Infrared Gas Grills are taking the world by storm. Find out why!
Benefits of Infrared Gas Grills
- Quick Preheat, Easy Grilling: Preheat your infrared grill on high in as little as 3-5 minutes! Infrared heat cooks food faster as well. We all lead busy lives and sometimes don't have time to grill after work during the week. This quick pre-heat and faster cook time allows you to grill more during the week and not just on the weekends anymore!
- Juicier Food: Infrared grilling means your food will retain up to 35% more of its own natural juices, which produces incredibly tender and juicy results.
- Even Heat: Infrared grills can provide very even heat distribution across the grill, reducing the hot and cold spots often found on non-infrared grills. TEC and Solaire are two brands that score very high marks for even heat distribution.
- Steakhouse Quality Searing: The majority of infrared grills reach incredibly high searing temperatures to produce mouthwatering, restaurant quality steaks. That said, infrared grills are not just high heat grills anymore. Technology has improved over the years and several infrared grills allow you to cook with precise control on low heat as well, such as TEC and Lynx.
- Minimal Flare-ups: One of the most inconvenient hassles of traditional gas grills are the unpredictable flare-ups. Infrared grilling drastically reduces the chance of flare ups. TEC's radiant glass panel system virtually eliminates flare ups while ceramic infrared brands like Solaire and Lynx will produce some flame kiss.
- Energy Efficient: Compared to traditional gas grills, infrared grills burn less gas to reach the same temperature, saving you money on fuel.
- Easy Clean-up: Most infrared grills are super easy to clean, by simply turning the temperature to high when finished cooking. This will turn any food particles and residue into ash for a quick and easy clean-up! The grill that scores the highest marks for easy clean ups is TEC's Patio FR.
What is an Infrared Gas Grill?
For many people, the idea of infrared is somewhat of a mystery. Infrared Gas Grills maximize flavor, energy, and convenience by utilizing an infrared cooking system as opposed to a convection cooking system found on traditional gas grills.
All food is surrounded by a moisture boundary, which is a layer of air and water molecules. The hot air generated by other grills can’t penetrate this boundary without disturbing it, so food is exposed to the drying elements of hot air as it cooks. Infrared energy doesn’t disturb the moisture boundary, so food retains up to 35% more of its own natural juices, remaining tender and juicy.
Infrared gas grills have been around since the late 70s when TEC first patented their ceramic infrared burner and brought it to the BBQ industry. Since then, innovation has brought several different cooking systems and brands to the infrared grill industry and their popularity continues to grow.
Types of Infrared Burner Systems
Nowadays, there are several different brands that make infrared gas grills, but they don't all utilize the same cooking system, so it is important to understand that you will not get the same results just because a grill is infrared.
Ceramic Infrared Burner System
- Ceramic infrared burner systems feature a stainless steel burner topped with a ceramic surface, with the cooking grid sitting a few inches above the burner surface. This ceramic surface produces many tiny flames that get extremely hot (1400 - 1600 degrees), quickly and and evenly.
- Cooking Surface Temperature Range of roughly 600-1000 degrees. The direct flame access of the food drippings to these burners may cause some small, quick flare ups, which some folks prefer for the flame-kiss charring.
- Solaire, Alfresco, and Fire Magic are the top brands that feature a ceramic infrared burner system.
Lynx ProSear 2 Ceramic Infrared Burner System
- The Lynx ProSear 2 infrared burner, found on Lynx Professional Series gas grills, is an infrared game changer. The ProSear 2 uses ceramic infrared technology in a new way. The burners trident-shaped design offers more searing area than other infrared burners.
- Cooking Surface Temperature Range is roughly 300-1,000 degrees. Traditionally, ceramic infrared burners are known for only being capable of reaching ridiculously high temperatures, but the ProSear 2 has the capability of dialing down temperatures for cooking delicate items, or cranking up the heat for intense searing.
- Lynx ProSear 2 is offered in multiple configurations within Lynx Grills, giving you the ability to choose a hybrid (infrared and traditional) Lynx grill or an an all-infrared Lynx grill.
TEC Stainless Steel IR Burner & Radiant Glass Panel System
- TEC reinvented the infrared burner system again when they introduced a stainless steel infrared burner, topped with stainless mesh instead of ceramic, and a glass panel that sits directly atop the burner, with the cooking grid sitting directly atop the glass panel.
- Cooking Surface Temperature Range of roughly 350-850 degrees. This system provides incredibly even heat distribution and virtually no flare ups.
- You'll find TEC's Stainless Steel IR Burner & Radiant Glass Panel System featured in TEC Sterling FR, Sterling G FR, and Cherokee FR grills.
TEC Stainless Steel Conversion Burner & Radiant Glass Panel System
- TEC's best system yet! This system features the cooking grid sitting directly atop a radiant glass panel, over a stainless steel burner that is more durable and more versatile than TEC's IR burner.
- Cooking Surface Temperature Range on TEC's Patio FR is an impressive 200-900 degrees, and is able to reach even lower temperatures using TEC Patio FR's smoker/roaster accessory. TEC's G-Sport FR's cooking surface temperature range is 250-850 degrees, and is also able to reach even lower temperatures using its smoker/roaster accessory. This system provides incredibly even heat distribution and virtually no flare ups.
- You'll find TEC's Stainless Steel IR Burner & Radiant Glass Panel System featured in TEC Patio FR.
Stainless Steel Tube Burner & Metal Heat Emitter System
- This infrared system, found on the entry level infrared grills, features a stainless steel tube burner, like those found on traditional entry level grills, with a metal heat emitter panel sitting over the burner and the cooking grid sitting directly atop the emitter panel.
- Cooking Surface Temperature Range of roughly 300-650 degrees. The pipe burners produce less heat than the high end infrared systems, which makes for different results than the precise, high searing heat most people equate with infrared. This system provides good even heat distribution and virtually no flare ups.
- You'll find this style of infrared system on grill brands such as Charbroil and Saber, with Saber featuring some 304 series stainless steel construction.
What is a Hybrid Infrared Gas Grill?
In the past few years many advances have been made in the infrared gas grill industry. One of the most interesting has been the creation of hybrid infrared gas grills. These gas grills offer a combination of traditional convection burners with an infrared burner on one end which allows you to grill all of your favorite foods that require lower temperatures while searing steaks over the infrared burner. This also allows for a quick transition after searing to a lower temperature to continue grilling. if you are looking for a truly versatile gas grill, an infrared hybrid is probably your best bet.
What is an Optional Infrared Gas Grill?
Several gas grill brands offer infrared burners as an option, meaning they do not come equipped with an infrared burner. This can be advantageous in that you can purchase and replace the standard burner with an infrared burner any time you want in retrospect. This also allows you to place the infrared burner exactly where you want it on the grill by switching out one of the standard burners. All-in-all, gas grills that offer optional infrared burners allow you to customize and configure your grill the way you want it. Watch now to see how easy it is to swap out a conventional burner with an optional infrared on a Blaze gas grill.
What is a Searing Station?
Searing Stations are a type of side burner that features a gas infrared burner. They are commonly found built-in on outdoor kitchen islands next to the grill, or mounted on the side of a freestanding grill. Searing stations create a zone for grilling that can get hotter, and much faster than a traditional grill burner, making it great for speedy searing.
Entry Level Infrared
Entry level infrared grills offer less flare up and more even heat than traditional entry level gas grills. If you're in the market for a traditional entry level gas grill, you'd be wise to consider one of these infrared grills. That said, please don't expect the same results from these entry level infrared grills as you would a high end infrared grill like TEC, Solaire, Lynx, Alfresco, and Fire Magic. They simply lack the horsepower to produce the searing high heat that most people equate with infrared grilling.
Furthermore, since these entry level grills are built with more economical, lower quality components, you might end up replacing parts, or the whole grill, much quicker than you might think. We've had several customers share their stories with us about this very fact. Contrast that with the commercial quality construction of the higher end brands, where you may pay more up front but enjoy better performance and longevity in the long run. In fact, Solaire and TEC Patio FR burners are backed by a lifetime warranty!