Juicy meat, evenly-cooked food, and faster cooking - these are three good reasons why many people are choosing an infrared grill over other grill types. If you’re completely on board, we’ve tested out some of the best infrared grills in the market so it’s easy to pick out your very own.
TEC is one of the leading infrared grill brands in the industry and their products prove they deserve the spot.
The TEC Patio FR 44” built-in infrared grill has two 30,000 BTU burners. Compared to other grills, this lets you save on gas. It’s also equipped with 592 square inches of cooking space, which is enough to cook food for a large crowd.
We love the temperature range of this grill - from 200ºF to a monstrous 900ºF! That’s way more than what you’d normally need, but we’re happy with the versatility applications we can do with these lower lows and higher highs.
If you like a smoky flavor, wood chips can be placed directly on the cooking grates. You can even use the cooking area as a conventional stove - more reliable than a side burner.
Since it’s an infrared grill, it comes with all the perks, including zero flare-ups, juicy meat, even heat distribution, and rapid preheat times.
Need something for a huge crowd? This Solaire grill can easily take on the challenge.
This grill has four main burners at 27,500 BTU each, plus two rear infrared rotisserie burners at 14,000 BTU each. That’s a whopping total of 13,000 BTU, which is perfect if you need some serious cooking power.
It has 1,293 square inches of total cooking area, which is actually one of the largest in the grilling industry. So if you’re on the market to buy a massive grill, whether for personal or commercial purposes, this is the best infrared grill you can get.
If you need speedy cooking, this infrared grill has got you covered. It heats up to temperature in less than 3 minutes and cooks food fast as well. For some light cooking, the warming rack can heat up food so guests can enjoy them hot.
We’ve used this grill for large parties, and it never fails to deliver on performance.
In contrast to the previous option, we’ve tested a smaller TEC grill for those that don’t need that much cooking space.
The TEC Patio FR 26” has 296 square inches of cooking space, enough for serving a small family or your friends. If you plan on having just a couple of people over for intimate gatherings, this infrared grill is a perfect choice. You can still cook 16 burgers at a time with this.
Despite the compact size, this grill is in no way flimsy. Its temperature ranges from 200ºF to a staggering 900ºF, giving you more cooking flexibility.
It has one stainless steel infrared burner, which we found to be fuel-efficient at only 30,000 BTU per hour.
And like all infrared grills, the TEC Patio 26” also offers fewer flare-ups, quick pre-heat times, and even heat distribution. You can also use the cooking area as a stove so you don’t have to buy a side burner.
Many of us may want to enjoy BBQ nights outdoors, hence the invention of the portable propane gas grill.
This infrared grill is smaller than the previous one, providing less than 200 square inches of cooking space - 140 square inches, to be exact. If you like going camping with a couple of friends, this grill can cook 6 burgers at once.
Weighing at just 15 lbs., you can easily move this grill around for easy portability. You can use it either with a propane gas tank or a propane bottle.
The Solaire Everywhere portable infrared propane grill has a 14,000 BTU infrared burner that heats up fast to reach the set temperature. Equipped with push-button electronic ignition, you won’t have a hard time starting this one up.
And even if it’s a portable option, it still has the same benefits that even the best infrared grills provide, such as great food and fewer flare-ups. In terms of portability, this is the best infrared grill for us.
If you prefer a freestanding infrared grill, we’ve also included one on this list so you don’t have to worry about cut-outs or assembly.
Equipped with two infrared burners at 27,500 BTU each, this Solaire grill offers great cooking power that can satisfy even the most critical grillers. The cooking surface heats up to temperature in less than 3 minutes, so you can start cooking food almost right away.
It has a total of 703 square inches of cooking area, including a warming rack to heat up some food. All the cooking grates and the grill construction is made of 304 stainless steel, so you’re sure that it will last for many years to come.
Heat is evenly distributed throughout the grill, so you can expect consistently cooked food each time. Meats will be juicy on the inside with a nice brown crust on the outside. If you ask us, this is one of the best infrared grills around.
When it comes to grills, infrared options tend to be more expensive than traditional gas grills. However, they do have more benefits as well. We’ve listed everything you should know about buying infrared grills, including what to look for and answers to some common questions.
The very first thing you need to consider when buying infrared grills is how much space you have. Do you have a big backyard? Do you live in an apartment where you have limited space? Do you want something that fits in your car because you travel often?
These questions are the basic ones you need to answer. Infrared grills vary in size, from compact to huge. There’s no point in buying a large grill if you don’t have the space to put it.
If you’re buying a built-in infrared grill, note that you should have the right-size cut out for it. Built-in infrared grills can’t be placed on combustible surfaces, so you should have a cutout ready for it. Otherwise, freestanding infrared grills may be the better option.
Now that you’ve determined the space you have for your infrared grill, it’s time to choose the size. The thing to consider here is actually how many people you plan on cooking for on a regular basis.
Do you plan on hosting big BBQ parties in your backyard? Do you plan on inviting just a couple of friends for a more intimate get-together? Or do you want to cook just for your small family? Whatever the case, this plays a role in choosing the grill that fits your needs.
If you need a grill for a big crowd, infrared grills that provide at least 500 square inches of the cooking surface will suffice. Still, there are bigger infrared grills out there, such as the Solaire 56” option above which offers more than 1000 square inches of grilling area.
If you prefer smaller grills, 200 - 300 square inches of space may be enough. Portable infrared grills can provide an even smaller grilling area.
Gas grills and infrared grills offer options with varying burner counts. One burner to four burners are the usual choices, but there are infrared grills that have five to eight burners as well.
Why does this matter? Well, each burner can be set to its own independent temperature. That means the more burners you have, the more types of food you can cook simultaneously in separate heat zones.
That means if you’re serving different dishes in a menu, you can cook the beef, chicken, fish, and veggies on the grill all at once. These types of food require different heat settings, and of course, you want to cook each one in its ideal heat.
You can also choose infrared grills that have a side burner if you need additional space. Although a side burner isn’t really a necessity, many backyard grillers find it useful to have.
A great sign of quality is the material used to make the grill. The best infrared grills are made of stainless steel, mainly because it’s an extremely durable material. If you have a stainless steel grill, it most probably will last a lifetime.
Most of the infrared grills we’ve listed above are made from 304 stainless steel, which is actually the best material you can find for gas grills as well. It’s important to know the steel grade, because some types of steel can deteriorate faster or can be prone to rust and corrosion.
If you’re shopping for infrared gas grills online, it can be tricky to really determine the quality since you won’t be able to physically touch the grill. That’s why it’s important to check the material used for the construction, so you’re sure you’re buying a durable one.
Infrared grills can be expensive, and they tend to have a higher price tag than traditional gas grills. As such, also consider the budget you’re willing to allocate on a grill. Grills that are bigger in size and have more features are more likely to have a higher price tag.
That said, more expensive doesn’t always mean better, and cheaper doesn’t always mean of lesser quality. Along with the budget, you should also look at the features to know if it’s worth the price. We have our recommended grills that cost under $1000 that you might also want to look at.
An infrared grill uses a heat transfer method wherein there are plates placed between the cooking grates and the flame.
Basically, the flame doesn’t touch the grates and the food. Instead, the heat is transferred onto the infrared element, which then transfers heat to the food. This kind of heat is more concentrated and thus more intense, so the food is cooked fast.
The food is also cooked directly because the flames are not heating the air around the grill and instead is using the infrared element to heat up the food. This results in all the juices being trapped inside the meat, so the food is not dried out when cooked.
Compared to a traditional grill, infrared options have more benefits. Some of the perks of using infrared grills are:
Gas grills are notorious for hot and cold spots, which is something you won’t experience with an infrared grill. Heat is distributed evenly throughout the cooking surface, so you can be sure that food is perfectly and evenly cooked each time.
Flare-ups happen when oils or fats drip, causing intense bursts of flames. When this occurs, there’s a risk of charring the food that’s on the grill, causing a bitter taste. But since an infrared grill has a plate barrier between the grates and the flames, flare-ups are significantly reduced.
As such, you get to experience hassle-free grilling, and your guests get to enjoy consistently delicious food as well.
Compared to a gas or charcoal grill, infrared grills heat up fast. They actually cook food 30% faster, especially because of the quick pre-heating times. An infrared grill can reach temperatures of 700ºF to even 900ºF in just under 10 minutes.
That said, it’s important to mention that you should closely monitor your food if you’re a beginner. The intense heat quickly cooks meat, so make sure you’re not burning anything.
One of the best things people like about infrared grilling is that it keeps the juices trapped inside the meat. In traditional gas or charcoal grills, the heat is transferred to the air surrounding the food, which draws out the moisture from the meat and dries it out.
On an infrared grill, the heat is transferred directly to food itself and the grill works to vibrate the molecules inside the food. The result is juicy and flavorful meats each time .
Yes, there are different types of infrared systems you can choose from.
This system can get to high temperatures fast. Ceramic burners can reach 600ºF to 1000ºF, which is great if you want searing temperatures. However, it does tend to have less versatility because of the high temperatures.
Also, this system can be more prone to flare-ups because the meat is closer to the flame.
This is great for those on a budget because they’re generally cheaper than other types. The catch is, it doesn’t reach the high temperatures that other systems can. It can only go from 350ºF to 650ºF.
The heat emitter system works by producing heat from stainless steel tube burners, transferred to a heat emitting panel, then onto the food.
TEC is actually the name of the company that pioneered infrared grilling, and as you’ve seen, we’ve listed many of their products above. They do use a couple of infrared systems including:
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the grill is in good condition. Check every hinge, seal, or signs of damage so you can have it repaired. You should remember that grills can get very hot and must be kept away from children and combustible surfaces.
If you’re craving for that authentic, smoky flavor, you can actually add wood chips on your grill. You don’t need a separate smoker box for this. Just check if there are blue flames, as this indicates that the wood is burning properly.
Another thing to remember is that fish and vegetables may be too delicate for infrared grills because of the high heat. It can be tricky to cook these since infrared grills are meant to be used to quickly cook dense pieces of meat.
However, that’s not to say you can’t cook fish or veggies on your grill. As you’ve seen, the TEC grills above have a minimum temperature of 200ºF, but for others, you might need to practice a bit before you proceed grilling for a large crowd.
Cleaning an infrared grill is actually not that hard. There are two methods you can use, the burn-off procedure or the deep-clean procedure.
For the burn-off procedure, here’s what you need to do:
For the deep-clean procedure, here’s what you need to do:
Proper maintenance of a grill will ensure that it lasts for a long time. The burn-off method should be done each time you use your grill to make sure there are no debris or food particles left. And once in a while or about twice a year, deep clean your grill to keep it at peak performance.
Yes, infrared grills are safe. It’s pretty similar to a microwave oven, since they both use electromagnetic energy to cook dishes. If you think electromagnetic radiation is harmful, it only is when used in high amounts like they do in X-rays.
Infrared grills and broilers contain a much lower level of this radiation, so they do not pose this risk. It’s worth noting that objects that don’t have an absolute zero temperature emit radiation, but they don’t cause risks in humans and other living beings as well.
With all the benefits that infrared grills provide, it’s definitely worth investing in one. With faster preheat, faster cooking times, higher temperatures, less flare-ups, and consistently juicy food, there’s a lot of things to like about this type of grill.
You have a lot of options too. You can buy a smaller grill, a bigger grill, or even a portable grill for your outdoor adventures. There are different sizes, features, and functions you can choose. As long as you know what to look for, you should be able to find a model that fits your needs. (Or you can also check portable pellet grills.)
Yes, infrared grills can be expensive, especially compared to its counterparts. However, we find that this kind of performance and convenience really pays off.
After all, a good grill can be used for many years, and if taken care of properly, can be passed down generation to generation as a treasured family heirloom.
All factors considered, the TEC Patio FR 44” is the best infrared grill in our books. It offers a wide range of temperatures from 200ºF to 900ºF, a generous cooking space, fuel-efficient burners, significantly fewer flare-ups, and faster cooking times.
The TEC Patio FR is made of 304 stainless steel as well, making it super durable and corrosion-resistant. With this grill in your backyard, you can expect a stellar performance every time.
There are more quality grills to discover—read our review of the best Memphis grills here.
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