Best Infrared Grill For Trend Setters

Infrared grills are the new kid on the block, and they are making inroads to the grilling community fast. In this guide, we will take an in-depth look at what makes these an upcoming favorite. We will also provide our insights on which are the best infrared grills in the market right now.

However, if you are looking for a quick recommendation, you can give the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill a shot. It is affordable and provides decent grilling space and heat.

The Models That We Will Go Through In This Guide

What Is An Infrared Grill?

From basic cooking classes, we know that food is either cooked by conduction, convection, or radiation. Let’s do a little recap.

Conduction aka. Contact Cooking

Conduction is the age-old method of cooking food. It is the direct transfer of heat from the heat source to the food. An example would be cooking with a cast iron pan. The pan is heated by the flame beneath and once the food is placed upon the pan. Heat is transferred from the pan to the food.

In barbecuing, conduction cooking happens when the food touches the grates, and in turn, the grate is heated up by the charcoals or gas.

Convection Cooking

Convection also known as indirect grilling happens when the heat is transferred to the food using fluid. It happens when you boil potatoes or other veggies in a pot. In science, gasses are treated as fluids, and hence, the heat that is transferred using air to the food is also referred to as a form of convection cooking.

In grilling, this happens when you close the lid of the grill and thereby causing the hot air to be trapped inside the grill, circulating around the food.

Radiation Cooking Including Infrared Cooking

Let me guess. The first thought that comes into your mind would be a microwave. Radiation cooking is done when a form of electromagnetic energy is directed towards your food. Anything that is hot enough will radiate heat, usually in the range of 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hence, as some of you may have inferred. Charcoal grills can easily reach a temperature of more than 700F. Therefore, when you are cooking with charcoal, a portion of the process is done with radiation cooking. However, this is not the same as a gas grill. A gas grill would normally hover around the range of 500F.

So, when we are talking about infrared grills, we are usually referring to gas grills with infrared technology.

How Did Gas Grills With Infrared Technology Come About?

The originator of infrared grills technology is TEC. They are the one that produces grills that emit 100% radiated heat to cook food. However, upon the expiry of the infrared burner patent in 2000. Char-Broil has quickly risen to the top in the infrared grill market. Therefore, many of the infrared grills that you will come across in the market will be made by, if not inspired, by them.

What Are The Advantages Of An Infrared Grill?

Advantage #1. No Open Flame

The essence of infrared grilling is to radiate heat. In general, to do that the heating element, usually a gas burner, would be isolated from the grates by placing it either in a box or separating the two with layers of metal plates.

Advantage #2. Faster Cooking

One of the greatest strengths of an infrared grill is their ability to generate much higher heat and faster than normal gas grills. An infrared grill can reach upwards of 700F to radiate heat and they can do that in a matter of minutes. That is very impressive. Now you can have that piece of steak faster than before.

Advantage #3. Higher Temperature

A charcoal grill can generate heat way beyond 700F and a gas grill at around 500F. An infrared grill wedge somewhere in between the two but can still generate heat at around 700F. Hence, for those who are looking for a grill that can be as hot as a charcoal grill yet desire the convenience of a gas grill would go for an infrared grill.

Advantage #4. Energy Efficient

Comparing to traditional gas grills, an infrared grill typically consumes less gas to produce similar heat. That means that an infrared grill utilizes energy more efficiently. Which over the long run, means that you save a lot of money on fuel cost despite the higher initial purchase cost.

Advantage #5. Better Heat Control And Heat Distribution

With radiated heat, infrared grills distribute heat evenly across the grates. This means that there will be minimal cold spots and hot spots as compared to traditional gas grills. Not having this unevenness in heat means that your batch of food will be done at the same time and there won’t be the case where some of the food is still raw while some other are over-cooked.

Moreover, infrared grills have ditched the impression that it is only a high-temperature gas grill. The models nowadays allow you to have precise temperature control for all your recipes.

Advantage #6. Easier Clean Up

What is good about a high cooking temperature? It is useful for cleaning up. You can effectively burn the residual food particles to ashes before brushing them away. Couple this with drip tray and you can cut down the cleaning time after any grilling event substantially.

What Are The Disadvantages Of An Infrared Grill?

Disadvantage #1. The Cost Of An Infrared Grill

If you think that a traditional gas grill is expensive, then it is without any doubt that any gas grill with infrared technology would cost even more. But the good news is, over the years, the cost of an infrared grill has steadily become more affordable and you might even find some in gas grills below $500.

With the relatively higher cost of an infrared grill, it makes even more sense to invest in a good warranty from a good manufacturer. In the unlikely event that your infrared grill broke down, you will find relief in not dishing out the same chunk of cash to get it replaced.

Disadvantage #2. It Can Be A Steep Learning Curve

An infrared grill is faster and hotter than a gas grill. Which means cooking on it takes some adjusting to. If you are used to grilling food on a gas grill, then you probably need a grill or two to get used to it. Also, the higher than usual heat can be brutal to veggies and fruits.

Vegetables and fruits get burned easily and with the heat, it will dry up faster than it was in a gas grill. This is not a deal breaker and once you are accustomed to it, it will become an advantage rather than a con.

Disadvantage #3. May Not Be Good For Health

At temperatures above 500F, there is a higher probability that your food may turn out charred or burnt. At higher temperatures, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are also formed and according to the National Cancer Institute, PAHs are found to be able to cause changes to the DNA that may increase the risk of cancer. However, this con can be mitigated by scraping off the burnt bits before consuming it. That is, of course, the entire slab of meat is not burnt.

Best Infrared Grills In The Market Now

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

 

The first model on our list is the Char-Broil X00 Grill2Go. As the name suggests, this model is made for people on the go and wants their food to travel with them. Built to last, this grill is made with heavy-duty metal and the latching lid is made with die-cast aluminum to make sure the grill is roadworthy.

The X200 features a grill area of 200 square inches which is enough to serve up to 5 people worth of food in any one batch. Heating the grill is a 9,500 BTU burner powered by a portable 16.4oz disposable LP gas cylinder. However, do note that the gas cylinder is sold separately.

You may wonder about the relatively lower BTU burner compared to traditional gas grills. But, if you remember, we did mention that grills with infrared technology tend to use energy more efficiently. The TRU-infrared technology built into this grill generates a minimum of 65 percent infrared heat and the heat spreads evenly throughout the grill.

Specifications And Features At A Glance

  • Number Of Burners: 1
  • The BTU Of Each Burner: 9,500
  • The BTU Of Side Burner: No Side Burner
  • Total BTU Advertised: 9,500 (Side burner excluded)
  • Main Grill Area: 200 Square Inches
  • Grate Material: Stainless Steel
  • Temperature Of The Grill: Can Reach Up To 700F
  • Fuel Source: 16.4 oz LP. Can Be Converted To Use 20 lb. Gas Tank.
  • Natural Gas Attachment: No
  • Warranty Available: Limited Warranty
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 7 (W) x 15.7 (D) x 13.6 (H) Inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 20 pounds
  • Other Features: Temperature Gauge, Dual Stainless-Steel Latches, Heat Resistant Handles

What Is Good About This Grill?

For a portable grill, it has a larger than usual cooking area. It can heat up to 650F for searing pretty quick – in a matter of minutes. The grill is protected from flare-ups and the rugged exterior can really take a beating.

What Is Not So Good About This Grill?

The stainless-steel grates may deteriorate faster than expected. Also, food may stick onto the grates while cooking, suggests coating the grates with oil before grilling. The regulator may also be subjected to regular failure and needs often replacement.

#2. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill

If you are a fan of multipurpose grills, then the Char-Broil 3 in 1 grill will be worth a look at. This grill allows you to grill, smoke or roasts your food with one machine. For grilling, the model comes with a 180 square inches removable grill grate which plenty enough for 4 people.

When you need to roast or smoke, simply remove the grill grate and pop in the 1,200 square inches smoking and roasting basket. The smoker box is conveniently placed at the side of the grill, allowing you to put your favorite wood chips without the need to open the lid.

To carry it around, there are two handles on the sides. This makes the unit portable enough to move around in your backyard and patio. But the weight will probably make you think twice about taking it outdoors.

However, do note that this model is made with roasting and smoking in mind. Hence, the temperature of this grill would not reach a high temperature as you would expect with other grills. This temperature of this unit can reach up to 450F.

Specifications And Features At A Glance

  • Main Grill Area: 200 Square Inches
  • Smoke and Roast: 1,200 Square Inches
  • Grate Material: Not Stated
  • Temperature Of The Grill: Can Reach Up To 450F
  • Fuel Source: Propane
  • Warranty Available: 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 1 x 23.4 x 36.2 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 50 pounds
  • Other Features: Meat Thermometer, Removable Grease Tray, Product Guide

What Is Good About This Grill?

This unit is easy to assemble and makes awesome smoked food. The large cooking compartment makes smoking a whole turkey a breeze. The results are much better than if you were to roast it in the oven.

What Is Not So Good About This Grill?

The grates and roast basket are not non-stick. You may encounter some sticking even if you sprayed some oil on it. This unit is designed more for smoking and roasting, less for grilling.

#3. Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3-Burner Cart

 

Always swear by the nostalgic cart-style grill? This Char-Broil brings back the familiar design and gives it an infrared upgrade. This grill features a 450 square inches of primary grilling area for large parties. Easily serving 10 people at any one point in time, you do not have to fear the food flow stopping. There is also 150 square inch warming included if you run out of space.

Heating the grates are 3 top-ported tube burners. If that is not enough, you can use the 10,000 BTU side burner for cooking that sauce or sides. When you are not using the side burner, you can put the lid down to make it into a side table for more food prepping.

The grates are porcelain-coated, making it easy to clean and retains heat amazingly well. For precise temperature control, the stainless-steel burners can be adjusted to either deliver low heat or high heat. With the TRU-infrared technology, heat evenness is a given.

Specifications And Features At A Glance

  • Number Of Burners: 3
  • The BTU Of Each Burner: Not Stated
  • The BTU Of Side Burner: 10,000
  • Total BTU Advertised: Not Stated (Side burner excluded)
  • Main Grill Area: 450 Square Inches
  • Warming Rack: 150 Square Inches
  • Grate Material: Porcelain-Coated
  • Temperature Of The Grill: Approximately 700F
  • Fuel Source: Propane
  • Natural Gas Attachment: No
  • Warranty Available: None Stated. Contact The Manufacturer Before Purchase
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 4 x 54.1 x 45.5 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 91 pounds
  • Other Features: Temperature Gauge, 2 Wheeled-Legs With 2 Stabilizers Leg

What Is Good About This Grill?

This grill is able to accommodate a large sized party on its own. Coupled with infrared technology, the flow of food never seems to stop. It is also very affordable given that it is an infrared grill.

What Is Not So Good About This Grill?

On the low chance, some of the parts may be delivered damaged and would take some back and forth with the customer service team to get it fixed.

#4. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill

 

The next model that we are introducing is the Char-Broil Infrared Kettle Grill. This grill is for those who like the portability of the first grill but wishes to trade in some of the portability for extra grilling space.

The Char-Broil Infrared Kettle features a main grilling area of 240 square inches and is perfect for a crowd of up to 6 people. If that is not enough for you, there is a warming rack offering additional 80 square inches of space. This gives a total of 320 square inches of space for all those foods you bought.

This grill is powered by a single burner with a rating of 13,000 BTUs. Combining with the TRU-infrared technology, this grill can easily reach a temperature of 650F within minutes. The temperature of the grill can be controlled by the temperature knob, which has 5 temperature settings, at the front of the grill.

Specifications And Features At A Glance

  • Number Of Burners: 1
  • The BTU Of Each Burner: 13,000
  • The BTU Of Side Burner: No Side Burner
  • Total BTU Advertised: 13,000 (Side burner excluded)
  • Main Grill Area: 240 Square Inches
  • Warming Rack: 80 Square Inches
  • Grate Material: Stainless Steel
  • Temperature Of The Grill: Up To 650F
  • Fuel Source: 20lbs Propane Tank
  • Natural Gas Attachment: No
  • Warranty Available: Limited Warranty. Contact The Manufacturer Before Purchase
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 4 x 25.2 x 38.2 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 43 pounds
  • Other Features: Temperature Gauge, 2 Wheeled-Legs, Propane Gas Tank Holder.

What Is Good About This Grill?

This grill is very easy to put together and the kettle design of the grill meant that the heat will radiate right in the middle; which makes the heat even more consistent and even. This infrared gas grill is also one of the most affordable options out there given the features it offers. Yes, we are a big proponent of the value for money concept.

What Is Not So Good About This Grill?

The ignitor is prone to faults and may fail after a couple of uses.

#5. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill

 

If you love charcoal grilling and If you have ever used a Weber, then you may find this model very familiar. This Char-Broil Infrared Charcoal Kettleman Grill is the only charcoal model in our list. Combining charcoal and infrared technology is a masterful stroke. With this combination, you will get all the charcoal grilling taste and smell, but without the flare-ups.

This infrared charcoal grill features 360 square inches of grilling space, which is plenty to serves up to 9 people at any one point in time. The grill grates are made with porcelain coated ceramic and are able to retain heat effectively.

To control the temperature, there are dampers on the lid as well as a 360-degree inlet at the bottom of the grill. Although, I would believe that the bottom air vents are more effective in temperature control, so look out for that first when you are attempting to adjust the heat. The in-built thermostat at the top of the lid helps with temperature too.

After a grill, comes the cleaning. To make that job easier for you, there is an ash pan at the bottom of the grill to catch the ashes for disposal. To clean the grate, heat it to burn the food residue to crisps before scrubbing it off.

Specifications And Features At A Glance

  • Main Grill Area: 240 Square Inches
  • Warming Rack: 80 Square Inches
  • Grate Material: Porcelain-Coated Ceramic
  • Temperature Of The Grill: Up To Approximately 700F
  • Fuel Source: Charcoal
  • Natural Gas Attachment: No
  • Warranty Available: Limited Warranty. Contact The Manufacturer Before Purchase
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 9 x 27.4 x 14.8 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 36 pounds
  • Other Features: Temperature Gauge, 2 Wheeled-Legs with 1 stabilizer leg

What Is Good About This Grill?

With the infrared system, this grill consumes way less charcoal than traditional charcoal grills. Not only that, the price of this grill is comparable to a charcoal grill. This makes the grill not only affordable in its initial cost but also affordable in the running cost.

What Is Not So Good About This Grill?

With charcoal in the equation, the cleaning of this grill is comparatively harder. Replacement parts, especially for grates, are hard to find.

#6. Simple Living Infrared Indoor Smokeless BBQ Grill

 

You have seen infrared technology infused into gas grills and charcoal grills. What have you not seen yet? This is it. The next model that makes our list is one made by Simple Living – an electric infrared grill.

This electric infrared grill is featuring a cooking area of 154 square inches, which is enough for a crowd of up to 4 to 5 people. Powering this grill is 1,660 watts heating element, and combining with infrared technology, this grill can be heated up to a decent 446F for searing.

What is great about indoor grills is the fact that it is virtually smokeless, and you can grill all year round. Assembling the unit is also very easy – just take it out of the box and it is ready to be used. For easier cleaning, there is a detachable grease drip tray beneath the grates to catch all the fats and oils for disposal afterward.

Specifications And Features At A Glance

  • Main Grill Area: 154 Square Inches
  • Warming Rack: No Warming Rack
  • Grate Material: Ceramic
  • Temperature Of The Grill: 446F
  • Fuel Source: Electric
  • Natural Gas Attachment: No
  • Warranty Available: 1-Year Limited Warranty.
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 7 x 7.5 x 15.7 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 14 pounds
  • Other Features:

What Is Good About This Grill?

The fact that this grill is electric speaks a great deal. It is clean and safe. There is no need to use gas or charcoal, which are terrible ideas indoor. Electric grills are also great in an apartment where no gas or charcoal can be used. Combining electric and infrared in an indoor grill is a great alternative to using a microwave.

What Is Not So Good About This Grill?

We can’t find many faults on this grill. Probably a little nitpicking is the lack of a lid.

Do you Infrared Grills?

Infrared grilling is the new kid on the block and is gaining traction fast. It promises a kind of cooking that gives you loads of power with lower fuel costs. While there is certainly some learning curve with infrared grills, it is not that hard to grasp. At this point, if you are still having difficulties in choosing one model to start with, we will suggest that you go for the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill. It is an affordable infrared outdoor gas grill that offers decent grilling space for large crowds. Aesthetically, it is also pleasing, which makes it a great addition to your backyard.

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