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Top 5 Infrared Grills Under $500

by Lianne Jones May 25, 2022

Top 5 Infrared Grills Under $500

Everybody loves a good barbecue, right?

It’s a great option for outdoor parties and celebrations, and let's face it, if the sun is shining, nothing can beat sunbathing in the garden and tucking into a delicious burger or hotdog that's been cooked on the grill.

However, if you are the designated cook for the night, it can become a somewhat tedious and long job.

Nobody wants to be stuck by the grill all night long, not being able to join in with whatever festivities are taking place.

By the time you’ve finally got your grill lit, have let it preheat, and then cooked enough food to fill up all your hungry guests, the party can be almost over!

Purchasing an infrared grill may be the solution to all your problems. Infrared grills preheat and cook much quicker than a traditional gas burner.

This is because the burners in an infrared grill heat the food directly whereas gas burners heat up the air which in turn then heats the food.

They’re also so widely popular because they are easy to clean, energy-efficient, and can produce steak-house quality searing.

The only drawback is that these grills can get quite pricey - but they don’t have to be!

In this article, I will show you my top five favorite picks that all cost under $500 so they don’t break the bank!

Best Overall: Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill In Stainless Steel

For a quick overview, Char-Broil’s Grill is 54.1 x 23.4 x 45.5 inches in dimensions; it is also 85 pounds in weight.

It comes in an exclusive stainless steel finish for increased style and durability.

The Tru-Infrared cooking technology prevents flare-ups, delivers even heat, and cooks tastier, juicer food.

It has 450 square inches of primary cooking space and so is great for even the most extravagant cookout.

It has porcelain-coated grates which are durable, rust-resistant, and really easy to clean.

It also features a push-to-start electronic ignition and a swing-a-way warming rack to make it more versatile.

TRU-Infrared Technology

Flare-Ups

So what is so great about Char-broil's TRU-Infrared Technology?

Well, any experienced griller will know the true peril that can come with flare-ups on the grill.

The last thing you want, especially if you’ve got little kids running riot in the garden, is oil or fat dripping off of the food and hitting the coals of the grill and effectively causing bursts of intense flames (basically a grease fire.)

At most, this can be really dangerous and can cause safety concerns such as burns and scars, but at the least, it's a very annoying predicament that ends with burned or charred food that no one wants to eat.

Well, the special cooking grate at the core of TRU-Infrared technology spreads the heat evenly across the grill top, and because it creates a barrier between the food and the flames the oil and fat from your food can’t drip into the fire and cause a flare-up.

This means you’ll have juicy flavorsome food with each meal - burned crunchy charcoal burgers will finally be a thing of the past.

Even Heat - No Hot Or Cold Spots

This technology allows the griller to cook food more evenly as there is greater temperature control.

The way that your grill heats helps to prevent hot and cold spots on the grill's cooking space - so no matter how much food is on your grill, it will be cooked at an even temperature.

The top-ported stainless steel burners are adjustable so that you can turn the heat up high or low, depending on the food that you’re cooking.

Stainless Steel Design

Be the envy of all your friends this summer with this high performance 3-Burner grill. It is a durable stainless steel construction built to last the test of time.

It also has stainless steel burners and heat tents made durable for longer-lasting performance.

An added bonus is that they also offer a wider temperature range with precise adjustable control.

Extra Features

This grill comes with a few more extra features that make grilling not only more convenient but safer too.

The Lidded side burner is perfect for preparing sauces or sides while cooking on the grill.

And when it’s not in use you can pop the lid back down and gain yourself a little extra prep space! This is a super handy little extra feature.

The Char-Broil also has a lid-mounted temperature gauge so that you have increased heat monitoring and control.

This is ideal for cooking, and a great safety feature too - it’s far too easy to get distracted when cooking outside.

With an electronic ignition system, you can always be sure of fast and reliable startups at the push of a button too!

Pros

  • No Flare-Ups - Better quality food cooked safer.
  • Even Cooking Space - Better quality food.
  • 450 Square Inch Cooking Space - Fit enough food for everyone, with this large cooking space.
  • Additional Cooking Space - Side burner for sides.
  • Durable - Made from stainless steel.

Cons

  • Propane Tank Not Included - Must be purchased separately.
  • Assembly Required - However there are assembly services and supports for those who cannot do this themselves.

Best PatioGrill : Char-Broil Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill

If you prefer your gatherings to be more intimate, and only ever plan on having two to three friends or family members over for food, the patio grill may be a great option for you.

While they are a fair bit smaller than some of the other grills, they are also considerably cheaper.

It is 24.4 x 25.2 x 38.2 inches and weighs 43.56 pounds.

The Patio grill has 320 square inches of grilling surface area and though that may not seem like much, it's space for eight to twelve burgers!

The patio grill uses an electric infrared cooking system to produce evenly, high quality cooked food. It also prevents flare-ups.

It’s the exact same high-grade technology used in the more expensive models just on a smaller grill — All the benefits of an infrared system without the price that often accompanies it.

I love that Char-Broil has brought out a cheaper version for those who do not want to compromise on taste.

This stylish and compact grill has porcelain-coated premium cooking grates so that it is durable, rust-resistant, and easy to clean.

What’s more is that it comes with wheels so you can move it round the garden with ease. It’s also a great choice for those who can’t use gas or charcoal.

Compact But Powerful

I really like that you can experience big grill features on such a small and compact grill.

It’s perfect for those with apartments, condos, balconies, and smaller patios or gardens. For a small size though, it still packs a punch!

The infrared cooking system channels heat evenly to the cooking grate, eliminating hot and cold spots.

A precision dial means that you still have complete command and temperature control over the 1750-watt electric burner for your cookout favorites.

Not having much space doesn’t mean you’ve got to compromise on cooking quality.

Tru-Infrared Technology

All Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grills generate a minimum of 65 percent infrared heat, which is evenly spread across the entire cooking surface to cook food without drying it out.

This is at temperatures that range from simmering to searing.

Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared grills work by limiting the hot airflow and uses natural, radiant heat to cook your food without it drying.

You see, while convective heat from a regular grill destroys food’s moisture barrier, infrared heat penetrates the moisture barrier instead and locks in all those juicy, delicious flavors.

Safety Features

This product also comes with a temp gauge so that you can keep track of heat and temperature control.

This will also stop your burgers from burning! There is also a cool-touch handle so you can be sure you won't burn yourself when you touch it.

Pros

  • Durable - rust resistant.
  • Cheaper option - kinder on the pocket without sacrificing quality.
  • Compact - easy to move and store.
  • Safety Features - temp gauge and cool-touch handle

Cons

  • Smaller model - there isn’t a lot of cooking space.
  • Reviews say it can be a little slow - some reviews do complain that it can take a bit longer to heat up.

Best Gourmet: MAGMA Products Infrared Gourmet Series Gas Grill

I really like MAGMA’s grill design. It is a little different from what you usually see. It is 22.5 x 11.63 x 11.63 and weighs 19.94 pounds.

It has integrated fold-away legs so it can stand independently or rest against another surface.

What I think makes this model stand apart from others I’ve seen is the new tempered glass viewing window.

It has an upgraded redesigned dynamic combustion system.

This is such a great little feature as it means that you can watch your food and keep an eye on how it's cooking.

It is made here in the USA and is constructed of 100% 18-9 marine grade mirror polished stainless steel and so is sure to be strong and durable.

It also has a new electronic ignition and infrared radiant screens.

The Infrared Difference

Like all the grills I’ll review, this grill has infrared technology to help improve the flavor and texture of whatever food you decide to cook.

Infrared has three main advantages. Intense even heat, elimination of blow outs, and reduced flare-ups.

This means that you’ll have high quality food and won't have to worry about the flames going up or out. Cooking has never been easier.

Stainless Steel Turbo Burner

I really like that this model has a stainless steel turbo burner as this has loads of benefits for you.

Stainless steel is very durable and so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve purchased a grill that's going to last.

The grill has an anti-blowout turbo design so that you don’t have to worry about the grill's flames going out on you half way through cooking, so you can spend less time cooking and more time socializing with friends.

The turbo premixes air and propane for a consistently hot blue flame and a high even heat for the perfect steaks, sausages and burgers.

Viewing Window

MAGMA’s grill comes with an ultra-high temperature glass viewing window that will allow you to constantly have visuals on the food you’re cooking without having to open the grill and let all the heat escape.

Pros

  • Strong And Durable - 100% 18-9 marine grade mirror polished stainless steel.
  • Viewing Window - keep an eye on your food as it cooks.
  • Turbo Burner - even cook, anti-blowout.

Cons

  • Expensive - Only just within budget.

Best Portable Grill: Solaire Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill

Enjoy camping, traveling, adventures, and of course a deliciously cooked juicy steak or burger?

If your answer is yes, then the Solaire Everywhere Grill might be the perfect pick for you.

It is 13.5 x 21 x 8.25 inches and just 15 pounds. It is purposefully designed to be compact and lightweight so that it can easily fit in the trunk of your car.

But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a decent amount of surface area to cook your favorite foods.

It has 140 square inches of grill that fits six 4-inch burgers on its special v-grate that not only improves flavor but virtually eliminates flare-ups too.

This model operates out of the box on 1-pound propane bottles (which aren’t included).

This means that as long as you have those, it is ready to work wherever. This is super helpful as it is what allows it to be portable.

There is no need to plug it into a power source and so there are no limitations to how far you could go.

Convenient

I love the convenience of this model. It has all the intensity of a hot charcoal fire with the control, convenience, and consistency of a gas.

There is barely any assembly needed for this model; you only have to attach the handles and the four adjustable feet; everything else is fully welded together and ready to go.

It’s lightweight and compact so you can move it around with ease, perfect for camping and caravanning holidays.

It also heats up in just three minutes so no more sitting round waiting to finally start tea; just flick the switch and be ready to go in a matter of minutes.

Infrared Benefits

Infrared is much better than traditional gas or charcoal grilling - it provides more even and better-tasting food.

Food will cook 30% faster and will retain up to 35% more of its own natural juices, which produces incredibly tender and juicy results.

Pros

  • Compact and light - makes it easy to travel with.
  • Portable - doesn’t require electricity.
  • Preheats in 3 mins - can start cooking almost instantly.

Cons

  • Smaller Capacity - can cook up to around 6 burgers at a time.
  • Quite expensive - fairly high price range.

Best For Big Appetites: Char-Broil 4-Burner Cart Style Liquid Propane Gas Grill

For those with bigger families or larger appetites Char-broil’s 4-burner grill might be the best option for you.

This larger model allows for you to cook more food at once so everyone can have a burger on the grill at the same time and you don’t end up with half of your party eating at staggered times.

With this grill, you can all finally sit down to eat together!

The Tru-Infrared cooking technology prevents flare-ups, delivers even heat and cooks up to 50% juicer food - what could be better?

It is 22.4 x 50.3 x 45.3 inches and weighs 78.8 pounds, so I would suggest finding an optimal spot in your garden and leaving it there as it's quite bulky to move.

This grill also includes a Chef’s Delite tray for greater grilling versatility.

Side shelves and Gear Trax are also enabled for extra workspace with custom options (accessories sold separately).

Spacious

What I love about this grill is that it really is big!

This means that you have a much higher capacity for food which is great for those hosting larger parties who need to cook higher volumes of food.

Char-broils grill makes sure there is enough space for you no matter your culinary desires.

It has 435 square inches of primary cooking space that features rust-resistant porcelain-coated steel grates that retain heat and are easy to clean.

The grates measure about 17.1 inches wide and 24.5 inches deep. You can cook up around 20 burgers at one time on this model.

Yes, you heard that right; twenty.

It has four stainless steel burners and heat tents made for a durable and longer lasting performance.

They offer a wide temperature range and can be precisely adjusted to offer ultimate control for even heat with no hot or cold spots.

Little Extras

This grill comes with a few little additional items that are actually super handy and will improve your overall grilling experience, which I think is great!

Chef’s Delite Tray

This little additional extra may become a little lifesaver. I love that this is included in this model!

There’s nothing worse than wanting to grill some goodies that don’t quite fit on the grill, as they would usually fall through the grill plates.

With this tray you can pop smaller items like shrimp or veggies on here to cook without them dropping through the space.

This is also great for vegetarians that may want to enjoy some grilled veggies that haven’t been cooked in a space where meat is being used.

Pop all your vegetarian options on this tray and keep them separate from the rest of the food on the grill.

Convenient Warming Rack

The 130 square inch warming rack provides a secondary cooking area and includes space for the Chef’s Delite tray.

This is a great addition for indirect cooking, such as warming up sides and toasting buns for that ultimate burger quality.

The warming rack measures 21.6 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

Removable Grease Pan

The porcelain-coated grease pan can be easily removed from the back of the grill for mess free cleaning.

This is great because the last thing you want to be doing after cooking all day, is spending hours cleaning up.

A cooking grate custom cleaning tool is also included to ensure you can clean up with the utmost of ease.

Pros

  • Additional extras - comes with extras that will improve your cooking experience.
  • High capacity - cook up to 20 burgers at once.
  • Durable - made of stainless steel, built to last.

Cons

  • Assembly - This product can be quite difficult to assemble. You can purchase additional expert assembly at checkout, but this is quite expensive.

Best Infrared Grills Buyers Guide

There are quite a few different options out there for infrared grills.

Each is tailor-suited for a different purpose and therefore has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

It is important to consider why you specifically want this item and what you want from it, as this will help you pick a grill that is going to be fit for purpose time and time again.

Here you’ll find a list of a few different things to consider before you immediately jump to your wallet.

Electric Vs Gas

When you start looking for an infrared grill you will notice one thing quite quickly, you can buy either gas grills or electric grills.

This really does what it says on the tin. The electric grills require electricity to run while gas grills are powered by propane gas canisters.

So which one is best? Well that really depends.

Electric grills just need to be plugged into an outlet which can seem like the more simple to set up of the two.

It means that once you have your product you’re all ready to go - there are no extras to be purchasing.

However, the drawback is obviously that it limits where you can place your grill as it needs to be close to a power source.

Gas grills do not often come with propane canisters included, you will have to read the product description of the product that you choose to ensure that you purchase the correct supporting items to start it up.

This can make your purchase a little more costly.

However, what's great is that there is no limit to where you can then place your grill in your garden as you do not have to worry about it reaching an outlet.

Size And Cooking Capacity

There are many grills that range in size and have different cooking capacities.

Depending on how many people you intend to cook for, how often you intend to cook, and how much food on average you intend to serve, different grills will suit you best.

If you don’t have the space, or if you’re only cooking for a small number of people, you only really need a patio grill or a two-burner grill.

These are great because they also cost a little less than the other options available.

They usually hold space for up to around 4-8 burgers depending on the model (and the burger.)

If you’ve got a little more space, or have a larger family, then you may want to consider a 3 or 4 burner, as they considerably increase the cooking surface area as you make your way up.

This means then that you won't have half the family tucking into tasty fresh burgers while the other half are left with cold burgers that were made ten minutes ago due to you waiting for the rest to cook.

Portable Or Not

Are you looking for a grill for your back garden or is it more for holidays and traveling?

If you are looking for a grill that you can also chuck in the back of your trunk and take with you wherever you decide to vacation, you may want to opt for a portable grill.

You can purchase some really light and compact grills so that you can easily pull it out and pop it away as often as needed which is super handy!

Of course the only drawback with this being that it leaves you less space to cook with. Portable grills will always be a fair bit smaller than your standard grill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Worth Buying An Infrared Grill Compared To A Standard Grill?

An infrared grill makes cooking not only easier but produces better results than that of a standard grill.

Standard grills can cause flare-ups and blow-outs. Both disrupt the cooking time and can affect the taste of the food.

An Infrared grill cooks food at a more even heat and ensures juicier, tastier food.

What Are The Disadvantages Of An Infrared Grill?

Because infrared grills can get so hot so quickly, there is an increased risk of burning yourself.

It is important to always cook with care when grilling.

Is There A Risk To Your Health When Cooking With Infrared?

The current research on Infrared technology is that the infrared radiation is not powerful enough to alter the molecular structure of food cooked using it as a heat source.

Its food results are safe for human use and consumption.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — 5 of the very best infrared grills you can buy without selling your car and remortgaging your house.

Now you can work on bringing that BBQ dream of yours to life and throw some truly epic backyard barbecue bashes!

Lianne Jones
Lianne Jones


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