.The average price is a little higher, but the quality of the cooking is better.With so many options available to choose from electric patio grills to 3 or even 5 burner full-size outdoor kitchens, I think there is an infrared grill available for every grill master. But look at your style of cooking and decide if an infrared will make it easier or improve the quality of your food.
Click here for all the reviews of Char Broil infrared grills on our website.
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What Are The Advantages Of Infrared Grilling
- Great at searing meat as it maximizes flavor Infrared grilling means your food Will retain up to 35% more of its natural juices which will maximize flavor
- An infrared grill takes little time to heat up and leads to quicker cooking times
- An infrared grill is easy to clean as food particles left behind will turn to ash when the grill is on high
- This grill will save you money as they are more energy-efficient as they burn less gas than other traditional gas grills
- Fewer flare-ups from grease and food particles
Premium Quality Of Food
Due to the faster cooking speed of infrared grills, the juices can be retained in the meat which contributes to tastier and more tender meats. Infrared grills can also reach higher cooking temperatures much more quickly so that it can sear your steaks faster, giving you that wonderful flavorful brown crust.
Infrared grills can cook food more evenly since they can distribute heat more evenly throughout the meat. This reduces the risk of the meat being burned in some parts while other parts of the meat remain undercooked.
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What To Cook On An Infrared Grill
There are no restrictions on the type of food you can cook on an infrared grill. Any product that can be cooked on a traditional grill is good for cooking on an infrared one. Steaks, burgers, pork chops or veal, chicken legs and wings, sausages, fish, shrimp, mushrooms, fruits and vegetables all of these products can be cooked on an infrared grill.
Of course, common sense is a good thing and you should not leave your grill unattended while cooking. One of the most important things that you need to remember is not to pour any liquid on the infrared burner. Make sure you do not leave food with high fat content unattended as flair ups may occur. You can experiment with your favorite food, but always keep in mind that infrared grills are hotter and the food is cooked quicker. Preheating the grill will give you better results so before placing the food on the grate, make sure you allow the infrared grill get the desired temperature. Usually the time needed is about five minutes. Some people prefer to cook with the hood closed but if you kept it open will give you better control as you may observe the food while it is being cooked.