Top 4 BEST Infrared Grills

Top 4 Best Infrared Grills

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BBQ grills’ most valuable asset is undoubtedly high heat – an essential aspect of almost any grilling activity, that, sadly, doesn’t always operate as well as you’d expect. 

 

For foods like steaks or burgers, it’s crucial to get a nice, screaming hot sear for the maximum flavor and texture you desire. To many people’s surprise, some grills don’t pack the required punch to deliver such results, and the dishes of many home cooks suffer because of this. Some grills don’t get hot enough. Others disperse the heat all over the place, resulting in the meat’s baking instead of the required sear.

 

That’s where infrared grills come in.

What are Infrared Grills?

Firstly, the word ‘infrared’ refers to the method of heat transfer used in the grill. Several grill plates are designed to contain the heat within them, then disperse it via infrared radiation, resulting in the transfer of heatwaves themselves. Regular gas burner or charcoal grills, on the other hand, heat the air around the meat and rely on convection to cook the meat itself. This can sometimes result in the meat’s baking, as mentioned previously.

 

Now, I know you must be bored with all this technical jargon by now, so let me explain what this means for you. The very word ‘radiation’ strikes fear in the hearts of many people nowadays, and so I want to make sure that I convey this message; there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, radiation has been around in cooking since the time fire was first discovered, with the sole difference being that it can now be utilized much more efficiently. 

Benefits of Infrared Grills

Like all things, infrared grills have both benefits and shortcomings, both of which will be covered. Let’s start with the advantages.

 

Even heat. When using infrared grills, there’s no such thing as cold spots and hot spots – just straight heat, being evenly dispersed across your grilling surface. This is highly beneficial as it allows you to make the most of your grilling surface area, ensuring that no matter where you place your food, the result will be the same.

 

Easy cleaning. Once you’ve finished cooking, all you need to do is crank the heat up, and any left bits and pieces of food will turn to dust. No need for any water sprays/detergents, thanks to the sheer intensity of the heat in question.

 

Speed. Infrared are both incredibly fast at reaching a set temperature, and cooking the food itself because of this – some having the ability to reach temperatures of 700°F in 7 minutes! This allows you to prepare your dishes very, very rapidly, and keep all of your guests happy in the process.

 

Now for the disadvantages.

 

Burns easily. The food you cook on an infrared grill needs to be very carefully kept an eye on, as leaving it for even just a few seconds too long can make the difference between ‘well done’ and charcoal with a hint of steak.

 

Learning curve. As you’d imagine, using infrared grills is unlike any other type of cooking. For this reason, it has a much steeper learning curve than different grill types; bear in mind, however, that this isn’t necessarily because using infrared grills is so much harder than standard grills, it’s just so vastly different.

Should You Buy an Infrared Grill?

Well, the short answer would be yes. Infrared grills cater to the needs of many home cooks – and if you’re mainly going to be searing and browning your meats, and would like a grill that serves that purpose and does so well, then infrared grills may be for you.

The longer answer would be that, at the very least, infrared grills are worth shortlisting. As mentioned previously, infrared grills have the edge over standard grills when it comes to searing and browning meats. However, they have several shortcomings that may or may not affect you personally, which is why you must read on so that you understand everything there is to know when considering infrared grills.

 

You will more than likely find that the vast majority of infrared grills have what’s known as a ‘sear zone.’ In this sear zone, you would, as the name suggests, sear your meats, combined with a cooking chamber that is designed more traditionally, only relying on convection and conduction when cooking the food, just like a standard gas or charcoal grill. However, the more appealing options are grills that utilize infrared radiation when searing and when in the cooking chamber; this is where infrared grills truly have the edge.

 

This means, in essence, is that your food is being cooked via convection, which is the hot air circulating within your grill, conduction, when the food comes in contact with the cooking grates as well as infrared radiation, coming off the infrared plate that’s underneath ur grilling surface.

 

To clarify, this guarantees that every last bit of heat energy produced by your grill is utilized to its maximum capacity, providing you with an efficient and even result.

 

There is, however, still one downfall; the pricing.

 

Infrared grills cost more. It’s as simple as that. It’s up to you to decide, based on all the information we’ve provided you, and the choices we’ll give you now, whether or not the difference in price when compared with a regular grill is worth it for you. 

 

So, without further ado, here are our picks for the top 4 best infrared grills.

 

1. Simple Living Advanced Indoor Infrared BBQ Grill

Simple Living Advanced Indoor Smokeless BBQ Grill

The Simple Living Advanced Indoor Smokeless BBQ Grill is an excellent example of an infrared grill that steers clear of too many gadgets and unnecessary features. Instead, it sticks with the basics and carries these out admirably. This small, countertop grill uses advanced technology to ensure that even smaller families get to enjoy delicious BBQ feasts all year round.

 

Despite its small size and low profile, this grill can reach a whopping 446°F in just minutes and maintain that temperature consistently while in operation. It even boasts special heat reflectors that guide the heat energy towards the grates, which, if I haven’t already mentioned, are made of cast iron. Cast iron is excellent both in heat distribution and retainment. To go along with these, there is also ceramic coating in place to provide a straightforward cleaning experience, as it ensures nothing will stick.

 

While its size may look a little underwhelming, the Simple Living Advanced Indoor Smokeless BBQ Grill can accommodate up to 8 burger patties, all while still being compact enough to stow away in a kitchen cabinet when not in use.

Pros
  • Compact size, without sacrificing too much surface area
  • Almost no learning curve
  • Especially easy to clean
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • No adjustable temperature
  • Can’t slow-cook on it

Final Verdict

The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill is genuinely one of the best infrared grills on the market. This is particularly true if conveniences such as shelving, a warming rack, and a relatively small footprint that can fit almost anywhere are of interest to you. It provides reasonable pricing, making it especially appealing for those that don’t want to sell an arm and a leg just to be able to afford infrared technology.

Rating:

4.5/5

2. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill

Char-Broil TRU Infrared Patio Bistro Grill

If you’re looking for a small infrared grill with a reasonable price, the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill may well meet your expectations. Thanks to its small size, this grill is extremely easy to transport and stow away when not in use, making it ideal for people with smaller balconies or backyards.

Its size also allows it to fit comfortably on the vast majority of terraces, combined with its 240 square inch grilling area that enables you to cook for four people all at once. This grill is perfect for those who are primarily going to be using it for themselves, their partners, or a small family. It features striking, contemporary looks and will look fitting in almost any apartment or house from the past century.

While its single burner can only put out 13,000BTUs (British Thermal Units), the grill makes up for this almost entirely through the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared technology, which utilizes very little fuel to output very significant amounts of heat energy. The mentioned technology also ensures that there are no cold/hot spots and minimizes the number of flare-ups induced when cooking dramatically.

This grill also uses a 20lb propane gas tank that fits on its lower shelf; this tank consequentially gives it more stability and makes it far easier to move around. The single, stainless-steel cooking grate is easily large enough to cook four portions at once. A small warming rack is even mounted on the inside of the lid for convenience. This is significant, as warming racks are usually only seen on much larger grills.

Pros
  • TRU-Infrared technology provides high heat and low gas consumption
  • Can cook for four people at once
  • Compact size allows it to fit in very tight places
  • Features like metal warming rack and extra lower shelf provide a smooth and well-rounded experience
Cons
  • Somewhat difficult to assemble
  • Quick to lose temperature when opening lid

Final Verdict

The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill is genuinely one of the best infrared grills on the market. This is particularly true if conveniences such as shelving, a warming rack, and a relatively small footprint that can fit almost anywhere are of interest to you. It provides reasonable pricing, making it especially appealing for those that don’t want to sell an arm and a leg just to be able to afford infrared technology.

Rating:

4.5/5

3. Napoleon Prestige 500 Grill

Napoleon Prestige 500 Grill

For an infrared grill that will provide you with quality the likes of Weber and other big grill manufacturers, look no further than this Napoleon Grill. In essence, you get the full outdoor cooking experience upon purchasing this piece of equipment. This is achieved via the use of its four stainless steel burners, which allow it to reach screaming hot temperatures in short periods of time, an infrared side burner that functions as the previously mentioned sear zone, and a rear infrared burner that operates as part of the main cooking chamber.

These burners use a Napoleon technology called JETFIRE ignition, which makes the burners super easy and quick to start up. In case of a JETFIRE malfunction, Napoleon has also put a backup ignition system in place that enables the burners to light off each other.

The Napoleon Grill doesn’t end with power – it provides you with a cooking surface area of over 500 square inches, and this isn’t even counting the 260 square inches of space given to us by the warming rack. This grill is perfect for feeding hungry hordes of people, be it your friends or family.

There are also stainless steel wave cooking grids that are excellent at retaining and evenly dispersing heat, providing you with delicious, browned sear lines on your meats. The grill also boasts dual-level, stainless steel sear plates that vaporize any and all drippings, both adding a caramelized, smokey flavor to your food and significantly reducing flare-ups. The provided drip pan also makes the cleaning process quick and straightforward. You get extra work area and tool hooks on the folding side shelves and room to stow away things such as pizza stones or other tools and utensils, saving you room inside your kitchen cabinets.

Pros
  • Fantastic heat retention, making for delicious, browned sear marks
  • The infrared zone allows you to move your grates around, giving you the flexibility of working with pots and pans directly on your grill
  • Full-sized profile is perfect for cooking for many people at once
Cons
  • High price point
  • Not the best build quality considering price; some parts that should really be stainless steel are porcelain enameled steel while others are just cast aluminum

Final Verdict

The Napoleon Prestige 500 is one of the best infrared grills on the market at the time of writing this review. This is particularly true for those interested in feeding and cooking for large groups of people at once, a grill that can sear their meats wonderfully, or are simply interested in entering the infrared grilling club without abandoning regular grilling concepts altogether.

Rating:

4.5/5

4. NORTHFIRE Inferno Single Propane Infrared Grill

NORTHFIRE Inferno Grill

The NORTHFIRE Inferno Single Propane Infrared Grill is not your average infrared grill. In fact, it’s not your average grill – period. It almost looks like an oven(!) But, don’t let looks deceive you. This grill can hit temperatures as high as 150000°F! 

 

Be it pork, fish, burgers, steaks, or chicken, as well as pretty much any other food currently in existence – this grill will cook it; and do so gracefully. Even desserts! (Guess that oven-esque appearance wasn’t so deceiving after all, huh?) Best of all, it does all this in minutes, thanks to the top infrared burner that gets really hot, really quickly.

 

Another stand-out property this grill offers you is its incredible ease of use. You simply press the ignitor knob, and you can get rolling right away. You can even cook multiple different types of food at the same time, making use of the four racks provided with the grill, much like, you guessed it, an oven. This also enables you to get different doneness levels all at once, with the level increasing the closer you get to the top burner.

To make matters just 
that much better, the Inferno is made of almost entirely stainless steel components, making cleaning a real breeze. Besides the grill itself, you also get a 1/2″ drip tray, grill plate, handle, and a 7/8″ food tray included in the box. This grill is also very compact and easy to transport, making it the perfect companion for your next camping trip or outdoor party.

Pros
  • Easy clean-up process
  • Can beautifully sear a steak – really is restaurant-level stuff
  • Quick to heat up, enabling you to get the meals to your starving guests very swiftly
  • Highly versatile
Cons
  • Instruction manual isn’t detailed enough – particularly on how cooking each meat differs
  • Some of the screws are of low quality]
  • Auto-light not working on some units

Final Verdict

The NORTHFIRE Inferno Single Propane Infrared Grill is one of the best entries in this list, and indeed is one of the best infrared grills on the market. It provides you with a well-rounded experience for a reasonable price point and many cool features and tricks that you won’t find anywhere else. Its versatility is also unmatched in this category, permitting you to take it pretty much wherever you wish to enjoy the delight it is to use.

Rating:

4.5/5

Conclusion

After reading this entire guide, it is my sincerest desire that you can now make a well-informed decision as to what the best infrared grill is for your current circumstances. Bear in mind that all of the products featured here are fantastic in their own right, and there is no be-all-or-end-all winner in this category; the final decision is up to your discretion. Be sure to comment below if you have any questions or further inquiries regarding this subject.

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