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Infrared BBQ Grills 101: Technique, Cost, Flavor, and Beyond

By UJJBARAN October 18, 2021

By this point in your grilling adventures, you’re probably looking to upgrade your BBQ equipment and are wondering if an infrared grill is the right choice.

Well, in our years upon years of BBQ experience, an infrared grill knocks a traditional gas grill out of the park any day!

Today we’ll tell you all about what infrared grills are and why they’re an excellent choice, along with:

  • The pros and cons of using an infrared grill for BBQ
  • How much you can expect to spend on an infrared grill (+ the top brands to choose from)
  • 5 quick grilling tips to help you make the most of your infrared grill

What is an Infrared Grill?

Infrared grills use infrared technology as the primary or optional heat source, instead of an open flame. As a result, the radiant heat source cooks meat evenly by providing direct heat. 

In comparison, open flame grills require a “heat distribution” system of sorts such as charcoal to distribute the heat. This results in an uneven distribution of heat.

Of course, something needs to create energy in order for the infrared heat source to heat up and reach the proper grilling temperatures.

This is why infrared grills still require propane or a natural gas element.

There are three main types of an infrared burner system:

  • Ceramic Infrared Burner System: This is the most common burner system. This system produces hundreds of small flames that heat up evenly and rapidly. Temperatures can reach up to 1,000℉.
  • Radiant Glass Panel System: The glass panel system is commonly found in grills made by TEC. It places the cooking grid on top of a radiant glass panel, which is located on top of a durable stainless steel burner. With this system, temperatures can reach up to 900℉.
  • Heat Emitter System: Infrared grills with heat emitter systems use a stainless steel tube burner with a metal heat emitter panel located over the burner with a cooking grid on top. These systems produce much lower temperatures, with the highest being around 600-700℉.

As with any type of grill, an infrared grill has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages

Blaze Infrared Searing Burner BLZ-IRN


8 Major Pros You’ll Love in an Infrared Grill

Rapid Preheat Time

Since you don’t have to wait for dozens of coals to heat up, infrared grills can preheat in a lightning-fast 3-5 minutes. 

Reduced Cook Time

Thanks to the extremely high temperatures and direct heat, you can achieve the same mouth-watering grilling results in a fraction of the time. 

For those who don’t grill as often as they’d like due to the long prep and cook times, an infrared grill can solve that problem!

Evenly Distributed Heat

When grilling with gas or an open flame, you’re bound to have spots of extreme heat and extreme cold. For the inexperienced griller, this can result in an unevenly cooked steak or burger—which is the last thing you want!

The design of an infrared grill ensures a nice, evenly distributed, direct heat at all times.

Expert Searing

There’s a reason infrared grills are found in steakhouses all over the world. Infrared grills are the perfect option for searing meat due to their extremely high temperatures.

If you want those crispy, seared grill lines on your BBQ, get an infrared grill!

Juicier Meat

All meat contains a moisture barrier. If broken with hot air, the meat becomes dry, chewy, and undesirable. 

Common logic would make you think that a grill capable of hotter temperatures would dry the meat. But, because the grill uses infrared energy that produces radiant heat instead of hot air, the moisture remains inside the meat!

When cooked on an infrared grill, meat and veggies contain up to 35% more of its natural juices.

That’s even better than using a BBQ spray bottle!

Energy-Efficient Systems

Because an infrared grill uses less gas to heat up, you can save money while grilling more!

Safer to Grill

Gas grills and open flame grills are notorious for flare-ups and other super dangerous situations. With an infrared grill, flare-ups are significantly reduced thanks to the system design. 

Easier to Clean

Many infrared grills come with a self-cleaning feature! And, with the high temperatures created by the radiant heat, any food scraps or crumbs are instantly turned to ash making these grills significantly easier to clean than gas or charcoal grills.

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