Jim Bob – A long-time contributor to GrillBabyGrill. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Grills are a classic cooking tool.
But they’ve got one problem.
Their biggest asset—high, direct heat—often doesn’t work quite as well as promised.
For steaks and many other foods, it’s important to get a good sear if you want maximum flavor. But, many grills just don’t get hot enough, or the heat disperses too much inside the grill, baking meat instead of searing it.
Infrared grills are changing all that.
Rather than pumping out heat from a gas burner or a lump of charcoal, infrared grills radiate heat directly from the grates, ensuring the heat goes right where it needs to.
Stick around for an in-depth look at some of the best infrared grill on the market and how to choose the right one for your needs.
No real flare-ups and everything will be fully cooked.
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Cooks up to 50% juicier food.
Eliminates flare ups, safe to use especially for beginners.
Provides great direct heat for searing.
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Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere
Made in the USA. Made to last.
Well designed, great for outdoor activities.
High temperature grill, great for frozen food
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How to Pick the Right Infrared Grill?
Infrared grills come in a few different varieties.
Here in GrillBabyGrill we know that picking the right one can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. SO,
Benefits (and Downsides) of Infrared Grills
Traditional charcoal and gas grills use a heating method called convection. Much like the oven in your kitchen, heat rises from the hot coals or propane burner, heating the air within the grill. The hot air naturally circulates throughout the grill, cooking the food inside.
The problem with convection cooking, is that the constantly circulating air tends to dry out food.
In an infrared grill, heat is transferred immediately from the source to a solid heating element. This heated surface then radiates infrared waves directly to the foods on its surface. A good infrared grill will transfer most of the heat directly into your meal, with little heat lost to the air.
Infrared grills solve many of the problems found in gas or charcoal grills, but also have a few downsides of their own.
One of the biggest benefits of infrared grills is the ability to heat food evenly. Most traditional grills have areas that are both warmer and colder on the cooking surface. But, infrared grill grates create a nearly uniform cooking surface.
Another big advantage infrared grills have is very high heat. This makes it easy to sear steaks and cook food faster.
While older infrared models had difficulty with low and slow cooking because their heat could not be dialed down, owners of new infrared models can smoke meat with wood chips and add their favorite smoky charcoal flavor with ease.
When shopping for an infrared grill, it’s important to look for one fitted with grates that heat evenly and can be turned down low enough to do the kind of cooking you’d like to do.
Determining Your Budget
When shopping for an infrared grill, be sure to keep your budget in mind.
Many infrared units are priced a bit higher than their conventional counterparts. But, the price is worth it if you’re looking for a premium, high heat cooking experience.
Budget grills can be found for around $100, but be prepared to spend $200 to $500 for most units. High-end infrared grills can reach prices well over $1000.
Picking the Right Size
Much like other grills, infrared units can be found in a variety of sizes. From small portable units, to large commercial grade cooking machines, infrared grills come in sizes similar to conventional grills.
With more even heating, an infrared grill may provide more usable space that your current grill if you have warm or cool spots, but be sure to measure and plan your space accordingly before buying.
Buying an Infrared Grill
Infrared grills give backyard chefs a unique experience.
The high heats allow you to put a chef quality sear on a steak and cook food more quickly when needed. But, they’re definitely not the best choice for smoking a brisket.
If you prefer grilling foods that can be cooked quickly or like the idea of quickly firing up the grill for a speedy weeknight meal, then an infrared grill just might be for you.
If you’re on the lookout for a solid infrared grill at a sensible price, you really can’t beat the value of the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill.
This Char-Broil Performance infrared grill has a solid amount of grilling space for your family gathering with 450 square inches of main grilling section as well as an added 150 square inch swing-away warming rack which is perfect for indirect grilling or keeping food at the correct temperature.
Large Cooking Space and Warming Rack: With 600 square inches of useful cooking area inside this 3-burner grill is perfect for smaller families and couples.
Constant Electronic Ignition: The electronic ignition system offers quick and dependable lighting with the push of a button. Lid-mounted temperature gauge provides the griller with increased heat monitoring and control.
Useful Side Burner: A versatile side burner on this grill has an additional 10,000 BTUs which is perfect for warming sauces, preparing your favorite side or use as extra prepping space.
Quality Construction: Strong, stainless-steel design and large size wheels which allow you to move this grill anywhere you need it, with minimal hassle.
Quick & Easy Assembly: This grill is sold unassembled. We found it to be a simple assembly process. Expect about 30-minutes of assembly time to get your grill ready to use.d grill has a solid amount of grilling space for your family gathering with 450 square inches of main grilling section as well as an added 150 square inch swing-away warming rack which is perfect for indirect grilling or keeping food at the correct temperature.
What We Didn’t Like
Inadequate Interior Components: The exterior is a solid construction, however some of the internal parts are not as durable.
Not as Easy to Clean: Cleaning this infrared grill can be frustrating. Be sure to clean after each grilling session. Invest in a grill cover as well, to protect your grill from the elements.
Temperature Control: Even with 24,000-BTUs from three burners we found this model does not get as hot as others. And since it is infrared, charring was an issue.
No Storage Cabinet: This model does not include a storage cabinet. Even without a storage cabinet, you can be confident that your propane tank is secure and safe from accidents.
The Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill is one of the most popular and best performing grills in the Char-Broil line. This grill has a substantial grilling surface, 24,000-BTUs from three burners and 450 square inches of primary cooking space.
The TRU-Infrared grates are porcelain coated and are constructed to prevent rust and flare-ups. Porcelain coated grates also mean easy clean-up and a nice non-stick cooking surface.
A temperature gauge mounted on the exterior of the lid permits you to control temperatures without raising the lid, and a useful side burner allows for easy preparation of side dishes, sauces, or appetizers.
If you’re shopping for an infrared grill for your patio, but have been put-off by the price, you will want to consider the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared gas grill. This nice sized grill makes cooking easy, and is even easier on your wallet.
This 4-burner from Char-Broil has plenty of cooking space for entertaining family and friends. The main cooking surface of this grill has 500 square inches of cooking space, and the secondary, warming rack has another 200 square inches of space.
The side burner is perfect for warming sauces or cooking your favorite sides, and boasts 13,000 BTUs of cooking energy. The Char-Broil Signature infrared grill also has LED lights in the lid, push-button starting and a closed-in cabinet that holds your propane tank and other handy grilling tools.
Large Cooking Space: This is a great grill for entertaining or feeding a large family. With 525 square inches on the primary cooking surface, you’ll have plenty of room for all of your favorites. The grill also has a nice warming rack that provides additional cooking space if needed.
Temperature Distribution: the TRU-Infrared technology provides outstanding temperature control within the grill. The four burners allow for fast preheating and a consistent temperature across the primary cooking area. This means foods are cooked evenly and you don’t have to worry about hot or cool spots.
Useful Side Burner and Shelf: This grill comes with a side burner and side shelf, which are a nice, added convenience. The side burner puts out 13,000 BTUs of heat, and is easily controlled so it’s perfect for cooking sides or warming your favorite sauce. The side shelf is big enough to hold plates, utensils and even a cold beverage.
Quality Construction: The body and frame of this grill is made from high-quality stainless-steel for added durability. Inside the grill you’ll enjoy porcelain-coated cast iron grates which are both durable and easy to clean.
Storage Cabinet: Unlike many grills on the market today, this one has a really nice storage cabinet. The roomy space below the grill has enough room to store your propane tank plus all of your grilling tools.
What We Didn’t Like
Inadequate Interior Components: Char-Broil is generally known for the high-quality construction, however, the interior components of this grill seem to be of a lower quality than previously noted with this grill.
Not as Easy to Clean: The porcelain grates are super easy to clean, but that is where the easy cleaning ends. It is difficult to get around the burners and the lower quality interior metal doesn’t clean up as well as higher quality stainless-steel grills.
Preheating Temperature: The built in temperature gauge wasn’t terribly accurate, and it took it a long time to respond to the interior temperature. You’ll want a second thermometer to confirm cooking temperature.
When you hit the road to go camping, a day at the lake or tailgating before the big game, you don’t want to sacrifice quality grilling results, just because you’re not at home. The Solaire SOL-EV17A is a great portable infrared grill for any adventure.
The Solaire portable infrared grill attaches easily to a standard propane tank, and provides 14,000 BTUs of cooking energy. Though easily portable, this grill has plenty of grilling space to feed your family.
The infrared heating technology provides consistent heat across the cooking surface, and Solaire’s infrared technology reduces flare-ups while cooking foods evenly. The stainless-steel v-shaped grates give foods those restaurant style grill marks, while also moving grease away from the burner.
Cooking Space: Despite being a portable grill, the Solaire has plenty of room to cook a good meal on the go. The 140 square inches of cooking space easily handles six burgers or four or five steaks.
Power: The 14,000 BTU burner heated up this small grill in no time at all. There is plenty of heating power for grilling or searing.
Portability: This small grill easily fits in your car or camper, and only weighs 15 pounds so it’s not a challenge to move around. You can also use smaller size propane cylinders with this grill if you purchase the adapter.
Quality Construction: The body of this grill is constructed from 304 professional gauge stainless-steel which protects the ceramic and stainless steel burners from the inevitable bumps and falls during travel and set-up.
Quick & Easy Assembly: Out of the box you’ll have to install the handles and the feet of this grill. Otherwise, it’s ready to go as soon as it’s connected to gas.
What We Didn’t Like
The Lid: The lid really diminishes the cooking space when it’s closed. You’ll have to leave the lid open for larger items, and this really slows down the cooking time and consistent cooking temperature of the grill.
Not as Easy to Clean: If you’re using this while camping, you’ll find that after a few days, the inside of this grill is pretty well covered in grease. Cleaning under the burner is possible but takes a bit of effort, and the igniter probe isn’t in the most convenient location for taking apart the grill for cleaning.
Temperature Control: Temperature control on this grill is challenging, but you have to be a bit flexible since this grill really is made for portability, not professional style grilling. The small cooking space and lid that is made for protecting the grill, not keeping in heat, don’t lend well to maintaining a consistent temperature.
While simple to use, this grill looks like a professional grill and is made to commercial quality standards.
This heavy-duty grill has a large cooking area combined with two, high-efficiency infrared burners that offer a temperature range from 200 to 900 degrees F.
Adding to the amazing cooking experience of this grill is TEC’s radiant glass panels. This patented feature reduces flare-ups and creates a consistent temperature throughout the grilling area.
Besides being great at cooking, the Patio FR is great looking and will make a statement on your patio. You’ll also love that this grill comes with smoker and pizza rack accessories, making this grill super versatile.
Grilling Real Estate: The Patio FR boasts a huge, 592 square inch cooking surface. The cooking area is covered with restaurant style grates which heat quickly and leave those cool sear marks on your food. This grill is a great size for entertaining and has plenty of space for feeding a large group.
Temperature Range: The patented glass panels in the TEC Sterling Patio FR allow this grill to have a larger temperature range than other grills. With great results in the cooking range of 200-900° F, you’ll be able to cook a wide variety of foods.
Durability: We didn’t call it a “tank” for nothing. This grill is heavy-duty and built to last. We love the stainless-steel construction from the frame and pedestal base to the smooth and attractive exterior.
Accessories: This grill comes with a smoker and pizza rack accessory, but there are plenty of other accessories that you can add on including a roaster, griddle, or grill tray.
Warranty: TEC grills come with a great warranty. The stainless-steel frame, housing and exterior features have a lifetime warranty that cover defects in workmanship or materials. The burners and cooking grates have a 10-year warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials.
What We Didn’t Like
Not very stylish: To be fair, it isn’t an unattractive grill. But it doesn’t have the styling of some of the other grills that are its competitors. It’s a bit boxy, and the Patio FR just doesn’t have some of the comfort features that other high-end grills come with.
It’s Heavy: This is a great “set it and forget it” grill, and it’s a great option for outdoor cook stations. But if you want to move your grill around your patio, this is not a great option for you. This beast weighs in at a whopping 362 pounds. On a positive note, at least it won’t blow over in the wind.
Side Shelves: The positive to the side shelves on this grill is that you don’t have to assemble them. The downside, and a real disappointment in our opinion is that they don’t fold down.
The Price: We aren’t going to sugar coat this; this grill is expensive. For the occasional griller, the price of this grill isn’t worth it. But if you are using your grill as an outdoor kitchen, it may be worth the extra cash.
There are few grills on the market that offer the quality of cooking across such a large temperature range as the TEC Sterling Patio FR, 44-inch infrared propane grill.
This grill is quite versatile thanks to this wide temperature range, allowing you to smoke, sear, grill and just about anything else.
The two 30,000 BTU burners are separated by a heat zone separator that allows you to cook at two different temperatures. The TEC infrared burners are also super-efficient, using less gas than comparable grills. The u-shaped grates heat quickly and give foods the sear marks you only find at restaurants.
Not only will you love cooking on the TEC Sterling Patio FR infrared grill, but you’ll love how it looks on your patio.
Just because you live in an apartment or condo, doesn’t mean that you should have to settle for a less than amazing grill. The Char-Broil Patio Bistro infrared grill is a great option for small spaces.
This tiny, electric grill provides a safe, flame free way to grill your favorite foods. With 320 square inches of cooking space, there’s plenty of room to cook a great meal for you and a couple of friends.
The easy to use controls allow you to adjust the heat inside your grill for perfect grilling results. The TRU-infrared cooking system minimizes flare-ups and allows for even cooking temperatures throughout the grill.
Easy to Use: This is a great plug and play grill. For beginners this grill is ready to go as soon as you plug it into a wall outlet.
Compact Size: This grill is the perfect size for apartment or condo patios. Despite the small profile, the grilling space is fairly roomy. The compact size of this grill also means that it is easy to move around your patio.
Value: The Patio Bistro is a great product from a reliable company. So even if it didn’t come with such an affordable price, it would be a great deal.
Easy to clean: The porcelain-coated grates are designed for easy clean-up and minimal sticking. The primary grate comes out of the grill for easy cleaning and the porcelain-coated grill body is also designed for easy clean-up.
Quick & Easy Assembly: Assembly for this grill requires you to attach the handle and the legs/wheels. That’s it. The instructions are easy to follow, so you’ll be ready to grill in less than 30 minutes.
What We Didn’t Like
Portability: While this grill is easy to move, if you’re looking for a portable grill, this one is off the list. You’re tied to an electric outlet for this grill, so not it’s not ideal for camping or tailgating.
Temperature Control: The electric infrared burner has its advantages, but quick pre-heating isn’t one of those advantages. Even though this grill is small, the electric burner doesn’t put out the same amount of heat as a gas burner does.
The Storage Grate: The tiny storage grate on this grill is a bit disappointing, but it does keep this grill super compact. However, fold down side-shelves would make this grill much more convenient.
6. Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Why you’ll love it:
If you’re looking for a small infrared grill that can go just about anywhere and fit in the smallest of spaces, consider the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill.
This small grill packs 200 square inches of cooking space into its cast aluminum body that’s built with durability in mind. A built-in thermometer and cast iron infrared grates help keep even temperatures in check.
Rugged design makes it great for camping, tailgating, and cookouts.
Small size makes this grill easy to store.
Even infrared heating.
What we didn’t like
Too small for more than a few people.
Other Brands To Consider
Royal gourmet makes a number of premium gas and infrared grills. The Royal Gourmet Mirage MG6001-R Two Split Lid 6-Burner Cabinet Propane Infrared Burner Gas Grill is one of their most interesting infrared models.
Six burners and nearly 700 square inches of grilling space mean you’ll never run out of room with this unit. A split lid design makes it easy to cook for a smaller group or cook multiple dishes and keep them separate. This grill also includes a side burner for help with other dishes.
This grill has several spacious storage cabinets under the grill and shelves built in to both sides.
Napoleon is another maker of premium infrared grills. With six burners and 74,000 BTUs of power, the Napoleon Grills LEX485RSIBNSS-1 with Infrared Side & Rear Burners Natural Gas Grill is one of their best grills.
This grill is solidly built with a stainless steel exterior and a robust, rolling design that’s complete with cabinets beneath the grill.
Ceramic infrared grates provide very even heating and are capable of very high temperatures. To help retain heat, the lid is double wall insulated for maximum control.
If you’re really looking for a premium infrared grilling experience, check out Broil Master. The Broilmaster R3 Infrared Propane Gas Grill is one of their better models.
The R3 is plenty large enough for a crowd with nearly 700 square inches of cooking space. And, 40,000 BTUs of power combined with two burners capable of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit provide more than enough heat to effectively sear steaks and cook just about anything else you’d like to grill.
A heavy duty stainless steel exterior along with a pedestal stand and locking caster wheels round this grill out.
One of the oldest names in grills, Char-Broil continues to innovative with a complete line of infrared grills.
The Char-Broil 463370719 Performance is one of Char-Broil’s best grills. This grill has plenty of space with three burners and 450 square inches of cooking area.
The infrared grates are ceramic coated cast iron and are designed for easy clean up and long. Below the grill, a large storage cabinet provides plenty of storage. A side burner makes it easy to prepare a side dish or sauce while grilling.