Have you dreamed of cooking restaurant-quality steaks and chops at home? Top steakhouses know how to serve ribeyes and T-bones that are beautifully charred on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside.
The secret to professional chefs’ grilling success often stems from infrared technology. You can use this same technique at home, and you don’t need pro-level equipment to do it. All you need is an infrared grill.
With the best infrared grills, you can serve all your dinner guests tender, juicy cuts of meat that taste like they were cooked a renowned steakhouse.
Features to Look for in an Infrared BBQ Grill
Grills with infrared technology come in a variety of styles. As you shop for a grill, keep an eye out for some of the following features.
- Type of Infrared Burner
There are three main ways that an infrared grill produces heat. The original method involves ceramic plates. These get very hot, which, in turn, heats the cooking surface to an extremely high temperature. This ensures a great sear for your food, but it can be hard to bring a grill like this down to more moderate temperatures for slower cooking.
Glass panels also get very hot, but they’re capable of lower temperatures as well. Although this provides a balanced approach to infrared grilling, glass panels are the least common burner system.
Many infrared grills have burners made of steel tubes. These are useful because you can use them at both high and low temperatures; however, they can’t usually achieve the extremely high temperatures that you get with ceramic or glass burners.
- Temperature Capabilities
The best infrared grills offer a wide range of temperatures. Their grates sizzle food at temperatures nearing 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can also cook food at much lower temperatures and a more leisurely pace. A grill with such wide capabilities is useful because you can use it to sear juicy steaks but also to cook delicate fish and vegetables, which don’t hold up well to extremely high heats. However, only a handful of infrared grills have such extensive capabilities.
- Single or Dual Function
Some infrared barbecue grills are designed for the sole purpose of infrared cooking. They have one specific goal, and they specialize in doing it well. If you’re fully committed to the idea of infrared cooking, this might be the style for you.
However, you don’t necessarily have to make a decision between infrared grill vs gas grill. Some grills let you use either style of cooking. Usually, these dual-purpose grills feature some standard gas burners plus one or two infrared burners. Others require that you insert a special plate to convert the grill from standard cooking to infrared cooking.
- Indoor or Outdoor Use
Most infrared grills are similar to traditional barbecue grills and are designed for outdoor use. They sit on their own stands or are built into your backyard decor. Some are portable and fit into carrying cases.
However, there are other infrared grills that you can use inside the house. Indoor infrared grills are typically compact units that sit on a countertop or a tabletop. Infrared technology works well indoors because it doesn’t usually produce much smoke.
- Easy Cleanup
Infrared grills are often easy to clean because the high heat incinerates a lot of cooking residue. Some of the best models include drip pans that catch any grease that isn’t vaporized during cooking. It’s easiest if this pan is removable so that you can pour the waste into another container for disposal.
- Storage Options
When you’re cooking, you may have a number of tools, plates or seasonings that you’re juggling. Some grills have built-in storage to help you manage these items. This may include side shelves or bottom cabinets.
The Top 10 Infrared Grills
1. Signature Series TRU-Infrared 4-Burner Gas Grill
Those who have used Char-Broil grills for years will be pleased to know about this TRU-Infrared gas-powered grill with stainless steel burners. The infrared grill Char Broil features no-drip V-shaped grates that promote even heat distribution and prevent flare-ups.
This grill includes a number of storage options. A roomy cabinet with hinged doors has space for your propane tank and other grilling must-haves. On one side of the grill is a shelf. Opposite it, there’s a side burner. A fold-down cover hides the side burner so you can use this as a flat prep area instead of a burner.
2. Blaze Professional 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
If you love rotisserie chicken, this Blaze Professional unit is the grill for you. The included rotisserie kit cooks food using the heat from the rear infrared panel.
In addition to the rear panel, this grill has three infrared burners. Each is constructed of stainless steel and sits under a heavy-duty hexagonal grate. The cooking area can be divided into zones, each with a different temperature.
The unit runs on propane. Plugging it into electricity powers the built-in grill lights. The included cart features a generous amount of storage space, including hooks for storing the rotisserie kit.
3. Broilmaster R3 Infrared Propane Gas Grill
Are you looking to grill an entire turkey? Check out the Broilmaster R3. Its upper shelf is removable to accommodate whole turkeys and other large cuts of meat.
The Broilmaster R3 is designed with versatility in mind. Its temperatures range 350 to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can cook foods quickly or slowly on this one grill. Each of the two burners has its own temperature control.
This grill comes on a compact cart and runs on propane. To expand your cooking options, a variety of compatible accessories, such as a side burner and a griddle, are available separately.
4. Solaire SOL-IR17BWR Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill
Grilling on the go is made easy with this portable unit from Solaire. It is compact in size and comes with its own carrying case, so it’s the best grill for those who want to take infrared technology along on their camping trips.
This single-burner unit relies on a combination of ceramic and stainless steel, and it heats up in three minutes. Six burgers fit on the V-grates.
The grill is equipped to work with small propane tanks, but adapters are available so you can use it with large propane tanks, natural gas or an RV propane supply.
5. Napoleon LEX 730 Built-In Grill
If you have an outdoor kitchen area, this built-in grill from Napoleon is just what you need to make the space a versatile cooking area. The propane grill is designed for both convection cooking and infrared cooking. Most of the cooking area is dedicated to standard grilling and features wave-shaped stainless-steel grates. The right side of the grill has an infrared burner with ceramic technology.
There’s an additional infrared burner along the back wall of the grill. If you purchase an add-on rotisserie kit, you can use the rear burner to cook chicken and other meats on a spit.
6. Philips Avance Collection Smokeless Indoor BBQ Grill
Those who want to grill in any weather will appreciate this Philips unit, which is a top choice among indoor infrared grills. It always cooks at 446 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can also turn it to the keep warm setting to hold your food at the right temperature.
For simple cleanup, the non-stick grill grates lift off and can go in the dishwasher. There’s a pull-out drip pan for easy disposal of grease. The drip pan also significantly reduces the amount of smoke produced by the cooking process as you use this countertop electric infrared grill.
7. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
For backyard chefs who love the idea of infrared cooking but aren’t ready to let go of charcoal grilling, this infrared grill Char Broil has the solution. It’s a classic Char-Broil kettle grill, but it also features TRU-Infrared technology.
The first step to using this grill is to heat the charcoal. Next, the round grate goes on top of the briquettes. You should leave the grill closed to preheat, which brings the grate up to temperature before you add your food.
The TRU-Infrared system means that the grill grate heats evenly across the cooking surface. This system also keeps food or wood chips from falling through the grate.
8. Evolution 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill
If you have limited space but still want an outdoor infrared grill, this two-burner unit from Evolution may be the best choice for your yard. With it, you can grill using standard methods or using infrared technology.
The grill has two burners. They are topped by cast-iron grates with porcelain coating. To switch from regular grilling to infrared grilling, you position special stainless-steel plates in place. These plates are included with your purchase of the grill.
This grill has handy attached shelves. To conserve storage space, the shelves fold out of the way when not in use.
9. Kushi Infrared Smokeless Indoor Grill
If you love Korean barbecue, Japanese yakitori or Middle Eastern kebabs, you’ll want to take a look at this electric infrared grill from Kushi.
Special reflectors help the grill cook your food using infrared technology. The unit heats to 480 degrees Fahrenheit, and it takes under a minute to reach that temperature. The less time you have to wait, the sooner you can start eating!
Grease collects in an oil pan that you can wipe out after cooking. The unit disassembles, and the removable parts can go into the dishwasher.
10. Fire Magic Echelon Diamond E790s Grill
For those who always want an accurate temperature reading during the grilling process, this Fire Magic grill is the way to go. It has a digital screen that shows the temperature to which each of the grill’s three zones is set, and it displays the actual temperature of each zone. Plus, there’s a probe that you can insert into your meat, and the internal temperature of the food is shown on the screen.
This grill has two regular burners, one infrared burner and a side burner, so you can cook using multiple methods, all at the same time.
Benefits of an Infrared Grill
When you’re comparing infrared grill vs gas grill, take a look at the cooking grates. Often, one of the main benefits of an infrared bbq grill is that its grates fully separate the food from the fire below. Unlike with standard grates, grease can’t drip down onto the coals or the burners. This keeps the fire from flaring up and scorching certain areas of your food.
In fact, many infrared grills boast V-shaped grates that are designed to catch drippings. If the grill cooks at a high enough temperature, the idea is that the heat will turn those drippings into vapors, which will then be pushed back toward the food. The vaporized drippings are said to impart additional flavor.
The high heat of infrared cooking can quickly sear the outside of a piece of meat. Some cooks claim that this traps the juices so they don’t leach out during cooking. Whether that’s true is questionable, but searing your food is advantageous, nonetheless. Beginning your cooking with this step gives the outside of your meat a beautiful golden crust.
Not only does infrared cooking help your food look beautiful, but it also helps it cook quickly. Infrared grills are capable of maintaining high temperatures across their cooking surfaces, so it doesn’t take long for your food to be thoroughly and evenly done.
If you’re interested in a smokey flavor, you might consider one of these grill smoker combos.
Cleaning and Caring for an Outdoor Infrared Grill
The high heat of an infrared grill burns up most food scraps and grease drips, but there are still a few steps you can take to ensure your grill stays in top shape.
- If your grill has a removable drip tray, clean it out after use.
- Wipe down the grates with a damp cloth. Clean grates cook more evenly than dirty ones.
- Use a mixture of mild soap and water to wash the outside of your grill.
You Can Be a Great Infrared Chef
With all this talk of grilled steaks and juicy burgers, your mouth is probably watering by now. To satisfy your cravings, it’s time to invest in an infrared bbq grill. Whether you opt for an indoor grill or an outdoor one, you’ll find that infrared technology shortens your cooking time and produces even results.
Which of the best infrared grills will you rely on to help you cook the most delicious meals you’ve ever made? No matter which one you choose, your friends and family will be impressed by your grilling skills.